Touching moment Prince William, 10, slid tissues to Diana under door saying I hate to see you sad

When Prince William's parents' marriage fell apart, he tried helplessly to comfort them.

There's a scene early in Penny Junor's royal biography – Prince William: Born to be King: An intimate portrait – in which, following an altercation with Charles, Princess Diana runs into her bathroom in tears.

Their son William, 10, pushes tissues under the door, saying: "I hate to see you sad."

It's a compelling image, the young boy – who will one day be king – trying to console his weeping mother.

In recent months, Prince Harry has spoken openly about his struggles while William has remained tight-lipped. Touching stories like this one give us a peak into how the eldest prince dealt with boyhood and adolescence.

The Duke has always called Diana, the late Princess of Wales, the best mother in the world, but Junor says 13–year–old William was "angry and incredulous" with her notorious 1995 Panorama interview.

At times, Junor claims the teenage William was "embarrassed" by some of her "public outpourings".

But we are never left in any doubt that he loved her immeasurably. On the night she was killed he awoke many times. Junor says he "knew something awful was going to happen".

According to Junor, Diana's love for her boys was "obsessive and it was possessive", but she failed to discipline them consistently.

By the time William was four he was behaving so badly, according to Junor, that the Queen let it be known his behaviour was unacceptable.

But Diana's biggest crime as a mother seems to have been, in Junor's view, briefing against Charles after their marriage imploded.

Before her famous Panorama interview, Junor reports Diana was asked by a teacher at Eton college to warn William, then 13, that it would be aired.

At first she refused, then, when the teacher insisted, she came to Eton for a five-minute meeting in which she apparently told William that he would be proud of her.

Watching it in a master's study, reports Junor, "he was deeply upset, as any child, watching one parent assassinate the integrity of the other, let alone talk about their infidelity, would be".

We don't discover from the book what the 15-year-old William said when he was told that his mother had died in a car crash in Paris.

But we are told that in the days after the tragedy he went for long walks alone at Balmoral Castle, the Queen's home in Scotland, where he and Prince Harry were staying at the time.

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