It is no surprise that Princess Diana would have been the best grandmother to Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and her close friend Julia Samuel knows that better than anyone. In a touching tribute about the late royal, who was 36 at the time of her death, Prince George's godmother spoke of her admiration for the People's Princess.
"She would have been a fantastic grandmother," Julia told Mail on Sunday's You Magazine. "It breaks my heart even thinking about it, because she would have been amazing, she really would."
"I was unbelievably furious that she had died – I still am," said close friend Julia Samuel Photo: REX
Julia and Diana immediately struck up a friendship after meeting at a dinner in 1987. The pair enjoyed plenty of laughs together, hit the social scene often, and Julia lived close to Kensington Palace. Diana would sometimes even pick up Julia's children from school.
Diana was "the most brilliant godmother," Julia said. "Warm and loving and fun; the sort who gave the presents parents never wanted to give because they were so huge and noisy and nightmarish, but that the children loved."
"Diana is my role model," she added. "I am aiming to be as good a godmother as she was."
Prince William asked Julia to be a godmother to Prince George in 2013 Photo: Getty Images
The late Princess clearly lives on in her friend's memory. "I keep a photograph of us together on my dressing table, and for about a year afterwards, I would put it in a drawer, and then take it out again and although my head knew, my heart couldn't register that she was no longer here."
That photo is now back in its place. "Sometimes when I am happy I pick it up and stroke the glass and smile at her. But I was unbelievably furious that she had died – I still am."
Julia said she hopes to be as good a godmother to George as Diana was to her son Benjamin Photo: Getty Images
Recalling the moment she heard the Princess had died, Julia said: "Someone in the house heard it on the news. I didn't really take it in. It took me a long, long time to accept that she was dead."
Julia is the founder patron of Child Bereavement UK, a charity that supports families when a child or parent is facing bereavement. Prince William is the charity's royal patron.
"He has deep empathy – that really comes across – which is why people feel better for meeting him," said Julia of the future King. "He has the genuineness that Diana had. They can see it in his face and hear it in his voice. He is warm, but very direct, just as she was."