When Prince Charles and Princess Diana wed in 1981, they appeared to be the royal couple out of a fairy tale. It seemed from the outside looking in, that the future Crowned King was going to get his happily ever after. However, we now know that their royal wedding was simply an illusion orchestrated by the British royal family.
Behind the scenes, Prince Charles was still in love with his former girlfriend, Camilla Parker Bowles and Princess Diana was a young woman who had no idea what it would take to be one of the most prominent faces on the global mainstage.
By the mid-1980s the Prince and Princess of Wales’ marriage was on the fritz. The prince had rekindled his romance with Parker Bowles and Princess Diana had her own affairs. By 1992, the pair were officially separated, divorcing in 1996. Taking charge of her own life after her divorce, Princess Diana refused to keep her security team.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana had a very unhappy marriage
Forcing two very different people who barely know each other together is usually a recipe for disaster. Going into her marriage to Prince Charles, the princess naively thought things would work themselves out. Unfortunately, they never did.
“[Princess Diana] was just bitterly unhappy, she was disappointed in her marriage as was Charles it was a car crash from the very beginning,” royal biographer Penny Junor explained. “When Charles and Diana got together it seemed on paper that this was the most perfect match, but Diana’s childhood had been very difficult and the happy jolly-go-lucky venire that she presented to the world was nothing more than a venire. Charles was a very complex character and the two of them was about the worst match you could possibly have made.”
Princess Diana wanted a more peaceful life after she divorced Prince Charles
Following her separation from Prince Charles, Princess Diana sought a more peaceful and private life. It’s something that her son, Prince Harry, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are echoing today.
“Over the next few months, I will be seeking a more suitable way of combining a meaningful public role with, hopefully, a more private life,” she said in 1993 at a benefit lunch for the Headway National Injuries Association.
Following their separation, the princess was stripped of her “Her Royal Highness” title, and since she wed Prince Charles at age 19 with very little career experience, the Prince of Wales still supported her financially.
When the pair officially divorced in 1996, the princess was granted $21 million in the divorce settlement. She lived at Kensington Palace until her death in August of 1997.
Princess Diana refused to use her security team following her divorce
While the Sussexes have an armed 15 person security team that guards them 24/7, the Princess of Wales desperately wanted her freedom. With her divorce, she held on to a small staff including a cleaner, cook, dresser and her butler, Paul Burrell.
However, Princess Diana refused to use her royal security detail after the divorce. Instead, she opted to use police protection, but only when attending public events.
It appears that outside of The Firm, what Princess Diana wanted most was her freedom.
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