The marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles officially ended in divorce in 1996, but newly resurfaced letters from the Princess of Wales to her personal secretary prove that the royal union was troubled from the start.
According to Vanity Fair, correspondences from Princess Diana to Jane Parsons set to go up for auction in April give an inside look into the strained marriage.
In one letter dated August 15, 1981 from the Royal Yacht Britannia, Diana writes, “The honeymoon was a perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep.”
Princess Diana and Prince Charles married in 1981 in a ceremony hailed as the “wedding of the century.” They separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996, just a year before Diana’s tragic death in a car crash in Paris. This summer will mark the 20th anniversary of her death.
The letters also include a glimpse into Diana’s life as a new mother at age 20 after Prince William was born in 1982.
Vanity Fair reported Princess Diana was conscious of making sure palace staff was not feeling “exhausted, overworked and underpaid” after the arrival of her son, although she herself was a bit overwhelmed just by the mail amounting between William’s birth and her own 21st birthday less than two weeks later.
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“I have never been more confused than on my birthday as presents and telegrams were pouring in for W at KP as well as my own—so at the moment I just seem to be churning out letters!”
The letters revealed William received 4,500 presents in celebration of his birth, leaving Diana to reply with a total of 24,000 thank-you notes.
But Diana was thrilled to be a parent. In one letter to Parsons, she spoke about returning home to him after a trip to Australia in 1983, highlighting her dismay about leaving him during trips.
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“William recognised us instantly, which was a relief as sometimes children resent their parents leaving them!” she wrote. “It’s marvellous to be home again and hopefully we won’t have to do any more travelling this year… Wishful thinking!”