Princess Diana Biography
July 1st, 1961
Sandringham (Norfolk – England)
John Edward Spencer (1924-1992)
Lady Frances Spencer (1936)
divorced since 1969
sisters and brothers:
Sarah, Jane, Charles
colour of eyes:
colour of hair:
Kensington Palace in London
On July 29th Lady Diana married Prince Charles. She was 20 years old and Prince Charles was 33 years old.
Princes William (Willie), 21st June 1982
Princes Henry (Harry), 15th September 1984
dissolution of marriage:
August 28th, ’96
August 30th, ’97
place of death: Paris
1st July 1961
Birth of the honourable Diana Frances Spencer aas the third daughter of Lord Edward John Spencer, later 8th Earl of Spencer – from 1975 Diana bore the title „Lady Diana“ – and his wife Frances Ruth Burke Roche in Park House on the Royal Estate of Sandringham (Norfolk, England). Diana’s father is the equerry to Queen Elizabeth II.
Attendance at Riddlesworth Hall Preparatory School in Diss, Norfolk.
The parents divorce. The father obtains custody for Diana, her brother Charles and both sisters Jane and Sarah.
Attendance at West Heath SSchool near Sevenoaks, Kent.
Diana meets Prince Charles at a hunting party, who at that time was friends with her sister.
Diana goes to finishing school at the Institute Alpine Videmanette in Rouge Mont, Switzerland.
After her return to London, Diana lives wwith three friends in an apartment in Coleherne Court in South Kensington, London.
Diana works as a children’s nanny at the Young England School in Pimlico, London.
Diana’s contact with the Royal Family and Prince Charles starts anew. The Spencer’s visit the Windsor’s during the summer holidays at Balmoral Castle. The romance between Charles and Diana begins.
24th February 1981
The engagement between the 19 year-old Lady Diana Frances Spencer and the 32 year-old Heir to the British Throne Prince Charles is officially announced. The engagement ring is white gold with an oval sapphire in the middle and 14 diamonds.
29th July 1981
600,000 people crowd Diana’s route from Buckingham Palace to London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, and around 750 million television viewers follow the dream wedding oof Charles and Diana live in front of TV sets. For the first time in 300 years an English girl is betrothed to a British Heir to the Throne.
The first official three day visit to Wales.
21st June 1982
The first son and Heir to the Throne, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, named Wills, is born in St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London.
Diana’s first official appearance outside Great Britain at the burial of Princess Grace of Monaco. Diana represented the QQueen.
For an official visit to Australia Diana asserts herself and takes her son William with her.
15th September 1984
The second son of Princess Diana and Charles, Prince Henry Charles Albert David, named Harry is born, also at St. Mary’s Hospital.
At a visit of the British Heirs to the Throne in Italy their two sons Prince William and Henry are also present. Diana and Charles are also invited to a private audience with Pope John Paul II.
Diana travels to Berlin and becomes the honorary colonel of the Royal Hampshire Regiment, which she remained up to 1996.
Princess Diana visits AIDS victims. The palace reacts with outrage at her visit.
Supposedly out of desperation over her unhappy marriage, Princess Diana attempts suicide.
The first official visit of Charles and Diana to America. President Reagan throws a huge gala party at the White House. It is the society event of the year.
The honourable citizen of London, the sultan sends Diana jewellery to the estimated value of æÃ1 million.
Diana has a state visit to Germany.
Diana becomes President of the British marital advice organisations, which she ended on 16/07/1996. She also becomes an honorary citizen of Northampton and Bardolino (Italy).
Diana receives a one month driving ban aand æÃ150 fine due to speeding.
In a magazine she is voted as „Best Dressed Woman“. Diana and Charles live in separate apartments.
Earl Spencer, Diana’s father dies. His death affects her greatly.
The book „Diana, Her True Story“ by Andrew Morton is published as a series in the Sunday Times, and due to its explosive contents it becomes a bestseller. With the Princess’ later admitted approval, it contains statements from her close friends about the poor state of her marriage to Prince Charles and over Diana’s fears, her bulimia and the Princess’ several suicide attempts.
25th August 1992
The British tabloid paper „The Sun“ prints the supposed transcript of a telephone conversation between Princess Diana and her former friend James Gilbey. Diana however denied having an affair with Gilbey (which is also not clearly presented in this conversation, and probably is just a press invention).
During the state visit to India it becomes clear that Charles and Diana’s marriage over.
A joint trip by Diana and Charles to Korea is judged by the press to be the last chance to save their marriage.
The magazine „Woman“ votes Diana as the „Most Beautiful Woman“ in Britain.
9th December 1992
The British Prime Minister JJohn Major officially announces Charles and Diana’s separation.
13th January 1993
In the Australian woman’s magazine „New Idea“ the complete transcript is printed of a six minute long telephone conversation with very intimate details between Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, which he had held with her three years before. Charles’ adultery with a married woman is therefore obvious. Not only these whispers between Prince Charles and his lover Camilla Parker-Bowles, but also the conversation between Diana and her supposed lover James Gilbey are supposed to have taken place as early as 1989, and supposedly have been recorded by amateur radio enthusiasts. Rumours grow that it was the work of the systematic monitoring one by the secret organisation MI5.
29th June 1994
In a television interview Prince Charles acknowledges to Jonathan Dimbleby his liaison with Camilla Parker-Bowles and his unfaithfulness to his wife Diana. He explains his adultery by saying that he already saw his marriage as being over.
Newspapers report further intimate telephone conversations by Princess Diana.
In the book „Princess in Love“ by Anna Pasternak, the love-relationship between the former bodyguard and riding teacher for Princess Diana, James Hewitt
and the Princess is described. In the following weeks Hewitt divulges more and more details about the relationship and the love life between the pair. He is supposed to have made himself around æÃ270,000 richer by doing this.
Diana visits Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko in Japan.
Diana is awarded the „Prize for Humanity“ by the Society for Brain Research in New York.
24th November 1995
Diana admits her affair with James Hewitt in a BBC TV interview with the journalist Martin Bashir. SShe speaks further about her psychological desperation during the unlucky married years, her mental trauma and the ensuing concurrent psychological illnesses, which first appeared as eating disorders, and about her attempt to commit suicide. Apart from this she spoke of her mistrust of the Royal Family and doubts that her husband, Prince Charles, will ever become king.
Thirteen years after the British-Argentinian war, during her visit to Argentina as Ambassador of Peace Princess Diana is greeted with excitement.
18th December 1995
Queen EElisabeth II asks her son Prince Charles and Princess Diana to end their marriage: Charles is immediately in agreement, yet Diana puts off the decision for three months.
According to a questionnaire by the Gallup-Institute she is voted as the Beauty QQueen of the last 50 years.
Diana is on the front cover photo of the December edition of „Harper’s Bazaar“.
28th February 1996
Princess Diana agrees to the wish of Prince Charles and his mother Queen Elizabeth II to end the marriage.
12th July 1996
Princess Diana and Prince Charles agree over divorce formalities.
15th July 1996
Princess Diana becomes divorced after a 15 year long marriage to the British Heir to the Throne Prince Charles.
28th August 1996
The divorce becomes legal after six weeks of talks: Diana loses the title „Royal Highness“, but may still call herself „Princess of Wales“. The Princess has a permanent right to live in Kensington Palace and remains a member of the Royal Family. The custody of the two sons WWills and Harry is given jointly to both parents, and Diana receives a settlement from her ex-husband in the millions and a yearly payment of around æÃ300,000.
Diana receives a gold medal for a humanitarian mission.
At a visit to Angola Diana demonstrates her disgust at the use of landmines and demands a world wide ban on these weapons.
Diana meets Mother Theresa (who died on 5th September 1997 )in New York.
Diana and her sons fly to St. Tropez ttogether, the first holiday with Dodi Al Fayed.
08th August 1997
Diana visits Bosnia. It is her last trip as „Charity Queen“ and „Queen of Hearts“.
30th August 1997
21.45 o’clock: Diana and Dodi go to dinner at the „Ritz“ in the Place Vendome.
31st August 1997
0.25 o’clock: the accident in the Seine-Tunnel under the Place de I’Alme, not far from the Eiffel Tower. Dodi and the chauffeur Henri Paul die at the scene. Diana and her bodyguard are still alive. 4.15 o’clock: after intensive attempts to save Diana’s life, the doctors Bruno Rioux and Philipe Pavie at the Pite Salpã´triere Hospital, where the emergency doctors had brought Diana, let it be known that Diana, Princess of Wales, died at 4 o’clock in the morning. A BA 146 from the Royal Squadron brings back Diana’s corpse back to Great Britain on that afternoon. The aircraft lands at Northolt airport. Prime Minister Tony Blair is among those who are waiting. The coffin is draped with the royal flag. At midnight the coffin lays in state in the Royal Chapel in St. James’ Palace.
5th September 1997
The first live speech from the Queen concerning the death of Princess Diana.
6th September 1997
For the lengthy procession through London the PPrincess of Wales’ coffin is borne on a gun carriage escorted by the Welsh Guard. In Westminster Abbey a great funeral service is held. Countless prominent people are present, and the pop star Elton John sings the song „Candle in the Wind“. Especially moving to the watchers is the speech given by Diana’s younger brother, the Earl of Spencer. Approximately two-and-a-half million television viewers followed this speech on the screen. The coffin containing Diana’s body is brought to Anthrop House, the Spencer’s family seat. Diana is buried on a small island in the middle of a lake on the estate.
Everything was perfectly prepared. Pale blue baby clothes lay freshly washed and starched on the commode, father Jonnie Anthrop held young Frances’ hand and hoped that everything would very soon be over. Both the two small girls Sarah and Jane were also allowed to stay up for longer on this first of July 1961. They of course wanted to be the first to greet their new little brother. But with the first scream of the child followed the disappointing knowledge: a girl. Yet again no heir to the family title Earl of Spencer!
Even when her parents so eagerly wished for aa son, Diana experienced a carefree childhood, protected, loved and honoured. Three years later followed the eagerly awaited for son. They christened him after the name of the British heir to the throne, Charles.
Diana‘s original name is Diana Frances Spencer. She was born on July 1, 1961. Her native town was Sandringham, Norfolk, England. The girl was not a member of the Royal Family. Dana‘s birthplace was at park House which was built for the future Edward VII in 1870 and still belongs to the country. It was the home that her parents rented on Queen Elizabeth II’s estate at Sandringham, and where her childhood friends were the Queen’s younger sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
Diana later liked to think back to these first years of her childhood. The family lived in a very beautiful and large house on the private estate of the Royal Family at Sandringham. In earlier times Park House served as a royal guesthouse, later it was leased by Diana’s family. It consisted of ten bedrooms and four roomy salons. The wonderful grounds offered the children a great amount of space for games and rollicks. The immediate neighbourliness to the royal country seat brought with it
regular meetings between Diana and her siblings and members of the Royal Family. They often met up with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward to go swimming at Park House, or they were invited to a tea party „at the court“. These meetings were completely informal and without courtly ceremony, as the Royals were mostly present during the hunting season and accordingly relaxed. In spite of this Diana’s father paid much attention to good behaviour and etiquette when raising his children. AAfter all he himself, as the descendant of the ancient noble Spencer family, held the high position of Royal Equerry. Diana’s mother Frances, daughter of Baron Fermoy, was a highly educated lady, who warmed the hearts of her four children and her husband.
She was the third child and the youngest daughter of Edward John Spencer, the heir to the 7th Earl Spencer. The girl was brought up on the Sandringham estate. At the age of six Diana’s parents had parted ffor ever. Her father was an aristocrat of the old school. His wife Frances left her four children and married a man many years her senior. Later she got tired of her old husband and left him. Sometimes little Diana hhid behind the curtain in the room as she couldn’t listen to her parents quarrels. Remembering it long afterwards, Diana couldn’t forget the sounds of her mother’s footsteps in the hall. They sank deeply in her mind the moment her mother had left the home for the last time.
The depression followed her. When a girl, she needed love and understanding. The elder sisters and her younger brother Charles were brought up by the care of nannies where the interchange of them occurred very often. Edward Spencer was an equerry to the Queen then. The girl became Lady Diana Spencer when her father succeeded to the earldom in 1975. Though her friends were the Queen’s sons in her childhood, Diana was eeager to share her emotions with somebody else, but there wasn’t anybody to speak with.
The school in Norfolk and West Heath School, Kent, gave Diana education. Later she went to Switzerland. Diana returned to England and became a kindergarten teacher at one fashionable school.
The sixteen-year-old Diana fell in love with the Prince. The tall, fair-haired girl was used to watch Prince Charles fishing on the banks of the River Lee. She had known him from a distance as aa young girl when her family lived next door to Sandringham. Later Diana started spending as much time as possible at a cottage on the Balmoral estate with her sister, Lady Jane. Once Diana declared as a joke:
“-It is Prince Andrew, maybe, I am going to marry.”
Queen Elizabeth II had four children of her own. Princess Anne was born in 1950, Andrew, Duke of York, in 1960 and Prince Edward was the youngest child born in 1964. Diana’s future husband, Prince Charles, was twelve years her senior. He was thirty years old at that time and needed a wife. The public and his father Prince Philip forced him to marry as soon as possible and begin a family life.
There was no doubt in the minds of the members in the Royal Family what Diana’s intentions were. Someone said:
“- She went after Prince with one determination. She wanted him and she got him.”
Something had to happen, so the Earl of Spencer sent his daughter to Switzerland. The right choice appeared to him to be the girls’ boarding school „Institute Alpine Videmanette“ in Rouge Mont near Gstaad. Home skills, sewing, cooking, hostess skills, and etiquette – all of this should prepare DDiana for life. Yet whilst daddy thought of virtues befitting a housewife, she looked forward to going skiing.
In November ’77, on the occasion of a hunting party with a party afterwards, the 16 year-old Diana drove to her father at Anthrop Hall. A visit from those in the highest society had been confirmed. If that were not a reason to overcome the dislike of the stepmother for the space of a weekend! Her sister Sarah had been friends with Prince Charles for a little while now, and now he had confirmed his attendance! At this hunting trip the somewhat chubby boarding school pupil in a thick jumper and rubber boots literally tripped up before the feet of the prominent guest – Prince Charles. The heir to the throne was fascinated by the charm of the young Diana. Certainly he knew the young girl from his childhood, but it was now that he took note of her for the first time. She was so happy, full of a passion for life and amusing. Finally a girl who didn’t gaze at him longingly. How could Diana then have come to such a daring idea? She was after all just the little sister oof the heir to the throne’s girlfriend.
In December ’77 Diana completed her studies at the boarding school. She returned to Great Britain and moved to London, to her mother. Finally life was supposed to start for Diana. She was so excited.
Never having to go to school again. Earning a little bit of money would be the best thing. But what should Diana do? She had no qualifications for a job. Perhaps an apprenticeship? But which? Something like being in an office between nine o’clock in the morning until five o’clock in the afternoon? Certainly not! Good, when one has a pair of friends with whom one can spend the time. Also good when one can lodge free of charge by one’s mother for the time being. The conversations of the friends were always over one theme: young aristocrats. They giggled and fooled around; none of them had yet had any experiences with the other sex. Their favourite activity was shopping. Together they roamed through department stores and boutiques, tried on whole collections under the strict gaze of the sales staff. Bought was – if at all – only little. The young Diana had very little money in her
pocket, but a few years later the shops were to be greatly compensated. Already then she loved expensive designer fashion, had to however make do with a jumper and jeans.
To her concern Diana was a little chubby; therefore she began to try out certain diets. She was completely convinced that only a true beauty would get an eligible bachelor. But her self-confidence was not yet especially pronounced and she suffered with an inferiority complex. When she was bored she wwatched American soap operas on the television. Diana dropped on to the sofa, nibbled chocolate bars and biscuits and had a guilty conscience about her figure. Yet she often didn’t manage to satisfy her huge appetite. The more insecure Diana felt, the more she ate. A behaviour which would later bring her many problems. When she felt ill after eating so much she laid in bed and cried. Then she pictured being eternally alone, with a dismal existence as an oold maid. Diana was not built for being alone. She needed company. She felt at her best when surrounded by a whole group of friends. Typically Diana had never in her life had a best friend. Already when at school sshe was always together with more than one person of the same age. And in London she doubly enjoyed herself when she was able out with many female friends. The group gave her security and helped her to conceal her shyness. Yes, Diana could be completely silly and boisterous. She was always available for small pranks, and she developed her own individual humour and wit. The girls could have a good laugh with Diana, she was extremely popular.
In September ’78 her father suffered a stroke and needed four months to recover. Diana was very worried about her father. Diana completed a ten-week course at this time, worked as a baby-sitter and served drinks at the parties of befriended families. TThis could not possibly be how she would spend her life!
In November 1978 followed the next invitation to the palace – and that was much, much more exciting! Prince Charles celebrated his 30th birthday and invited Sarah and Diana. It was a welcome change in her otherwise completely bland life. The relationship between Sarah and Charles was in the meantime over, as Sarah made a great mistake. In reply to a reporter’s question, as to whether she would love PPrince Charles and marry him, she answered that she would not love him, and did not want to marry him. In January ’79 the next invitation was already issued. Diana and her sister Sarah were invited by the queen to a hunting weekend at Sandringham. The turning point came on her 18th birthday when she could come into the inheritance of a relative from America. æÃ63,000 – that was a respectable sum! With this money Diana bought a flat in South Kensington, London. And she obtained a position as a kindergarten helper. She only worked for three days per week, but she really didn’t need to do any more. After all, Diana never expected to find fulfilment through a job, so she didn’t worry about starting a career. She moved into the flat with three of her friends. Now finally the dream of freedom and self-determination could be achieved. Her first own car awoke the feeling of possessing wings. Yet unfortunately she soon wrote it off.
Diana had a few admirers, but she never thought about binding herself down to a man. She preferred to cruise the bars and clubs of London with her female friends. Diana constantly enlarged her circle oof acquaintances and improved her self-confidence and own strength. These were lovely, uncomplicated times. She never considered which path her career would take. After all, at 18 life is just beginning, and the man of her dreams would already be waiting for her somewhere. That he would have to come from high society was without question. An attitude that she shared with all the daughters from old English aristocratic families as self-evident. There were certainly enough admirers, but Diana wanted to save herself for her dream prince. In July ’79 Diana and her sister Jane followed an invitation of the Queen to Scotland at Balmoral Castle, but no romance was in sight.
In February 1980 Diana spent her first weekend at Sandringham in the company of the Royal Family without being accompanied by a sister. Although she was excited she played down the excitement of her friends: „What do you think would happen, it’s only a weekend hunt at Sandringham.“ The interjection „my God, perhaps you’ll be the next Queen of England“, she dismissed whilst she was scrubbing the oven: „I hardly think so. Can you imagine me in rubber gloves and a robe?“ Diana travelled to Sandringham together with LLady Amanda Knatchbull. She was the granddaughter of Lord Mountbatten who had been murdered in August 1979 by the IRA, and who Charles had seen as a „substitute father“ for many years. A friend of Diana’s, Philip, invited Diana in July 1980 to a barbecue at his parents’ house in Petworth. As his mother was the Queen’s Lady in Waiting, he could promise Diana that she would meet Prince Charles: „You are young, he might like you.“ Diana was given a place next to Prince Charles at the barbecue. Both later remembered that they began with friendly pleasantries, however soon came to talk about the magnificent funeral service held for Lord Mountbatten. The entire world knew how much he had meant to Prince Charles, but Diana said it spontaneously: „You looked as sad as you had to walk down the aisle. I have never seen anything so sad before. My heart bled as I saw you so, and I thought: „That is not right, you are completely alone, you should have someone with you who you trust“. With this a spark must have been ignited, as the picture that the twelve years older Charles had previously had of the little
Spencer daughter transformed itself decisively.
Hardly back home, and Diana first experienced what it meant to be placed into the royal calendar. One Sunday afternoon a telephone call told her that Prince Charles would be prepared to accompany her to a performance of Verdi’s „Requiem“ in the Royal Albert Hall. Her grandmother Lady Ruth Fermoy would come as chaperone, and would also be present at a cold buffet in his private quarters in Buckingham Palace. In August 1980 the next iinvitation arrived. This time she was invited to a sailing weekend at Cowes. At the beginning of September the Prince newly invited Diana to an extended weekend, this time to Balmoral. Fittingly Diana’s sister Jane and her husband lived in a small farmhouse on the Royal Estate. Here Diana could live comfortably, was however repeatedly called by Charles as to whether she would lend him company during a walk, or at a barbecue. Diana had accompanied Charles fishing on the RRiver Dee as the distant flash of binoculars and camera lenses fell on her. As she knew how much her sister Sarah had been upset by attention from the press, she immediately pulled on a headscarf like a cowl and tturned herself away. Craftily, and impressing Prince Charles, who remained back, she kept her back to the journalists and observed the photographers using the mirror in the lid of her powder compact. However her anonymity only lasted for one weekend, and with this weekend in 1980 Lady Diana Spencer lost the part of her life as a private person. Already on 8th September the Sun betrayed to the nation that behind the back of public life a Royal Romance had almost started again. The curtain had been lifted.
Patiently smiling she bore in public the siege of her apartment block or the „Young England Kindergarten“, being followed in her car and outstretched microphones. Still very naive she tried to shake off tthe most annoying photographer by promising him that if he never turned up again she would let herself be photographed outside the kindergarten with some of the children.
“The professional had promised everything for this photo. He cleverly positioned the innocent group against the sun and took the world famous picture which completely exposed Diana’s legs though a far too thin skirt. At the time the Prince turned up his nose in amusement at the picture and forgave her with tthe ticking-off: „I knew that you have good legs, but I had overlooked the fact that they are quite so spectacular. Do you necessarily have to show them to everybody?“ From then on Diana was on her guard, even when it was difficult. She couldn’t have imagined that this would be her future way of life. The case’ first grew critical when the media presented a newspaper article about Diana having spent the night on the Royal train. They opened the hypocritical discussion as to whether Diana – if she had the nerve to visit her Charles then – was still a virgin or not. The debate over virginity, previous experience and platonic or close friends of the teenage Diana put the court on the spot. Officially the bearer of future heirs to the throne must go into marriage as a virgin, a discussion about this would however always do damage to the reputation of the Palace and the bride. It resulted in a need for action.
Diana spent the Christmas of 1980 at Althorp, and then New Year’s Eve with her friends at the shared flat in London. During New Year Diana visited Charles at Sandringham. After this weekend the hhysterically speculating press could hardly be held back, all reports screamed about a declaration: Is she the one?
Prince Charles however went skiing in January 1981, well knowing that in February Diana would fly with her mother and step-father to their sheep farm in Australia. Charles was supposed to decide there whether he would marry Diana or not. It was not love for Charles, but Diana had all the qualities that one should possess in his social circle. He is supposed to have once told a friend: „I don’t love her, but she has the best qualities“. At the beginning of February Prince Charles rang her from his ski resort of Klosters in Switzerland, just to tell her that after his return there would be something important that he must ask her. Whilst bourgeois lovers perhaps hurry directly to their intended in order to propose to her, royals undertake the hurdles of duty. On 3rd February Prince Charles returned, took part in an aircraft carrier manoeuvre and first managed to ask Diana to come to Windsor Castle on 6th February. There in the so-called nursery, he told Diana how much he had missed her in the Alps and whether she wwould marry him. Overpowered and embarrassed Diana broke into her typical giggling whereby Charles repeated how serious the issue was to him, as of course she would also one day become queen through it. Later Diana remembered how she heard herself speaking, how she finally agreed and had ever more repeated how much she loved him. To which the Prince answered: „Whatever loves means“.
Diana first told her news to her friends in the apartment. Then things undertook a breathless pace. On 23rd February Diana moved out of her apartment in Coleherne Court and into Buckingham Palace, where she should learn correctness and a little knowledge of courtly life. Already when saying goodbye to her friends Diana’s new bodyguard, Paul Officer, ambiguously noted: „You should know that this is the last day of your live as a private person, make the best out of it!“ The then very well informed Times already reported on the same day, 24.02.1981 that the official statement went to the press about the engagement. At midday the dream pair gave a television interview in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, the first of very few in Diana’s life.
The freshly engaged pair already had their first official appearance
on 9th March at a charity event at London’s Goldsmith’s Hall. Diana appeared in a very deeply cut shoulder and backless dress made from silk over a not too certain sitting corsage and as she got out of the car she offered the photographers the second sensational photo to go round the world: pretty sexy Diana. A storm of flashbulbs outside and spotlights inside, the cheering and being at the centre of attention made Diana however feel very insecure. Through bbrave dieting since the engagement her nerves were thinner, then came Charles’ criticism shortly before they departed: As she proudly appeared in his study in her only dress suitable for the occasion, he complained completely unimpressed, that at court one only wore black when in mourning. At the ball itself a woman, who like her had married into different circles, took away her uncertainty. Princess Grace of Monaco retreated back with her, particularly praised her dress and listened to Diana’s ccomplaints about the sudden isolation and her fears for the future. Her cheering advice was: „Don’t worry; it will all get a lot worse!“
Three episodes and an unreasonable demand could have warned Diana at the time, as years later she ffirst saw through how strongly she had been taken in and planned. At her first move from the shared flat into royal Clarence House no-one apart from the lady-in-waiting was expecting and greeted her. But already on her bed lay an invitation, written before the engagement ( well judged ), from Camilla to a ( well planned ) dinner, which very soon turned out to be a strategic dinner to be held when Charles was on a five-week-long trip which would take him to Australia and New Zealand, and finally to Venezuela, Washington and Williamsburg. It annoyed her that Camilla was one step ahead. Directly before his departure Diana was still flirting with her fiance in his Buckingham Palace office, pperhaps she had also, as she often enjoyed during the engagement period, sat on his lap, in any case at this moment of saying goodbye the telephone rang, on the other end was Camilla, who also wanted to say goodbye. Diana was unsure at the time as to how she should react, she immediately left the room so as not to disturb the private conversation, and later told friends that the situation, and her own, likewise his reaction, had „broken mmy heart“. The rivalry instinct was awaken; the aftertaste of the momentary defeat was only with difficulty shaken off. Charles was away for five weeks, the television kept the camera on a visibly upset, blushing Diana, who suddenly burst into tears, whose true reasons for doing so no-one could have imagined.
Diana and her own family, mother as well as two sisters, prepared the wedding in BP, and wrote guest lists and ideas for the day together.
Many secrets were made about the wedding dress for the dream wedding. It didn’t appeal to Diana any more at the end, as it had to be taken in many times due to her successful dieting. Diana had to realise at this time that different rules were followed at BP to those which she was used to. She also enforced to have things similar to what she was used to at Althorp, for a chat or to make herself a quick sandwich surrounded by her servants in the palace kitchens. This behaviour unnerved the servants, so one of them appointed herself as a speaker and explained to Diana strictly, but clearly, the threshold as being the dividing line between the authorised royal domain and tthe unauthorised kitchen domain. Two days before the wedding a rather too high-spirited ball took place in the palace, in „Buck House“, for Diana’s bourgeoisie friends.
The fairytale wedding was close at hand. She went early to bed on the evening before her wedding, and astonishingly she managed, in the Queen Mother’s house, to soon fall a sleep. Her engagement ring, a æÃ30,000 sapphire ring with 14 diamonds, lay on her bedside table. How would her new life as the Princess of Wales look? Had she made the right decision? Would she be able to bear being constantly under public scrutiny? But for such doubts it was now too late. Early in the morning Diana took a hot bubble bath. Tea and toast with orange marmalade was brought to her room, but she sipped just a little tea. Her heart was pounding! Could not everyone in England hear it? She was overwhelmed by the sight of the celebrating crowds who had already been assembling for days beforehand. Diana’s favourite make-up artist came to Clarence House with a large suitcase full of make-up, powder and rouge.
She applied just a little colour on Lady Di’s face, but a great amount of waterproof mmascara. Diana should appear fresh and innocent when she appeared at the altar. Then David and Elizabeth Emanuel, the designers of the wedding dress appeared, and helped Diana to get dressed. It was a magnificent gown made from ivory silk with an almost eight metres long veil. The narrow bodice was set with valuable lace, the sleeves opulently gathered up and embellished with little ribbons. It cost £9,000.
Unfortunately the dress designers had not made allowances for the lack of space in the glass coach that should bring Diana and her father to St. Paul’s Cathedral. When the bride alighted from the coach the dress was crumpled and full of creases. Yet this circumstance did no damage to the beauty and grace of the bride. Diana appeared to all the observers like a figure from a fairytale. Already Charles, in the gala-uniform of the marines, waited with the Royal Family and all the guests in the cathedral. Diana’s mother Frances and her grandmother Lady Ruth Fermoy were allowed to take places very close to the Royal Family, whilst step-mother Lady Raine and Frances’ new husband had to make do with the pews behind. Over 700 million people from 58 countries followed
on the television how the bride with her father walked down the aisle towards the altar. The Earl of Spencer had tears in his eyes, for it was not only a great day in the life of his daughter, but also in his! He hobbled a little, however this did not detract from him showing true royal dignity and pride.
The solemn ceremony ran not without a few slips. By her acceptance Diana changed the order of Charles’ forenames, calling him PPhillip Charles Arthur George which led Prince Charles to the joke:“Diana, you have actually married my father“. The heir also made a mishap. He declared: „I will share all ’your“ goods with you“. Obviously he should have promised to have shared ’his“ earthly goods. In addition he placed the wedding ring on the left hand. But the worst thing that happened to Charles was the fact that after the vows he forgot to kiss Diana. Was that a bad omen? TThe celebration of marriage in St. Paul’s Cathedral, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, lasted almost an hour and a half. The following coach ride to the palace, the celebrating crowds, the well practised, but still so strange, waving, Diana ccompleted as though in a trance. How did the 20 year-old really feel and think in these moments? She appeared so relaxed, calm and overjoyed. The pressure on her spirit had been removed. Now she had actually managed it.
Yes, Lady Diana Spencer was the rightful wedded wife of the future king of England! She enjoyed being bathed in the crowds, the deafening celebrations when she received a kiss from Charles while on the balcony of the royal palace. In these unforgettable moments Diana felt herself chosen by God and the world:
I am a princess and will one day become queen of England. HURRAH
The dream pair spent the first night at Broadlands, where Charles’ parents had once spent ttheir wedding night. The freshly married pair spent the honeymoon on the royal yacht Britannia. A Mediterranean cruise was on the programme, a gift from the queen. Charles and Diana were, however, not alone and undisturbed. As, naturally, a staff of servants was with them. But not only that. Charles used the free time to read science books and also brought his old fishing equipment with him. What a disappointment for Diana! She dreamt of watching romantic sunsets from the ddeck, with their arms tightly around each other, wanted to breakfast in bed with him, to dance under a glimmering, starry sky. Queen Elizabeth thought more practically, and built official appointments into the programme: if the pair was already visiting Tunisia, Sardinia, Greece and Egypt, then a few official visits would not harm. The cruise lasted for eleven days, which Diana, in spite of everything, greatly enjoyed.
Finally they sailed for Scotland. The queen and her husband Prince Philip were already waiting for the dream couple. Diana and Charles were meant to pass the rest of their honeymoon in the company of the Royal Family. How wonderfully romantic! The heir to the throne did not notice his young wife’s disappointment. There could not be anything more enjoyable for him than long hacks, walks and hunts. Diana didn’t dare to complain. Before the wedding everyone advised her to be obedient. She was also advised, directly from her father, that to be allowed to marry in to the royal family would mean that she would have to prove her worth. She wanted that, but could she imagine that everything would run with so much difficulty, and with so much formality?
Dreadful headaches, stomach-ache, dizziness, nnausea after every bite! Why must a woman be so ill, just because she’s pregnant? Diana couldn’t understand it. She was, after all, pleased about the baby. Finally she would have a task which totally suited her. Yet, on 5th November 1981, just four months after the wedding, as the Queen officially confirmed her daughter-in-law’s pregnancy, Diana’s peace came to an end. Innumerable greetings cards were sent to the palace. „The whole world is watching my stomach“, Diana complained at the time. The media circus, which was already very oppressive anyway, grew to really unimaginable proportions. And it was clear what the people, kingdom and crown wanted: a son, heir and future king!
Diana didn’t feel like celebrating. She felt ill! The Queen showed her concern and considerably reduced the number of Diana’s official appearances. It was a very fearful time for Prince Charles. He saw his wife suffering and didn’t know how he could help her. Why couldn’t Diana pull herself together? She was, after all, not the first woman to ever have a baby! Time again Diana managed to keep her composure in public.
The entrance to St. Mary’s Hospital had been occupied for days by photographers and onlookers. HHalf the world was in delivery fever, the newspapers didn’t know any other theme any more.
„I believe that the whole of England lay with me during labour“, Diana later said, my fears, and also the pressure which weighed upon me, were dreadful.
On 21st June 1982 Diana brought a healthy baby in to the world. Hurrah, it was a boy! William, the heir to the throne! Her hotel room was like a sea of flowers, red roses everywhere. The Princess was totally exhausted, but very, very happy. It was a difficult birth, which took a very long time. But the suffering was very soon forgotten; now the only thing that counted was the sweet baby in her arms. One could hear the jubilant calls from outside: „long lives Diana!“
She remained just one day in the hospital. As Charles and Diana stood cradling the baby before the door to the clinic, the crowd applauded and one called out: „Do it once more, Charles!“ Relieved smiles on all faces. It was completed, the photographers had their pictures and they could drive home.
Diana took a complete rest. A nanny and an infant nurse cared for tiny William. Charles was so excited
by his son and heir that were not able to take his eyes from him. He gave his wife a small diamond necklace as a sign of his thanks and happiness. But he forgot to give her the necessary attention and love needed.
Diana then suffered from a terrible post-natal depression. She cried a lot, without knowing why. Often she spent an entire day in bed in a darkened bedroom. She felt empty and useless. Charles couldn’t understand this. Why wwas she not happy and contented? What was Diana lacking? Psychologists were called upon. The Queen was stunned as she heard what was happening in Kensington Palace. Why was her daughter-in-law so weak? She had everything that a woman’s heart could wish for. No-one showed any understanding, neither Diana’s own husband, or the rest of the Royal Family. And time and time again she was bombarded with reproaches; time and time again she had the feeling that she was doing eeverything wrong. It would have been so simple to have helped her at this time. Diana needed only peace and patience. Luckily Diana was very soon able to overcome her depressive phase. She was happy about the baby and pacified iit with devotion. Prince Charles was also completely crazy about the little chap, the three grew into a proper family together Diana cared very intensively for her son, despite the nanny. Charles proved a true talent in baby care. Servants happily reported that the heir to the throne had taken a bath with William.
Wills was now nine months old and his parents had to make a state visit to Australia. The journey would take six weeks. For Diana such a long separation would be impossible. She insisted on taking William with her. She also explained this to the Queen, who, as expected, categorically denied this wish. Therefore Diana threatened to stay in London with her son. She left no ddoubts open about fulfilling her threat. A tricky situation for Queen Elizabeth, as she knew that the Australians would be bitterly disappointed if Charles came alone. Diana remained resolute. The Queen permitted it. The Australian visit was a complete success. Storms of excitement and celebration everywhere. Diana even overcame her shyness and could, without pressure, go up to strangers and chat with them.
Even in the same year Diana became pregnant again. Charles reacted to the news with excitement. He obtained ccomplete works about pregnancy and babies. He did not want to hear again the accusation that he could not understand the problems of an expectant mother. He fervently hoped for a cute little girl.
But on 15th September 1984 the second son Prince Harry, weighing 3118g, was born.
Diana was an inspirational mother for her sons William and Harry. They always took up first place in her life. Diana loved, protected and cared for her children more than anything. They meant everything to her. Already as a small girl Diana wanted to have at least five children. Later, as „Queen of Hearts“, Diana wanted to be the mother of the nation, the mother for the poor and sick of the whole world. William and Harry were her happiness. Diana took on the role of mother with devotion and passion. She wanted her sons to live as normal a childhood as possible, even if that was often difficult to achieve.
Like every young mother Diana played and romped around with her boys, and was very careful that the nanny didn’t have too much of an influence. For Diana there was never a question of letting nannies take over the child-raising – something actually rroutine for aristocratic families. After two dismissals the cheerful Twiggy Legged-Bourke took over the job. And now a true nanny-drama began: Diana insinuated that Twiggy played the role of hostess, flirted with her husband and took over the children. William and Harry truly loved Twiggy, and also today, after Diana’s tragic death, she is a very important close contact for the pair. Diana loved having her sons to herself. She spent as much time with them as possible. Diana was a loving mother and best playmate in one person. There was no childish fun that she had not joined in with: roller skating on the long corridors in Kensington Palace, jelly baby eating competitions, log flume rides or dressing-up as ghosts using bed sheets. Sometimes the three even secretly annoyed the old servants by always hiding certain objects. Prince Charles was not always excited by the boisterous games in his house. He insisted that his sons should be made familiar with their future duties as soon as possible. This included discipline, order, first-class manners and also sobriety. Especially William should be raised after kingly principles. After all, the heir to the throne saw him as one day being his future hheir.
Charles supported a strict upbringing, as a four-year-old he had already had a private teacher and several nannies. As Diana’s view of child raising, education and childhood was so different, there was often friction between the married couple. Charles wanted his sons in any case to be under the care of a private teacher for the first few years. Diana insisted on a public nursery. There William and Harry could play with others of the same age. Naturally the Queen completely agreed with her son, and it was almost a miracle that the pair actually went to a nursery in central London a few times. Later Diana’s sons went to the public school of Wetherby and afterwards the Ludgrove public boarding school.
Even when it is natural in high society to send the children to boarding school, it was however a painful parting for Princess Diana. Because she naturally loved to have her children around her when she was alone in the evening in Kensington Palace and felt alone. In June 1991 Prince William was accidentally hit by a golf club held by a fellow pupil at the boarding school. Diana raced to the hospital. William had a fractured skull;
difficult contusions had to be operated on immediately. But Charles left the hospital to keep and engagement. The operation lasted 75 minutes. Diana didn’t understand how a father how a father could leave his son alone at such a moment. As William awoke she was sitting beside him.
Diana’s sons were her confidantes. She was not shy of showing her feelings openly and honestly. When Diana once sat crying on the loo, having shut herself in, and did not want tto come out again, William pushed Kleenex tissues under the door to his mother. He crouched down by the bathroom door and spoke to her. Somehow he nearly always managed to get her to come out. And then he took her up lovingly in his little arms. Diana avoided criticising Charles. She also didn’t mention his affair with Camilla. But she couldn’t hide her tears from the children. They certainly noticed much about their mother’s unhappiness. Diana always had a bbad conscience about this. She knew only too well how much children’s spirits suffer when their parents argue. She wanted to make it better, to save her children all their concern. Diana always had a deep concern for her youngest. HHe was a sensitive child, so vulnerable and quiet. Harry often spent the day dreaming, whilst William was a proper roughneck. He could be loud and wild, but also conceal a lot of things. His younger brother liked to have a cuddle. There are innumerable photos which show Diana seeking body contact with Harry. Once she strokes his hair, then she takes him by the arm, or by the hand. She always had the feeling that she had to protect him. Harry was pampered by Diana. It was her way of relieving his sadness over the broken home. With William, her beloved older son, Diana behaved differently. He was her ally, her interlocutor and advisor. When a scandal broke out iin the press, she drove to his school and discussed everything with him. She explained what had happened to William, and begged for understanding. Also when it handled delicate things like the Camilla tape, the James Hewitt book, or the „octopus conversation“. These must have been dreadfully difficult moments in Diana’s life!
And it comforted her to know how concerned William was about her wellbeing.
Diana was a devoted mother. But it would be completely wrong to presume that Charles was aa bad father. He also loved his sons and tried to make their lives as carefree as possible. He just had a different way with children. Charles couldn’t give them the same tenderness as Diana. The source for this certainly lay in his childhood. As a small boy he was not allowed to show any feelings. And so it is no miracle that he wanted to raise William and Harry as proper men. Charles went hunting or fishing with them. He was proud when they caught a hare or had good grades at sport. Charles clapped his oldest on the back with a wink, as he was caught at 14 with a bottle of champagne on school grounds, and his first sexual contact with girls was talked about. He spent a part of the school holidays with his sons in Scotland, undertook long hikes and explained the beauties of nature to them. Diana preferred to fly to distant lands with William and Harry. The children always had fun with their mother: swimming in the Caribbean, water skiing in the Mediterranean, snowball fights in Switzerland. During the holidays the boys were allowed to do everything, but above all to be children. TThey were allowed to eat hamburgers from the packaging, read comics, and play with other boys in the hotel. And this all meant a lot, when one had been born into royalty!
At home in London or also in the elite boarding school Eton they have to wear special armbands, which are tiny locating devices. In the case of a kidnapping the police can tell at once where the children of the Heir to the Throne are.
It is unimaginable how great the loss of their beloved mother is to William and Harry. The picture of how they followed their mother’s coffin with empty expressions remains in the world’s memory forever. And one thing is certain: if Diana had experienced that her heart would have been broken. She was always so concerned about keeping the darker side of life away from her sons.
Unfortunately Diana couldn’t prevent the breakdown of her family. On the 28th August 1996 the divorce with Prince Charles was finalized. She never wanted this conclusive step. She wanted to remain married solely for her two sons; they should not have to become the product of a broken home. The negotiations with the lawyers ran with difficulty. Naturally iit was about money. But not just that. She fought like a lioness over her children. Naturally she knew that the Queen of England would always have a voice in their upbringing.
But she was the mother; she didn’t want to clear the field without stipulating her requirements. The result did not satisfy the Princess, but more was not to be achieved: Diana was made a divorcee, to a mother with joint custody of her sons William and Harry. She would be allowed to spend 57 days in the year alone with the children.
From the beginning Diana and Charles’ marriage was not blessed with good fortune. Already during the engagement period Diana had had the feeling that Camilla played too great a role in Charles’ life. Diana opened a small parcel, addressed to Charles, and found a gold bracelet with a blue enamel pendant and the initials F & G. Didn’t Charles and Camilla earlier call themselves Fred and Gladys as a disguise? Diana suffered terribly from jealousy. Diana made it unmistakably clear to Charles that he should not send this gift to Camilla, but he did it anyway. Diana pondered even before the wedding about not marrying Charles.
Charles even took a photo of Camilla with him on honeymoon. How must Diana have felt there? Diana became sick with worry. She suffered her first case of bulimia.
During the pregnancy Diana had depressive phases: she stood under enormous pressure. She had so many roles to perfect as she wanted to do everything properly. The people loved her, but where was the recognition of love from Charles? The female psyche was an unknown giant for Charles. He couldn’t come to tterms with Diana’s problems during the pregnancy. He demanded discipline! This simply served to aggravate the situation, and the agenda held a place for the daily squabbles. Through the children for a time they forgot their problems. Charles developed into a model father and relinquished a few official duties which also helped the marriage. They were both very proud of their sons and there were also some very happy moments in their marriage. Unfortunately, however, there were differences later in aapproaches to childrearing. Charles wanted to raise his children in a royal sense and Diana wanted a natural rising with much freedom for the children.
Another problem for the marriage was that Diana became ever more loved by the people. When tthe royal pair visited a function then the crowds cheered for her, no longer for Charles. The storm of flashbulbs was only for Diana, her beauty, her clothes, her smile. A completely unknown situation for the heir to the throne, he gradually began to feel uneasy. Diana enjoyed the attention which was given to her. Charles viewed the development with concern. He used every opportunity to criticize his wife. One can say that Diana lived in two worlds. The prince gave her the feeling that she was not satisfying her royal duties, that she was immature and moody. Also Charles and the palace criticized Diana’s arrangement for the sick and poor, especially for AIDS victims. But the people celebrated her aas a heroine, a goddess, as a model for youth and beauty. The prince became ever more jealous and this resulted in harming the marriage.
Charles distanced himself ever more from Diana. The pair never developed common interests. That was the main failure that Charles and Diana made! She could chat for hours with a friend about the latest fashion trends, about cinema films or TV stars. Themes that bored the heir to the throne, he found them banal. He was iinterested in literature, history, painting, architecture and philosophy. But Diana refused to read a single book on these subjects. Charles preferred walks in the countryside with a rustic picnic. There was simply no common topic for conversation, when one omits childrearing.
There was one woman who stimulated Charles’ intellect. It was Camilla! He took up this relationship again during his marriage to Diana and that was the undoing of the couple and the whole family. Camilla was no beauty, no fashion model, was however a woman with wit and intellect. For Charles Camilla was a true friend. She listened to him when he had problems and he liked to follow her advice. The pair met secretly at Highgrove, Charles’ country residence. This place proved to be completely practical, as Camilla lived nearby. Besides, Diana stayed here very seldom; she preferred to stay in London at the weekend. Charles never made a secret out of the fact that he was friendly with the Parker-Bowleses. Should Diana actually once meet Camilla at Highgrove, then this would have made a harmless impression. In any case, Charles’ servants and friends had known exactly this for a long time: The heir to the throne betrays his wwife, and, indeed, in the very bed which Diana had once chosen!
The prince fooled himself completely if he thought that Diana had not realized about the infidelity. At first it was only ideas, which however began to gain ever more shape. When there was a conflict between the married couple, Prince Charles drove to Highgrove. Often he first came back in the morning hours and then laid down for the rest of the night on a small bed in his dressing room. Where had he been? Diana surprised her husband at Highgrove, the sofa cushions were rumpled in front of the fireplace, and the servants stared at the floor with embarrassment. Who was still here then? A dreadful situation for Diana. She made scenes in front of him, raged, cried and screamed. It made no impression on him. The princess again began to raid fridges and larders through total frustration. 1985, at the time when Charles re-established his relationship with Camilla, Diana began to mutilate herself. With sleeping tablets, falling down the stairs and self-mutilation she wanted to send out signals, to make clear, that she needed help. But Charles and the royal family were not in the position to ppick up on these signals. Diana, the celebrated goddess, the beauty from the fairytale book, was psychologically ill for more than half a decade!
It was 1987 when the state of Diana’s nerves and soul were at their lowest point. Diana’s heart was empty and lonely. Yet there was this yearning, her will and desire. A young woman at 26 cannot live without love, without tenderness. Everything began completely harmlessly. Diana sought a riding instructor for her sons William and Harry. James Hewitt, member of the bodyguard, offered his services. He was a charming young man and was sympathetic to Diana from the beginning. Diana was excited by his understanding nature and decided to also take a few riding lessons. James Hewitt burst from pride: he had never had such prominent pupils before. And he quickly noticed that Diana was, very sadly, psychologically pretty unstable. Stealing her heart was an easy game for him. The pair came closer. He offered himself as a trustworthy friend, always listened to her concerns and flattered her. Finally, Diana thought, a man on my side. His game was made easier by the fact that her two sons also liked the nice Uncle James very much.
He soon realised that Diana was not the self-confident goddess that he knew from the press reports. She was shy, uncertain, injured and depressed. That was James Hewitt’s great chance! Small reassurances, the first common secrets, a breathless farewell kiss – the fantasy began to work. James Hewitt managed to make Diana devoted to him. He formed the total opposite to Charles, always had time, listened to every word, and took all her dreams seriously. He gave Diana the feeling oof being desirable, interesting and exciting. Yes, James saw her as a woman, not as a princess. Diana never wanted to ever break her promise of loyalty made at the marriage altar. She was then so certain that she would love Charles for ever and ever. But the ice cold marriage opened doors for James Hewitt: Diana became unfaithful and had a sexual relationship with the riding instructor.
England’s Prime Minister John Major announced on 9th December 1992:
„Buckingham Palace has mmade it known that the Prince and Princess of Wales will separate. Their Royal Highnesses are not seeking a divorce. Their position in the constitution remains the same. This decision has been agreed by both parties, the care of the cchildren will continue to be shared by both.“
„They were only a few words, spoken quietly. But they were enough to set the entire nation into shock. So it was now official, what every newspaper reader, every television viewer had long guessed. In spite of this the knowledge was still a shock. The romance of Diana and Charles existed no longer. Over and done with! The pair had actually been on a state visit to Korea in November. All an act! And suddenly everyone remembered that no common ground was to be recognised on the photos any more. Charles and Diana couldn’t even look at each other in the eyes any more. What must have been running through their minds? Today oone knows that this state visit must have been a true nightmare. As the official separation resulted in hard wrangling between the lawyers, without speaking of the emotional injuries. All parties realised that the public would take the separation of Charles and Diana very badly. To whom would the most sympathies lie? Who would the guilt for the break-up of the marriage is pushed on to? Would the nation separate into two separate camps? Naturally the Royal Family was keen tto set Charles in the best possible light.
And surprisingly only five months before Major’s announcement recorded telephone conversations turned up with the most explosive contents. Whispers of love between men called James Gilbey and Diana! It was the infamous „Octopus Conversation“.
Diana: I don’t want to get pregnant.
Gilbey: Darling, that won’t happen, OK?
Gilbey: You can’t think like that. Nothing will happen, darling. You won’t get pregnant.
Diana: I watched East Enders today. One of the actresses had had a baby. She thought it was her husband’s.
It was another man’s.
Gilbey: My octopus, kiss me. O God. Is this feeling not wonderful? Do you like it too?
Diana: Yes, a lot.
This telephone conversation had already happened in 1989. Amateur funk radio listeners were supposed to have secretly listened to it and then sold it to newspapers two years later. Or was it the secret? The timing of the exposure makes one think. As Diana then appeared guilty for the break-up of her marriage. But what really happened then, in 1989? Did the Princess of Wales have a relationship? And who is this James Gilbey? The pair certainly knew each other and were friends with one-another. He was Diana’s confidant during difficult married years. Diana later aadmitted to have led this listened to and publicised telephone call. But this was far from a marriage-breaking relationship. The press scandal was perfect.
Yet Charles and his people were not allowed to celebrate early. Amateur radio listeners not only listened in to her calls, but also those of her husband. And now for the first time it really got embarrassing: The Prince of Wales was recorded during a highly erotic telephone conversation to his long-time mistress Camilla!
He said that he would most like to turn into a tampon, so that he could always be with her. Laughter was able to be heard the whole world over. It is interesting that this conversation had also been held in 1989, and was also publicised in the year of the separation. Coincidence?
Obviously the Palace had no concept yet of how it could limit the damage, or how Diana came through all the scandals and sensational stories amazingly unscathed – apart from through gradual exclusion. In fact Diana completed a few official visits alone in 1993. She was in Zimbabwe for four days in order to visit charity groups out there, and in the summer she went to Bergen-Hohne (Germany) as tthe Honourary Group Captain of the Home Regiment of the Light Dragoons. She appeared decisive about wanting to make something out of the separation. She was strengthened by still being in the centre of public interest.
For outsiders it is difficult to imagine how something like this could work: to live two lives – one official and one private. But through a more exact observation one can see that the pair had been doing exactly that for some time. Finally at the beginning of August the last chance for a reconcilement was arranged.
The separated pair met in London’s St. James Palace and discussed the possibilities for an arrangement, or reconciliation. One of Diana’s most important demands is said to have been that Charles must avoid any further contact with Camilla. The meeting passed without success.
On 3rd December 1993 the obviously pained Diana announced in her speech at a charity event in London that she would withdraw from public life and above all dedicates herself to raising her sons. The emotional speech stirred the whole nation and sympathisers of Diana the whole world over. The Queen had feared exactly that and had therefore tried to stop the daughter-in-law from
taking the dramatic step in public.
Behind the backdrop a new role for Diana was feverishly being searched for.
In April 1994 Diana was named as the Special Ambassador of the British Red Cross and the right path was being taken, however yet again a good starting point was torpedoed through others’ intentions. In August 1994 terrible accusations were hurled at Diana, she had supposedly made nuisance phone calls to Oliver Hoare, a common friend of her and Charles. Desperately she aarmed herself and informed the press that she could not have made the phone calls as she had not been present at the time of the calls. She accused Prince Charles’ advisors of plotting against her. It did indeed emerge that Diana had not made the calls.
Charles’ advisors advised him to talk openly in order to improve his miserable public image. In June 1994 the Prince acknowledged in a television interview that after five years of investing in the sstability and to save his marriage this broke up, as he had given up. Once again his already low popularity level sank even lower, the media turned into the laundry room for the Royals’ dirty washing.
As the media grew to bbe even more on the side of the betrayed Diana and idolised the ever more beautiful, ever more excitingly dressed woman, the sensational book „Princess in Love“ appeared in the USA. The author was James Hewitt. In the book Diana’s former bodyguard and sons’ riding instructor stated that for five years he had been not only the confidant, but also Diana’s lover. By doing so he broke the code of not exposing the palace through the writing of personal memoirs: Diana had been supposedly desperate, hungry for love and insatiable at that. Every man at Diana’s side finished as her lover. She was accused of being a marriage breaker. She moved from one alleged sex scandal to the next. Diana’s nnerves lay blank.
The shock for the public was large, puzzling advice about the truth or deception. At the palace they read the alleged scandalous stories with mixed feelings, they hoped ever more for reconciliation between the pair, at least for a limitation of the damage. In a cautious statement from the palace Charles and Diana both announced together that they were neither discussing a divorce nor a financial settlement. The last instalment of the investigative novel followed exactly one year llater, in November 1995. On the wedding anniversary of Elizabeth II and Prince Philip the BBC broadcast the interview wit Diana, in which the Princess admitted the affair with Hewitt, she said she had been lonely, the marriage had made her sick and in need of loving care – and she had been a little in love, had however been disappointed. She declared that she was not interested in a divorce and could imagine a role for herself as in the completely unique role of „Ambassador of the Heart“ for the interests of the nation. Four days later the nation who had seen the suffering Diana on the television judged wit ha majority of 56 percent that the deeply injured Princess deserved sympathy. Only nine percent voted in the questionnaire in favour of the obviously guilty Charles.
The Queen again had to limit the damage of this to the monarchy and still in November she undertook talks with Prime Minister Major in order to discuss the future role of the unbroken, attractive and still socially engaged Diana. In order to end the unbearable public speculation and accusations the Queen ordered, in two separate letters, Charles and Diana to get divorced.
On 28th FFebruary 1996 Diana had to agree to a divorce.
On 15th July 1996 the divorce was presented before the High Court.
On 28th August at 10.27 am the marriage was annulled.
20 pounds for administration costs were to be paid.
Two hundred million people show interest as the princess gives an interview to the BBC reporter Martin Bashir on the 20th November 1995 in Kensington Palace.
„Your Highness, how prepared were you when you married the Prince of Wales? At 19 one believes that one is prepared for everything.
What were your expectations in regards to marriage?
I loved my husband and I wanted to share everything with him, and I thought that we were a good team.
Did you know what to expect as the future queen?
What made the most impression was actually the media attention. My husband and I were told that the media would leave us in peace after the engagement. But that was not the case, and we found that a deep interference. In the course of time one suddenly realises that one is just a good saleable commodity. That people want to make money from oneself.
Were you actually completely happy at the start of your mmarriage?
Absolutely. But the pressure from the media on us both was so heavy. We were on our honeymoon in Australia and then I noticed that the media concerned themselves more with me than with him. I found that unfair, I wanted to share it with him. It upset him. It lead to jealousy from many sides and resulted in complicated situations.
Shortly after the marriage you became pregnant.
What was your reaction as you heard that it would be an heir to the throne?
An incredible relief. I think that the whole country felt the same as me. It was really a huge relief for me.
How did the rest of the royal family react when they found out that you were expecting a boy?
Everyone was fascinated. But it was a difficult pregnancy. I suffered a lot, and when William arrived it was a huge relief. Everything was peaceful and calm again. I had no problems for a while. But then I got postnatal depression, but I don’t like to talk about that. That was naturally not very easy for me. To wake up in the morning and simply have the feeling that one really doesn’t want to get up, one
feels misunderstood. I had a bad conscience. I had never experienced that before. But when I analysed it I could see that the changes from the past few years had caught up with me. My body said: take some rest!
What treatment did you receive?
I was treated through very diverse ways, but I myself knew that I really only needed time in order to adapt. To adapt to the great variety of roles that I had to play.
How did tthe family react to your depression?
I was the first in this family who had had such a depression, who had cried in public. And that was naturally disturbing. One had a new label that one could place on me. Diana is not balanced, is unstable, weak.
Did you want to mutilate yourself at this time?
When no-one listens to oneself everything is possible inside one’s thoughts. One feels pain inside and tries to injure oneself on the outside because oone wants to receive help. The people are of the opinion that one just wants attention, although one has already got enough attention from the media. But I called for help so that I would be able to carry on pplaying my role. Yes, I mutilated myself. I couldn’t cope under the pressure any more. I mutilated my arms and my legs.
How did your husband react to this?
I didn’t do this in his presence. But whoever loves someone else would have to notice it. I believe that there are really not very many people who take the time to take something like this seriously.
Then one heard that you had bulimia.
Yes, that is right. I had bulimia for many years, and that is a secret type of illness. One inflicts that on oneself, because one feels bad and because one is of the opinion that one has no value. One fills the stomach four or five times pper day, sometimes even more often, and one feels good. That is as though one is being hugged, but that only lasts for a short time. And then one is so disgusted by the bulging stomach, and vomits. And this repeats itself time and time again – a destruction of the true self. It was completely normal for me to come home and go straight to the fridge. It was a symptom for all the things which were happening in mmy marriage. I cried, I screamed for help, but with the wrong signals. And the people described my bulimia as a breach of etiquette: Diana is psychologically weak. But my husband and I didn’t want to disappoint the public. And of course there was much anxiety in our house.
Between you both?
Have you ever sought help from another member of the Royal Family?
No, no. If one has bulimia then one shames for oneself. One hates oneself. One doesn’t mention it to other people. The unhappy fact is that one doesn’t lose or put on weight. One can act as though everything were normal.
Did the press attention accelerate your illness?
That made everything very difficult. Here was a married couple in the same job. My husband talked whilst I shook the hands. However when my husband said that we should take on differing duties I was sad, as I was happy to be together with him.
Did the prince respect your interests?
I believe that I was not allowed to have any. I was not permitted any. I was always the 18 year old that he had got engaged to. But I had to grow up, and I also ggrew in stature. No-one ever praised me, but if I made a mistake then I received all the criticism. I cried many tears. Bulimia was my way to escape.
In 1986 the relationship between your husband and Camilla Parker-Bowles is supposed to have re-ignited.
Did you know about this?
Yes, it was obvious to me. I knew that. But I simply couldn’t do anything about it. I had tips from differing people who cared about our marriage.
The effect on you?
Shattering. I had the feeling that I was not worth anything anymore. Without hope, a failure. With a husband who loved another. The change in his behaviour made me certain. A woman senses these things. My husband’s friends said that I was unstable again and should be placed in a clinic. I was, as it were, an embarrassment to him. A perfect tactical way to isolate a person.
Was Mrs. Parker-Bowles guilty for the breakdown of your marriage?
Yes, there were three of us in this marriage. And there was one person too many. The Royal Family were worried. One could see that there would be complications, but one didn’t want to interfere.
How did you lead this double life? <
When we travelled abroad we had separate apartments and rooms on the same floor. Then this was discovered and there were yet more complications. However Charles and I had our duty to carry out, that was the most important thing. In public we were a very good team.
In 1992 Andrew Morton’s book about you appeared in which your unhappiness was portrayed. Did you help him?
I allowed my friends to talk to him. My nerves were at an end, I was desperate. It was enough for me that I would always be portrayed as a bit frail. I have a strong personality. The book was important. Perhaps there are more women who suffer like me and can never speak for themselves as their feeling of self-worth practically doesn’t exist anymore.
What effect did Morton’s book have on your relationship with the prince?
He was shocked and horrified. What we meant to have kept hidden had been brought out into the open. The question of separation was suddenly there. At some point we then called the lawyers together and talked about separation. Many people joined in: the Prime Minister, Her Majesty .
In December 1992 the legal separation was finalized. How did
you feel at this point?
Deep sadness. We had fought in order to keep everything going. That didn’t work any more; we had no more energy left, neither of us. And it was a relief for both. My husband wanted the separation, I supported him.
It was then not your idea?
No. I come from a family with divorced parents and I didn’t want to have to experience that again.
Did you say anything to your children?
Yes, I travelled to tthem beforehand and explained to them what had happened. They reacted like all children do, with lots of questions. I hope that I was able to console them.
What did the separation change?
I was a problem to them. I wasn’t allowed to carry on with many of my former duties. Everything changed when we separated. Life became very difficult. My husband and his friends were very active in demoting me.
Then your telephone conversation with James Gilbey was made kknown. He called you his octopus.
I tried to protect James, he has always been a good friend, and I couldn’t bear the fact that his life would be so churned up because he had been in contact with me. IIn any case the telephone conversation actually took place. James is a very loving person, but we didn’t have a marriage-breaking relationship.
How did this conversation get to be in the press?
I don’t know. But it was there to injure me and to hurt me. It was the first time that I experienced this sort of thing: what it meant to be outside the safety net and not to be a part of the family any more. My husband naturally held all the best cards. That was like in a game of poker, or a game of chess.
And your alleged nuisance calls to the millionaire Oliver Hoare?
That was wrongly reported. I was meant to be discredited yet aagain. I then found out that a young man made most of the telephone calls, but they were blamed on me. I phoned Whore a couple of times, but absolutely not with such a forceful art and means.
Did you let yourself be sent away?
I fought to the end. Because I believe that I have a role to play, a function, and I have two children who I want to bring up. In 1993 I retreated for a while. WWith this strategy I confused my enemies who ruined all my duties. It was the fear of a strong woman as my affect in public was greater than that of Charles.
Then in a biography your husband admitted his love for Camilla.
I was desperate and shattered. But I admired the honesty and openness. Then I drove to the school and told my son William: „When one finds someone who one loves then must one hold one to this person“, that I still love his father but that we can’t live together any more. I take 50 percent of the responsibility for the destruction of the marriage, but no more than this.
In a book your riding teacher James Hewitt admitted to having an affair with you. Is that true?
He was a very good friend at a difficult time. He was always there and helped me. And I was shattered when this book was published. I trusted him and now he’s making money from me. There is a lot of invention in this book. He phoned me ten days beforehand and said that the book was harmless.
Did your relationship go beyond a close friendship?
Yes, it did.’
Why were you unfaithful?
Yes, II loved him and I idolized him. I was in a very bad way.
Now you live alone.
That doesn’t bother me. I don’t believe that one needs a man.
What role do you see for yourself in the future?
I would like to be an ambassador for this country; I would like to represent this country and her good qualities abroad. I was in a privileged position for 15 years and have a wide knowledge about people. I know that I can bring love.
Are you guilty for the unstable condition of the monarchy at the moment?
No, I don’t believe so. I don’t want to destroy my children’s future. I believe, what is most important to me when discussing the monarchy, is that the people don’t become indifferent and apathetic. It is a problem. My children must change the monarchy one day.
What do you do to prepare them for this?
I visit the homeless and people who are dying from AIDS with the children. I take them overall with me. I give them knowledge and experience, as knowledge is power. I would like them to be understanding. So they can learn about desperation, hope and dreams.
What type of monarchy do yyou expect?
One that cared for a close contact to the population.
Will you get divorced?
I don’t want a divorce, but there is the fact that we should clarify the situation. I am waiting for the decision of my husband for the direction that we shall all take.
Does he want a divorce?
At the moment we haven’t talked about it.
Would you wish it?
Because it wouldn’t solve anything. What would then happen to the children, our sons? That’s what matters, don’t you agree?
Do you believe that you will ever become queen?
No, I don’t believe so. I would like to become the queen of peoples’ hearts. But I don’t see how I can become the queen of this country. I don’t believe that many want that – namely the establishment that I married into. Because it is decided there that I shall never become that.
Because I do things differently. I don’t keep to the rules; I act from the heart, not from the head. And if I create problems by being so then I understand that. But one needs someone who loves people and also shows it.
Your methods stop you from gaining the throne?
I wouldn’t say it
like that. I simply don’t have many people who support me. In the palace I am seen as some kind of threat. I want to do well. I am not a destructive person.
Why do people see you as a threat?
Every strong woman in history has to follow a similar journey. One asks oneself questions: why is this woman strong? Where does she get her strength from? But the public still love me.
Do you believe that the Prince of Wales wwill ever be king?
No-one knows the answer to this question.
Do you think that he will become king?
He was always divided on this matter. Being Prince of Wales already demands a lot of energy. And to be king is yet another huge challenge. I know his character and his personality and I believe that becoming king would be an immense strain for him as he would lose his freedom. And I don’t know whether he would be in the position tto allow him to give so much up.
Do you believe from the background of your marital difficulties that it would make sense to give the role of the monarch directly to your son Prince William?
William is still very young. Should hhe now already carry such a burden around his shoulders? I cannot answer this question.
Would it be your wish that Prince William follows the queen when he is of age?
My wish is for my husband to find his inner peace. That is important, and the rest will result from this.
Why have you actually decided to give this interview? Why now exactly?
This December we will have been separated for three years. The picture that everyone had of me, because it was this or that way portrayed is very inconsistent. Many have doubts about me now. I would like to reassure the people who love me. I would like to say to them that I will never let them down. That is jjust as important to me as my children are.
You mean you can now reassure the people in that you are going public?
Yes. The people on the streets are particularly important to me.
And if a person retorts about being able to seek revenge from your husband by doing this interview?
I am not here for revenge. I am sad that our marriage ended so. Yet I am optimistic about my future, the future of the monarchy and that of my husband.
What was iit about Diana, Princess of Wales, which brought such huge numbers of people from all walks of life literally to their knees after her death in 1997? What was her special appeal, not just too British subjects but also to people the world over? A late spasm of realism hardly explains it, even in Britain, for many true British monarchists despised her for cheapening the royal institution by behaving more like a movie star or a pop diva than a princess. Too many others, however, that was precisely her attraction.
Diana was beautiful, in a fresh-faced, English, outdoors-girl kind of way. She used her big blue eyes to their fullest advantage, melting the hearts of men and women through an expression of complete vulnerability. Diana’s eyes, like those of Marilyn Monroe, contained an appeal directed not to any individual but to the world at large. Please don’t hurt me, they seemed to say. She often looked as if she were on the verge of tears, in the manner of folk images of the Virgin Mary. Yet she was one of the richest, most glamorous and socially powerful women in the world. This combination of vulnerability and power was perhaps her greatest aasset.
Diana was a princess, but there are many princesses in Europe, none of whom ever came close to capturing the popular imagination the way she did. Princess Grace of Monaco ...
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