These Heartfelt Letters From Prince Philip To Princess Diana Show That He Was On Her Side In The Divorce
Sep 23, 2022 by apost team
The royal family affair gets tongues wagging at the slightest rumor. For instance, the news of the divorce between Princess Diana and then-Prince Charles in 1996 was the talk of the year.
In the royal family, marriages are held in high regard, and marital issues were not publicly talked about. A royal divorce was unheard of until Charles and Diana came out to the public with the news of their divorce. It wasn't all that shocking since there were constant rumors over the years of King Charles III having an affair with his now current wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, while he was still married to Diana.
Diana was open about the troubles in her marriage to Charles and even confronted Camilla about their affair in 1989. Diana and Charles separated in 1992, just a decade into their marriage. The issue could no longer stay hidden from the public once Charles confessed to the infidelity claims in 1994. However, even before that, close observers of the royal family had had an inkling as to what was happening.
Diana and Charles' marriage became so troubled that it affected the entire royal family. While everyone seemed to turn their backs on the princess, the late Prince Philip reportedly took Diana's side. Surprisingly, Philip and Diana didn't have that much of a close relationship when she was still married to Charles, and taking her side seemed a little weird. He had been reported to treat Diana unkindly previous to the couple's divorce. This reported unkindness was later turned around, however.
Princess Diana was adored the world over for her kindness and humanitarian work, and today, even after more than two decades since her death in a car accident in 1997, her legacy still lives on. After her marriage to King Charles III, Diana received both unprecedented praise and criticism from the public because of her royal status as well as her tumultuous private life.
The level at which Diana was outspoken about mental health was not only a-typical of British royal society but also highly influenced and inspired the British public on a heartfelt level. Many royal fans still admire Diana today for her candid and honest nature, and her openness about her struggles left an enormous impact on the British Royal Family and British society.
The Princess of Wales was universally loved by not only the British public but by people the world over. Born on July 1, 1961, Diana was the fourth of five children. Unfortunately, her life was taken too soon as she passed away from a car crash at the young age of 36.
Throughout her life and royal service, she used her influence to enact good, spending much of her time campaigning for humanitarian causes that improved the lives of others. She sat with people who were ill, helping to break the stigma of then-new diseases HIV and AIDS. These are the reasons she became known as the "People's Princess," — she was a shining beacon of light in the royal family.
One of the most tragic events that shook the world was the untimely death of Princess Diana, who continues to remain in people's hearts even today.
For the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death in 2017, many of her favorite flowers were featured in the Sunken Garden — a project started two seasons before the display was unveiled when over 12,000 bulbs were initially planted. The flowers on display included white lilies, white roses, forget-me-nots, tulips, cosmo daisies and narcissi. Royal Central reported that the palace's website said the tribute was “inspired by memories of the Princess’s life, image and style.”
Over the years since Diana’s passing, many royal family members have shared heartfelt words about missing the late princess. Her eldest son, Prince William, opened up about the moments his mom missed out on. “I would like to have had her advice,” he told British GQ in 2017. “I would love her to have met Catherine and to have seen the children grow up. It makes me sad that she won’t, that they will never know her.”
According to People, William’s wife, Kate Middleton, was given Diana’s sapphire ring as her engagement ring, keeping it in the family line.
For their wedding in 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hand-picked forget-me-nots, Diana's favorite flower, from the Kensington Palace garden to include in the “Suits” actress' bouquet for her marriage to the Duke of Sussex. In 2020, the couple planted forget-me-nots while visiting a preschool in Los Angeles, California, according to CBS News.
Harry and Meghan welcomed daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor in June 2021. In a statement the parents wrote, "Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales."Prince William, Prince Harry (2021), (Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
On July 1, 2021, William and Harry came together at Kensington Palace to commemorate and unveil a statue of their mother on what would have been her 60th birthday. The late princess was also honored in other ways to coincide with what would have been her milestone 60th birthday in July 2021. Her iconic wedding dress, designed by David and Elizabeth Emmanuel, was put on display at Kensington Palace, as per BBC News. The dress was only one part of a larger exhibition featuring royal heirlooms and artifacts but had been given prominence as the exhibition's central piece.
The loss of their mother was especially devastating for William and Harry due to the nature of the loss as well as the media frenzy that came right after. A photograph of two young boys walking at the funeral procession is haunting even today. The image also showed that Prince Philip walked along with his grandsons on that day, and new information has shown that the Duke of Edinburgh was indeed a devoted and loving grandfather throughout his life.
Information has revealed that the Duke of Edinburgh was very concerned about the emotional well-being of his young grandsons as preparations for Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997 were taking place. While speaking to the UK's Evening Standard, Anji Hunter, a former government official, recalled a conference call with Prince Philip in the days before the funeral. "We were all talking about how William and Harry should be involved, and suddenly came Prince Philip’s voice," she said. "We hadn’t heard from him before, but he was really anguished. 'It’s about the boys,' he cried, 'They’ve lost their mother.'"Prince Philip, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry, Prince Charles (1997), (Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images)
TODAY reported that at dinner the day before Prince Diana's funeral, Prince Philip told his grandsons, "I'll walk if you walk." This fact was fortified once more by Princess Anne's revelations during an interview with UK's ITV after her father's death. "I seem to remember them saying that, in fact, it was a question of, 'If you'll do it, I'll do it,'" Princess Anne said.
"That was him as a grandfather. ... 'If that's what you want to do and if you want me to be there, I will be there.'"
The next day, the funeral procession took place from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey in London, and Prince Philip joined 15-year-old William and 12-year-old Harry as they walked along with their father, King Charles III, and Diana's brother Earl Spencer. The photographs from that day show that the family had come together during the most difficult times in their lives. BBC reported that in 2017, Prince Harry spoke about how his father was also there for them.
"One of the hardest things for a parent to have to do is to tell your children that your other parent has died," he said. "How you deal with that I don't know but, you know, he was there for us." While previously Harry had spoken out about the fact that walking during a funeral procession is something no 12-year-old child "should be asked to do," he ultimately said that he doesn't "have an opinion whether that was right or wrong" but added that "looking back on it," he is glad to have been part of the day, according to BBC.Prince William, Prince Harry (2017), (Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images)
Prince William also revealed in the 2017 documentary “Diana: 7 Days That Shook the Windsors” that the decision to walk wasn't an easy one and that "it was a sort of collective family decision to do that ... there is that balance between duty and family and that's what we had to do."
About the balance, he elaborated that it was "between me being Prince William and having to do my bit, versus the private William who just wanted to go into a room and cry, who'd lost his mother." Moreover, he added that his long bangs were a sort of "safety blanket" during the ceremony.
"I felt if I looked at the floor and my hair came down over my face, no one could see me," he added.
William and his brother Harry have continued to honor their late mother in many ways since her passing, and her cherished memory will forever be within the royal family’s hearts. Diana’s death has also continued to hold a soft spot in the hearts of those from all over the world as the years have gone by. I
It’s clear that Philip was of great help to his family during such a difficult time for them. But he had also been there for Diana when she needed someone the most following her very public divorce from Charles. To make matters even more troubling for Diana, the world had come to know that Charles had been having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.
And while it seemed like everyone was turning their backs on the princess, Philip showed he was there for her.Prince Philip, Princess Diana (1986), (Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
The divorce was not the only thing that rocked the royal boat during these times. In 2003, a former royal butler by the name of Paul Burrel leaked letters that he claimed had been exchanged between Diana and Prince Philip following the news of the divorce. As Prince Philip reportedly tried to stop the publication of the letters and Burrel's subsequent book, since more embarrassment might follow such a publication, many assume the letters are indeed authentic. The letters showed Prince Philip supporting Diana during the problematic divorce phase.
Some of the published highlights suggest that Prince Philip had a soft spot for Princess Diana during the divorce stage. Philip signed the letters with notable mentions such as "fondest love, Pa." From CNN to the Mirror to smaller publications such as Marie Claire, many news outlets cited the letters' heartfelt content. Prince Philip wrote:
"I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind leaving you for Camilla. We do not approve of either of you having lovers. Charles was silly to risk everything with Camilla for a man in his position. We never dreamed he might feel like leaving you for her. Such a prospect never even entered our heads."
He even offered to help the couple in any way he could during this hard time in their lives. He wrote to Diana to explain that he was willing to be an intermediary between her and Charles. However, he also explained that there were some things he could not help with:
Prince Philip, Princess Diana (1986), (Tim Graham/Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images)
"I can only repeat what I've said before, if invited, I will always do my utmost to help you and Charles to the best of my ability. But I am quite ready to concede that I have no talent as a marriage counsellor."
As People reported, Diana was very happy to have Prince Philip's encouraging words during this time. The People's Princess reportedly felt worried that none of the royal family understood or sympathized with her side of things. She is cited as writing:
"Dearest Pa, I was particularly touched by your most recent letter, which proved to me, if I did not already know it, that you really do care. You are very modest about your marriage guidance skills, and I disagree with you!"
Besides all that support for Diana, Prince Philip unfortunately also geared some blame toward her. One of the more damning sentences he wrote was:
"Can you honestly look into your heart and say that Charles's relationship with Camilla had nothing to do with your behaviour towards him in your marriage?"
We might think this especially unkind and see it as blaming the victim in this dispute. However, to see a man's infidelity as his wife's inability to keep his attention was not an uncommon sentiment until a few decades ago — and sometimes still is today. Even though Diana was put off by Prince Philip's harsh words in later letters, the support he showed her in his early ones was a comfort to her.
She said as much to Patrick Jephson, her private secretary at the time. The Mirror later asked Patrick to comment on this, and he answered:
"Here at last was written proof that this was acknowledged, recognised, and there was sympathy for her."
So even though Prince Philip did not approve of the divorce or Diana taking other lovers after her split from Charles, the late princess still drew strength from this bit of support.Princess Alexendra, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Princess Diana, Prince Charles (1982), (Princess Diana Archive/Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images)
Would you have guessed that Prince Philip and Diana exchanged so many words following the divorce? Let us know what you think about this, and pass this story along to see what your friends and family think about it!