Royal Baby: Diana's Legacy

Diana was a new kind of royal parent, and clues suggest that William and Kate will follow her lead.
7:09 | 05/27/13

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Transcript for Royal Baby: Diana's Legacy
At the height of her worldwide fame, princess diana of wales became the face of the british royal family. Married to prince charles, she was stunning, courageous and compassionate. In the few years of her troubled married life, diana produced an heir to the throne, ushered in a new royal era and shook the british monarchy to its core. Though kensington may look more like a series of townhouse apartments than a palace, this was perhaps diana's one safe haven. The place where she lived and raised her children. And it is here that william and kate will raise theirs. Diana paved the way for a new kind of royal parenting, setting a standard for mothering a future monarch. Prince william has said he wants to spare his wife the inevitable comparisons to his mother, princess diana. But in many ways, diana has been apart of this pregnancy from the very beginning. We waited two years for kate's announcement, but diana was pregnant just three months after her wedding. From the beginning, she rebelled against the royal traditions of arms-length parenting. Prince william was the first heir to the throne to be born outside the palace walls, in a hospital, followed closely by what might be another royal first. Diana is largely reported to be the very first mother within the royal family to breastfeed. Of course, that's hard for us to know for certain, but queen victoria was adamant that she found breastfeeding disgusting. It may be bad manners to discuss the "royal bosom," but many people are wondering what kate will do? I'm sure she'll do exactly what most women in this country do, which is to breastfeed. Another first -- princess diana broke with the royal tradition of spending months touring the commonalth countries without their children. She insisted on including 9-month-old william on an official visit to australia. And they were, like, oh, breaking royal precedent. But it was brilliant. That was what made diana so loveable was that she always absolutely adored her children. At diana's insistence, william became the first royal to be schooled with nonroyals. His personal bodyguard was with him on opening day. Diana said, you need to behave yourself. And he in his sort of just william way, said to his mother, I don't like photographers. Fat chance he said. She said, well, you're going to get this for the rest of your life. We arrived at the school and there was 90 photographers and journalists. William, distressed with the media, became ingrained. Still, princess diana wanted to give her sons a more normal life. For centuries, young royals have grown up in isolation, away from their subjects. When the queen was young, they had to bring a girl begin into into buckingham palace just so the queen had children to socialize with. I think that is the long-lasting legacy that diana left. She took william and harry outside palace walls. Patrick jephson, princess diana's chief of staff for half a dozen years, first met william when the boy was 6 years old. She made sure that they experienced things like going to the cinema, coueing up to buy a McDONALD'S, GOING TO AMUSEMENT Parks, those sorts of things that were experiences that they could share with their friends. How did she also bring them up to be not average, to be royal? dilemma for diana to prepare them for the very -- very distinctive, unique life that -- that they have had to lead. And she did it very cleverly. Taking them to hospitals, to homeless shelters. As young as 7, I remember diana specifically taking hmm to a day center where the homeless being reclothed and refed. And this was diana's way of actually saying to william, "listen, look, it isn't all what you think it is living at kensington palace." She wanted them, a, to understand how incredibly fortunate they are, but b, what a difference they could make in the life of somebody else. As adults, both william and kate have afternoon followed in diana's footsteps. Last year alone, kate made 111 appearances, many in support of charitable causes. William still actively supports centre point, the homeless shelter he first visited with his mother. And he spent the night on the streets of london to highlight the plight of the homeless. William told abc news last year -- she played a huge part in -- in my life and harry's growing up in how we saw things and how we experienced things. She very much wanted to get us to see, you know, the rawness of real life. And I can't thank her enough for that, because reality bites, in a big way, and it was one of the biggest lessons I learned is just how lucky and privileged so many of us are. Diana also showed by example how to handle encounters with the public, beginning with william's first public outing at 10 years old. Even as an adult that might have been quite intimidating. But william squared his shoulders, you know, he went and did his duty. Diana said to william, "it only may be ten seconds out of your life. It could be years of happy memories for the person you meet." Diana had a common touch that made her loved, particularly by children. She always crouched to talk personally, eye to eye. The royal family used to say that everyone had to be deferential to them, but diana said, "if someone might be nervous of you or you're speaking to a very young child or a sick person, get yourself on their level." Diana was the first member of the royal family to do this. When you see kate kneeling to talk to someone -- you made that for me? Yes, thank you very much. It is very reminiscent of diana throughout her life. Tragically, 16 years ago, as we know, princess diana died in a car accident while being chased by the paparazzi. William absolutely loathes the media. He is adamant that they are just scum. And you absolutely can't blame him. I mean, in his mind, the media were the ones that killed his mom. The tragedy provided a final lesson from diana -- beware the paparazzi. Last year, two french tabloids published unwanted photographs of kate. In his own departure from royal way, william decided to sue. The case is ongoing, but william's message is clear -- respect the privacy of duchess kate and their soon to be born child. Diana would be very proud.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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