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Unearthed Princess Diana Letters Reveal Touching, Surprising Moments in Prince William and Prince Harry’s Childhoods

Priceless memories. Newly unearthed handwritten letters exchanged between Princess Diana and former Buckingham Palace steward Cyril Dickman reveal some rather touching and intimate moments in her sons Prince William and Prince Harry’s childhoods.

Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry
Princess Diana with her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, at the piano in Kensington Palace in 1985.

Cyril’s grandson, Matthew Dickman, recently discovered the letters and decided to put them up for auction, Cheffins spokeswoman Lisa Freeman-Bassett told Cambridge News on Thursday, December 22. “Cyril, who died in 2012, was head steward at Buckingham Palace for over 50 years, starting his career watching out for fires on the roof during the Blitz,” Freeman-Bassett explained. “He was a favorite of every member of the royal family, as is evident by the variety of cards and letters he received.”

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In one letter, written on September 20, 1984, when Prince Harry was just 5 days old — and William was 2 — the late Princess Diana described the brothers’ loving relationship, even at that early stage.

Princess Diana Letters

“Dear Cyril, it was so very kind of you to have sent us such a lovely card, on the arrival of our small son — we both were greatly touched by your thoughtfulness and enormously appreciated it,” the then-23-year-old princess wrote. “William adores his little brother and spends the entire time swamping Harry with an endless supply of hugs and kisses hardly letting the parents near!”

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“The reaction to one tiny person’s birth has totally overwhelmed us and I can hardly breathe for the mass of flowers that are arriving here!” she continued. “This is just to say a big thank you, Cyril, for thinking of us at this particularly happy time, with lots of love from, Diana.”

Princess Diana Letters

Eight years later, Princess Diana again put pen to paper to inform Cyril that grammar school–aged Harry was starting to become a handful. “The boys are both well and enjoying boarding school a lot,” she wrote in a letter dated October 17, 1992. “Although Harry is constantly in trouble!” (The late Princess of Wales died in a car crash on August 31, 1997, when William was 15 and Harry was 12.)

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Matthew told the Cambridge News that upon discovering the letters — along with other items, including pieces of wedding cake and signed Christmas cards from Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Prince Charles — he thought immediately to share the pieces of history with the public.

“He was much loved by the royal family,” he told the publication. “When he was ill, towards the end of his life, Prince Charles came to see him at his home in London. We have decided to sell some of the items he had purely because there’s too much of it to keep.”

The auction will take place in Cambridge on January 5, 2017.

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