When Did Diana And Charles Divorce: What Caused Them To Take A Divorce?

When Did Diana And Charles Divorce: Charles and Diana’s union went from being a picture-perfect royal nuptial to ending in a public relations catastrophe of epic proportions.

Charles and Diana were in extremely different stages of their lives when their affair started, separated by a 13-year age difference. Diana Spencer was 19 years old and Prince Charles was 32 at the time of their engagement.

Diana lived with peers her own age and worked in a nursery school before getting engaged, but Charles was a seasoned working member of the Royal Family with established interest projects. The ardent environmentalist is credited with delivering a speech in 1970 warning about the dangers of plastic waste.

Here is what is known about how and why the former couple’s marriage ended, as season five of The Crown delves into the mythology around its dissolution.

Diana And Charles Married In 1981

Although the relationship and engagement of Diana and Charles first appeared to be going perfectly, Diana’s later comments about those times paint a different image.

In his 1992 biography Diana, Her True Story, Andrew Morton worked with the late queen. A fresh edition that included truncated transcripts of the audio recordings she had made while writing the manuscript was published after her passing.

Diana is cited as claiming that she had doubts about the union even before the wedding day. She confided in her sisters that she was worried about Camilla Parker Bowles’ relationship with her soon-to-be husband even then “I’m unable to wed him. This is impossible for me to accomplish; it’s unbelievable.”

She admitted that she “had a pretty horrible case of bulimia the night before” as she approached the wedding day. Though she didn’t “believe [she] was joyful,” she claimed that there was “happiness because the masses boosted you up.”

She did, however, add: “My husband and I were so in love at the time that I couldn’t look away. I genuinely believed I was the luckiest girl in the entire world.” Also read about Miranda Lambert Divorce

Separated In 1992

The couple announced their separation in 1992. More scandal was about to break after Morton’s book was published and the world learned the truth about the Waleses’ marriage.

Press leaked phone call recordings between Diana and her close friend James Gilbey in August of that year. The actual phone call had happened on 1980’s New Year’s Eve.

The intimacy she shared with Gilbey seemed to suggest Diana was looking for companionship outside of the Royal Family, which further highlighted the negative perception she had of her marriage to Charles.

When Did Diana And Charles Divorce

John Major told the House of Parliament in December of that year that the couple was divorcing. There was no intention of divorcing at this point, according to the palace, and Major even stated in a speech to the Commons that “there is no reason why the Princess of Wales should not be crowned Queen in due course.”

The struggle between Charles and Diana was, in many ways, just getting started.

When Did Diana And Charles Divorce

In 1995, Queen Elizabeth took matters into her own hands by advising the couple to end the marriage and file for divorce.

“The Queen wrote to both the Prince and Princess of Wales earlier this week and gave them her view that supported by the Duke of Edinburgh, an early divorce is desirable.”

Following what was known as the War of the Waleses, in which both Diana and Charles briefed the media against one another, the late Queen made this historic decision.

In his book Shadows of a Princess, Patrick Jephson, Diana’s former press secretary, stated that “public point-scoring was one of the most unsettling parts of marital breakdown we had to see.”

In addition, he referred to the briefings as “a struggle” and said that despite having a numerical advantage, the Prince’s troops “got mired down in a swamp of self righteousness.”

Charles participated in a 1994 documentary with Jonathon Dimbleby and made a public admission that he had been unfaithful during his marriage.

A year later, Diana agreed to an interview with Martin Bashir in which she revealed nothing about her account of the events and is remembered for saying, in reference to Camilla, “there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”

Read More:

Scroll to Top