Ken Wharfe recalled that day for the 2013 Amazon Prime documentary ‘Royalty Close Up: The Photography of Kent Gavin’. He said: “I recall William’s first day at school age five, getting into the car with his mother as we drove up to the school in north London.” Diana apparently tried to warn her son about the throng of photographers that would be outside the school gates.
She reportedly said: “Look William, when we get there, there’s going to be a lot of photographers.
“So you’ve got to realise now that this is going to be with you for the rest of your life.”
Mr Wharfe told the documentary: “And just like somebody out of one of those Just William characters, he said: ‘I don’t like ‘tographers!’”
This would have been a heartbreaking thing for Diana to hear that day because she knew that, despite how William felt about them, as second-in-line to the throne, the press and the paparazzi were always going to be a part of his life.
Prince William on his first day at school (L)
Former royal protection officer Ken Wharfe
Mr Wharfe said when they arrived at the school there were around 120-130 photographers there.
He said William got out of the car and tried to smile, but he couldn’t.
The former royal bodyguard reflected on how William’s feelings about the cameras.
He said: “As a five-year-old, he had already seen aspects of negativity from his mother about the media and the press.
Royal photographer Kent Gavin
“Not the writers, but the photographers, because the first thing he’s seen is a lense – not seen the person behind it, so, therefore, sees a photographer, sees a lense, that’s a negative – ‘I don’t like them.’”
According to Mr Wharfe, this was the beginning of William beginning to understand the media.
Kent Gavin, who was a staff photographer for the Daily Mirror taking photographs of the royals for decades, remembered how tough it had been for William when he was a young boy.
He said: “It was a difficult time when they were very young.
Princess Anne’s brutal nicknames exposed: ‘Didn’t deserve any better!’ [VIDEO]
Royal shock: How Queen Mother ‘helped Charles have Camilla affair’ [EXPERT]
Princess Diana’s number one objective in Royal Family [REVEALED]
Prince William taking his son Prince George to his first day at school
“I can recall that William was not happy.
“Harry – not a care in the world, just happy-go-lucky – but William had his head down, much the same as his mother did in the early days.”
Back when Diana first joined the Royal Family she was a shy 19-year-old with not much confidence.
Early pictures of her often showed her with her head bowed, embarrassed by the attention.
However, she later grew into her role, as did William.
Ironically, there seems to have been a role reversal in recent years between the two brothers with William smiling and waving for the press photographers, and Harry turning against them.
On the ITV documentary ‘Harry & Meghan: An African Journey’ last year, he told Tom Bradby the cameras make him think about his mother’s difficult relationship with the press and the circumstances around her death.
Diana tragically died in a car crash in Paris in August 1997.
Prince Harry opens up to Tom Bradby about his feelings about cameras
The Duke of Sussex told the broadcaster: “I think being part of this family, in this role, in this job, every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash it takes me straight back.
“So in that respect, it’s the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best.”
Harry also released a statement last year in which he accused the press of bullying and harassing his wife, Meghan Markle.