It’s no secret that King Charles III and Princess Diana struggled to get along for most of their relationship until their 1992 separation after 11 years of marriage but little is known of what became of their relationship when the dust settled once their divorce was finalized in 1996.
As far as the public was concerned, Diana and Charles were living separate lives, only linked by their children who were splitting their time between their parents up until Diana’s 1997 death. In fact, it has been widely suspected that Diana’s ability to win the hearts of the British public after the divorce made her a threat to the Royal family’s reputation and, thus, drove the wedge further between her and her former in-laws. However, insiders claim Charles and Diana may have been closer than ever before her death, just not romantically.
Sources say King Charles and Princess Diana were on good terms before her death.
According to journalist Tina Brown’s book The Diana Chronicles, released in 2008, the couple had become friends after the divorce. “At the end of Diana’s life, she and Charles were on the best terms they’d been for a very long time,” Brown wrote.
Brown, who knew Diana personally, wrote that she she went to lunch with the former princess and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour a month before Diana’s fatal car crash where, she claims, Diana admitted to her that she had formed a friendship with Charles and even spent time together in the months before her death. “Charles got into the habit of dropping in on her at Kensington Palace and they would have tea and a sort of rueful exchange,” Brown wrote. “They even had some laughs together.”
“It was definitely calming down, the boys were older. They talked about their philanthropies. And she had accepted Camilla. One thing she had finally done was really understand that Camilla was the love of his life, and there was just nothing she could do about it … But she said to me at that lunch that she would go back to Charles in a heartbeat if he wanted her,” Brown wrote.
Debbie Frank, Diana’s astrologer, also maintains that William and Harry’s mother loved their father until her final moments. Frank says Charles’ years-long affair with Camilla triggered Diana’s abandonment issues but her feelings remained. “I think she loved Charles till her dying day. I’m not saying she longed for him. She didn’t,” she told the Express in 2020. “But there was still that wound there like there was with her mother. And it was probably more about the mother than Charles actually.”
Simone Simmons, Diana’s spiritual healer and close friend, told InStyle in 2022 that Diana never wanted to divorce Charles. “When the Queen wrote to her and demanded they get a divorce, she was blubbering on the phone, and I went over to calm her down. She said, ‘Simone, I never wanted to divorce Charles. I always loved him.’”
Diana died on August 31, 1997 shortly after sustaining injuries in a car crash in Paris that also claimed the lives of her rumored boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed and Henri Paul, the driver of the car she was traveling in. It was Charles who made the trip to France to bring home Diana’s body.
Before you go, click here to see the best photos from Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage.