Princess Diana’s depiction as 60-year-old discussed by pundits
This Thursday, the late Princess of Wales would have turned 60 years old. To mark the occasion, her sons Prince William and Prince Harry are coming together to unveil a statue of their mother in the Sunken Gardens of Kensington Palace. It will be the first time they have seen each other since their grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral in April.
Diana tragically died just a year after finalising her divorce from Prince Charles, a divorce which was instigated by the Queen after Diana’s bombshell interview.
The interview, which an investigation recently found had been acquired deceitfully, was watched by 22.8 million people and caused huge problems for the Royal Family.
It included memorable moments such as Diana saying there were “three people” in her marriage to Charles, referring to his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.
She also said the institution was in dire need of modernisation and even called the people in her husband’s camp the “enemy”.
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The Queen sent a letter to Diana informing her that a divorce was ‘desirable’
Princess Diana being interviewed by Martin Bashir
The monarchy was thrown into chaos as the public sympathised with the Princess of Wales.
This prompted the Queen to write the letter, setting in motion steps to sever Diana’s connection to the family, according to the Daily Mirror.
The Queen wrote: “I have consulted with the Archbishop of Canterbury and with the Prince Minister and, of course, with Charles, and we have decided that the best course for you is divorce.”
Diana was reportedly furious, because she felt she was being forced into a divorce she did not want.
Charles and Diana had been separated since 1992 but officially divorced in 1996
She is believed to have told her butler Paul Burrell: “That’s rich! They get to decide whether I divorce!”
The letter, sent in November 1995, was labelled with the crest of the House of Windsor.
Days after Diana received it, Buckingham Palace formally announced the divorce in a statement, saying “after considering the present situation the Queen… gave them her view, supported by the Duke of Edinburgh, that an early divorce is desirable.”
On August 28, 1996, the divorce was complete, bringing to an end to their 15-year marriage.
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A young Prince William promised his mother he would reinstate her HRH title
As part of the settlement, Charles and Diana agreed to share custody of their sons, and Diana was allowed to keep her apartments at Kensington Palace.
Diana also received a huge payout, believed to be a lump sum of £17million as well as £350,000 each year to run her private office.
However, she was stripped of her HRH title, henceforth being known only as Diana, Princess of Wales.
Diana was devastated by the loss.
Losing her HRH status meant friends and staff no longer needed to bow or curtsy to her and also meant she now had to curtsy to her ex-husband, her young sons, and minor royals.
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While the Queen was reportedly happy for her to keep the royal title, because she was the mother of the future King, Charles is said to have insisted she was stripped of it.
According to Mr Burrell, Prince William, seeing how upset his mother was, vowed to reinstate her title.
The 14-year-old said: “Don’t worry Mummy, I will give it back to you one day when I am King.”
The princess died in a car crash in Paris just over a year later, along with her companion Dodi Fayed and their driver Henri Paul.
The Panorama interview has recently come under scrutiny by Lord Dyson’s investigations into claims of deception.
He found that forged documents were used to persuade Charles Spencer to introduce his sister to Mr Bashir, who was found to have acted in breach of BBC guidelines.
Prince William said in an emotional speech that the findings were “extremely concerning” and that lies about the Royal Family told to his mother “played on her fears and fuelled paranoia”.
He added that the corporation displayed “woeful incompetence” when investigating complaints at the time and covered up what they knew of wrongdoing.
The Duke of Cambridge also said he believes the lies told to his mother “substantially” affected what she said in the interview.
His brother Harry went one step further, blaming the “culture of exploitation and unethical practices” for ultimately taking Diana’s life.