Princess Diana 'Always Wanted a Girl' and Would 'Really, Really Love This Moment,' Says Friend

William and Kate wanted to honor his late mother Princess Diana so she wasn't "airbrushed" out of history, friends say.

Photo: Rex Shutterstock; Getty

As the birth of Princess Charlotte is celebrated by the royal family – and the world – it’s hard not to think of her late grandmother, Princess Diana, whose spirit now lives on in the new princess.

“Diana always wanted a girl, and she shared the joy of her colleagues and friends when their kids were born,” Patrick Jephson, Diana’s former private secretary, tells PEOPLE.

“Both my daughters were born when I was working with Princess Diana, and she more than once said how lucky I was to have girls,” he adds.

The late Princess of Wales’ legacy also lives on thanks to her devoted sons.

“Both William and Harry have been very conscientious in keeping the story of their mother alive – most obviously through Kate’s engagement ring – and her influence continues,” Jephson says. “William and Harry frequently refer to her, and she is a continuing inspiration.”

Jephson, Diana’s onetime most senior aide, also recognizes the importance of the royal couple’s decision to name their daughter after Will’s late mother.

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“I’m sure it will prove an inspiration to the young princess as she grows up and comes to terms with her own royal duties, because her late grandmother’s example would be very hard to beat,” Jephson says.

“It can only be good for the standing of the royal family to find the Diana story continuing and the Diana name being honored, because she remains a figure of worldwide respect and affection,” he adds.

Diana’s former bodyguard, Ken Wharfe, tells PEOPLE, Diana “would really, really love this moment.”

As for the new princess’ name, he says, “Politically, he was never going to call her by the first name Diana, but it had to be in there.”

“It’s a nice way of saying you can’t airbrush my mother out of royal history,” he adds. “I’m sure there are some quarters of the family that wish it to be quiet, but William has led the field in making sure that his mother is still remembered. It was a poignant thing to do.”

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