Diana’s Letters Reveal Painful Divorce: “I’m on My Knees”
More insight into the late Princess Diana’s turbulent marriage to King Charles has been revealed.
Secret letters from the Princess of Wales to her friends describing her ‘ugly’ divorce from King Charles reveal how painful the split was.
According to the Mirror, 32 letters to their friends Susie and Tarek Kassem are now up for auction. The money goes to various charities that Diana, who died in 1997, supported during her lifetime.
The Kassems are putting the memos, which are estimated to sell for around $111,000, under the hammer on February 16 at Cornish-based Lay’s Auctioneers.
One of the notes being sold is dated April 28, 1996 and described Diana’s feelings during her troubled relationship with Charles, 74.
“I’m having a very difficult time and the pressure is serious and coming from all sides,” she wrote. “Sometimes it’s too difficult to keep your head up and today I’m on my knees just longing for this divorce to go through as the potential costs are enormous.”
Diana had announced just two months earlier that she had agreed to the then-Prince Charles’ divorce petition. Their separation was finalized in August 1996.
The couple married at St Paul’s Cathedral in London in July 1981 and divorced in 1996. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty
Elsewhere in her letters, she also claimed that her phone was bugged, a theory that appears in a Netflix season 5 episode of “The Crown,” in which Diana, portrayed by Elizabeth Debicki, believes the royal family is trying to harm her, and worries others overhear her phone calls.
On May 20, 1996, Diana wrote to Susie: “Not having a cell phone makes it difficult to discuss personal matters as my lines are constantly being recorded and shared here.”
“If I had known a year ago what I would experience going through this divorce, I would never have agreed. It’s distressed and ugly,” the note continued.
Thirty-two letters from Princess Diana reveal how hard she found her “desperate and ugly” divorce from Charles.Lay’s Auctioneers
In a message written on December 19, 1995 — the day after Queen Elizabeth asked Charles and Diana for a divorce — Diana reflected on how much she enjoyed being in the Kassems’ company: “I was born, maybe, as a butterfly described, but I don’t want to fly away from this loving family.”
“I’m very touched by how protective you both are towards me,” Diana added. “I’m not used to this. [I] I’ve never had such love and support from a married team before.”
“Susie & Tarek feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to get to know the princess so closely,” the auction house said. “Owning these poignant documents is a responsibility the Kassems don’t want to pass on to their children or grandchildren. The Kassems want to give other people the opportunity to purchase a ‘memento’ of the princess and thereby support causes close to her heart.”
Lay’s Auctioneers’ Mimi Connell-Lay told the Mirror that many of the letters are “emotionally raw and frankly amazing”.
Diana and Charles’ separation was finalized in August 1996. Getty Images
“This is a really interesting collection of letters from Princess Diana,” she said. “She wrote a lot about what was going on in her life at the time, particularly her divorce, and repeatedly referenced that she didn’t have the support of the royal family.”
Connell-Lay noted that Diana confided in Kassem at the worst time of her life.
“Susie met Diana at the Royal Brompton Hospital and it’s obvious they clicked straight away, Diana says so in one of her letters,” she noted. “They had a very strong bond and it’s clear how much Diana appreciated her friendship, support and advice at a time of great emotional turmoil for her.”