Diana made sure not to put the blame on Prince Charles while explaining to William that they were no longer a couple.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 3, 2021. It has since been updated.
Princess Diana's marriage to Prince Charles in 1981 was revered by millions from all over the world. It was truly a royal affair, and the couple enjoyed marital bliss for a while before they welcomed their first son, Prince William, in 1982. But, by the time they welcomed their second child, things were not that smooth sailing amidst them. Eventually, in 1992, the couple decided to part ways and Princess Diana wanted to tell her eldest son about the split herself, according to Cheat Sheet.
In her explosive 1995 interview with BBC journalist Martin Bashir, Diana explained how she broke the news to him. However, she took the high road and refused to blame Charles for the divorce.
“I went to the school and put it to William, particularly, that if you find someone you love in life you must hang on to it and look after it, and if you were lucky enough to find someone who loved you then one must protect it,” she recalled saying.
The princess continued, “William asked me what had been going on, and could I answer his questions, which I did. He said, was that the reason why our marriage had broken up? And I said, well, there were three of us in this marriage, and the pressure of the media was another factor, so the two together were very difficult.”
Diana added that she explained to her son, “Although I still loved Papa I couldn’t live under the same roof as him, and likewise with him.” At the time, she was a bit worried about how her sound would take the news, she told Bashir. “He’s a child that’s a deep thinker, and we don’t know for a few years how it’s gone in,” she said. “But I put it in gently, without resentment or any anger.”
But, unlike William, Prince Harry didn't find out about the divorce from his mother. In fact, he heard about it while watching a program about his mom titled Diana: The Woman Inside. But he was too young to comprehend what was happening. So he asked who Camilla was when her name was mentioned in the documentary.
However, when the interview was aired, several people from the royal family were angry, including Prince William. In the Amazon Prime documentary William and Harry: Brothers in Arms, Vanity Fair’s Royal Correspondent Katie Nicholl claimed that the elder prince was very angry with his mom after the interview aired.
“William was exposed to everything from the interview and called his mother in a fury and a rage,” Nicholl said. She then recalled a conversation she had with Diana’s close friend, Simone Simmons, who told her that "It was the one time William turned on his mother and said, that he would never forgive Diana for what she’d done.”
“He simply could not believe that his mother had invited the television cameras into the home he had grown up in and loved, to betray his father and their family in such a public way,” Nicholl wrote in her book titled William and Harry.
It took years for William to understand, but in 2017, he revealed he finally got why his mother did the interview. “I can understand — having sometimes been in those situations, you feel incredibly desperate and it is very unfair that things are being said that are untrue,” the Duke of Cambridge explained. “The easiest thing to do is just to say or go to the media yourself. Open that door. [But] once you’ve opened it you can never close it again.”
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photos By (L) Victoria Jones-WPA Poo (R) Photo by Chris Wood