"Her wisdom, her experience, her kindness, were always at Diana's disposal, and the Princess knew it, and was glad of it," Ken Wharfe, Diana's chief bodyguard states in his new book.
The romance between King Charles and the late Princess Diana is a tragic tale that's been told and retold by many over the years. Nearly every dramatic element of their acrimonious marriage, ugly divorce, and Diana's death a year later was covered by the international press. Ken Wharfe—the late princess' chief bodyguard and one of her closest confidants—has now once again shined a spotlight on the couple's ill-fated marriage through his book, Diana: Closely Guarded Secret.
In an excerpt published by ABC, Wharfe talks about how Diana's mother, Frances Shand Kydd, was aware of how rocky her daughter's marriage was. "She knew of the private relationships of both her daughter and her son-in-law, but still gently urged Diana to fight to save her marriage, knowing that she still loved Charles, if only for the sake of her sons. Frances, more than most people, knew the agony of being separated from her children," the book reportedly reads.
In his book, Wharfe describes Frances as a "decent, down-to-earth woman, humorous, intelligent and kind," who has been—and sometimes still is—maligned by many as someone who abandoned "her four children to run off with another man after her unhappy marriage to Diana's father had failed." When her daughter discussed the full ramifications of her increasingly hopeless condition with her, Frances urged Diana to salvage her marriage at least for the young princes' sake as she knew the pain of being separated from her own children, Wharfe claims.
"I had, and have, a great deal of time for Frances Shand Kydd. She did everything she could to support her daughter, but also to save Diana's marriage, if only for the sake of William and Harry," his book states. "Her wisdom, her experience, her kindness, were always at Diana's disposal, and the Princess knew it, and was glad of it."
Unfortunately, Diana and Charles' relationship had reached a point beyond any repair by the fall of 1990. "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," Diana famously told the BBC in 1995, alluding to Charles' affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles, now the Queen Consort.
Last year, Kent Gavin—a royal photographer who was close to Diana—told Insider that even after their marriage broke down, the late princess still loved her ex-husband. "On a trip coming back from Pakistan, we got to talking about the marriage ending," he said. Since Princess Diana and King Charles formally filed for divorce in August of 1996, the trip Gavin refers to is believed to be Diana's 1997 trip to Pakistan. "She did say, 'Kent, I still love him,'" Gavin said. "She said there were three of them in that marriage, and she wasn't going to have it."
It was Prime Minister John Major who broke the news of Diana and Charles' separation in a nationally televised appearance before a hushed House of Commons. "This decision has been reached amicably and they will both continue to participate fully in the upbringing of their children," he said at the time, reports The New York Times.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Mike Lawn / Stringer