In an interview, Princess Diana recalled the conversation she had with Prince William to gently explain to him about what was going on with her and Prince Charles.
While growing up, young Prince William had to watch two of the most important people in his life share a turbulent marriage. Right from the time he and his brother Prince Harry were born, a normal childhood wasn't in the cards for them as they grew up within the four walls of a palace. But for Prince William, who is described as particularly sensitive, things were all the more difficult when he saw his parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, go through a number of highs and lows in their marriage.
Prince William was deeply affected by the relationship his parents had. But Princess Diana tried to be honest with him and ease him through what was going on. After Prince Charles gave an interview to Jonathan Dimbleby in 1994, admitting that he had committed adultery, Princess Diana's first thought was that of her children and she spoke to Prince William about how love can be.
"I went to the school and put it to William, particularly, that if you find someone you love in life you must hang on to it and look after it, and if you were lucky enough to find someone who loved you then one must protect it," said Princess Diana in her 1995 interview with Martin Bashir, according to BBC. "William asked me what had been going on, and could I answer his questions, which I did. He said, was that the reason why our marriage had broken up? And I said, well, there were three of us in this marriage, and the pressure of the media was another factor, so the two together were very difficult. But although I still loved Papa I couldn't live under the same roof as him, and likewise with him."
When Princess Diana was asked about the effect it may have had on Prince William, the devoted mother said at the time, "he's a child that's a deep thinker, and we don't know for a few years how it's gone in. But I put it in gently, without resentment or any anger."
Years and years have passed since his royal parents' official divorce and now, 37-year-old Prince William doesn't want history to repeat itself with his own marriage. Ever since Kate Middleton walked into his life, he has been a lot happier and with her, he found the strength to overcome the experiences he saw of a bad marriage as a child.
"I think that Kate’s influence on William has been very, very important," said Sarah Bradford, Viscount Bangor in an ITV documentary called Kate: The Making of a Modern Queen, as quoted by Express. "I think he was quite seriously affected by the bad relationship of his parents and I think that Kate has strengthened him."
Talking about how Prince William was different from Prince Harry, she went on to say, "Harry, of course, bouncies along anyway, but I think William was more sensitive and more affected by, say, the suffering of his mother. And I think Kate has provided the necessary stability for him."
Through his wife's tight-knit family, he was able to share those simple family pleasures without having to worry about being under the radar. Though he saw his parents trapped in an unhappy marriage, it is vastly different from what he shares with Kate Middleton, who is his pillar of strength.
Kate Middleton is "very strong, she’s very confident and she has a real clarity of vision and I think William depends on that hugely ‒ so she’s brought a huge amount to William’s life," said royal expert, Katie Nicholl in the same documentary. "She has filled William’s life with life and happiness and security, and she’s given him the family life, through her own family ‒ just regular things that he never got to enjoy, but he is enjoying now, and I think that she’s made him incredibly happy."
As he shares a well-bonded relationship with his wife, Prince William is eager to make his marriage last and this way, their three children won't have to go through the heartbreak of seeing their parents separate as he and his brother did.
"William and Kate’s marriage is very much a love match, and I think they are incredibly happy," Emily Nash, royal correspondent for Hello! magazine, said in the documentary. "You can see a huge amount of affection between them on engagements, there’s often an arm round one another, looks that they share and I hope that’s going to last... I think because William experienced his parents’ difficult marriage he’s very keen to not repeat that scenario and I don't think it will ever happen."