Teaching her sons to "think for themselves" is something Diana prioritized, a family friend tells PEOPLE

By Simon Perry
Updated March 23, 2016 02:55 PM
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Credit: Chris Jelf /Kensington Palace via Getty Image

Princess Kate is opening up about her little girl Charlotte Elizabeth Diana – and how she s carrying on the most loving traditions of William s mom. Subscribe now for an inside look at how Kate is honoring the legacy of her mother-in-law, Princess Diana, only in PEOPLE!

As she carefully navigates raising her children in the royal world, Princess Kate knows where to look for inspiration.

From Prince George‘s Montessori education at Westacre school in Norfolk, which is reminiscent of dad Prince William‘s preschool, to giving George and younger sister Princess Charlotte a country upbringing, the royal mom of two is influenced by her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana.

Spending time with local kids – as well as those he knows through his parents’ friends nearby – “will probably make George, and later Charlotte, more well-rounded,” a family friend tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story.

Diana’s sons are her “greatest legacy, and she taught them to think for themselves and to lead a normal life,” the friend adds.

For more on how Princess Kate is following in Diana’s footsteps, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

The family’s country home of Anmer Hall, a 10-bedroom home on Queen Elizabeth‘s Sandringham estate, is close to Park House, where Diana spent much of her childhood. Friends tell PEOPLE that Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997, spoke fondly of her time there to her sons.

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“She was always talking about the fun time she had at Park House,” recalls her former bodyguard Ken Wharfe, author of Closely Guarded Secret.