Royals

Lady Di avec son fils le prince Harry en jet-ski en vacances à Saint-Tropez en France, en juillet 19...
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Princess Diana Was The Original Fun Summer Mom

Log out of Facebook, put on a fun bathing suit, and just jump in the pool with our kids.

There’s a lot to admire about the People’s Princess. Her love for others, her deep compassion, her courage to be unconventional within the rigid confines of the Royal family. But I think her summer personality might be my favorite. Forget #hotmomsummer or old-fashioned summers or a summer full of “lazy parenting.” I’m making a case for Princess Diana summer — and literally everyone’s going to benefit from it.

All over social media, you can find fun galleries and posts dedicated to photos of Princess Diana. You can see her in the “revenge dress,” doing her infamous “there were three of us in this marriage” interview, walking through landmine areas for awareness, and lately, as summer officially begins, you can see her in her full summer glory. Jet skiing with her sons, diving off of boats into the ocean, her hair soaking wet as she laughs without abandon in her swimsuit.

Of course it’s easy to be the fun summer mom when you’re literally on a yacht — when you don’t have to worry about affording summer camp or working while your kids are all home with you. But there’s something so genuine in the photos of Princess Diana splashing and fully enjoying the season. She seems full of life and happy. It’s not lost on me how devastating it is to know that most of these photos were taken during the summer of 1997, just weeks before she died.

I’ve listened to countless podcasts and read hundreds of articles to know that many say this time period — this summer of 1997 — was one of the happiest of her entire life. And you can feel that in every photo. Her enormous grin, her body seeming to soak up the sun, her being the fun mom with her boys.

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Summers are often fraught for moms, and if I read one more Facebook post warning me that my kids only have 18 summers before they blast off from home like a rocket, never to return again, I’m going to smash all the popsicles I can find. There are bucket lists to download, there are movie lists to watch, there are Instagram influencers assembling “super easy DIY” fire pits and building an entire s’mores concession stand while you stand there with a bag of marshmallows. There is just a lot. A lot of insisting you soak in every minute, which feels overwhelming on its own, and then a lot of “and here’s exactly how to do that” which makes you just want to crawl back into the cool A/C of your house and wait for the pumpkins to come out.

But not if you have a Princess Diana summer. Because all you need for a Princess Diana summer is to laugh with your kids, to have fun, and to just get your hair wet already. (I know. A guest house in St. Tropez would help.)

When I look at pictures of her during this summer, all I can think about is how little time she had left. How she had no idea, but was still living her days to the absolute fullest. I think of her boys at home, missing her, how some of their last memories were hugging her in the sun, riding on a jet ski with her, jumping into the water and hearing her laugh.

Tim Graham/Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

What a gift she gave all of them that summer. What a gift she gave herself.

So do yourself a solid and go get a swimsuit you feel good in. It doesn’t matter what Instagram thinks or what your husband thinks or what your mother-in-law thinks (even if she is the Queen of England). Do things this summer with your kids that make all of you happy. And let them see just how happy you are.

Go have yourself a Princess Diana summer.