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British Prime Minister John Major announces the formal separation of Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, and his wife, Princess Diana. Major explained that the royal couple were separating “amicably.” The report came after several years of speculation by the tabloid press that the marriage was in peril, citing evidence that Diana and Charles spent vacations apart and official visits in separate rooms.
On July 29, 1981, nearly one billion television viewers in 74 countries tuned in to witness the marriage of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, to Lady Diana Spencer, a young English schoolteacher. Married in a grand ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in the presence of 2,650 guests, the couple’s romance was, for the moment, the envy of the world. Their first child, Prince William, was born in 1982, and their second, Prince Harry, in 1984.
READ MORE: The Hidden Dark Side of Charles and Diana’s Relationship
Before long, however, the fairy tale couple grew apart, an experience that was particularly painful under the watchful eyes of the world’s tabloid media. Diana and Charles separated in 1992, though they continued to carry out their royal duties. In August 1996, two months after Queen Elizabeth II urged the couple to divorce, the prince and princess reached a final agreement. In exchange for a generous settlement, and the right to retain her apartments at Kensington Palace and her title of “Princess of Wales,” Diana agreed to relinquish the title of “Her Royal Highness” and any future claims to the British throne.
In the year following the divorce, the popular princess seemed well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming “a queen in people’s hearts,” but on August 31, 1997, she was killed with her companion Dodi Fayed in a car accident in Paris. An investigation conducted by the French police concluded that the driver, who also died in the crash, was heavily intoxicated and caused the accident while trying to escape the paparazzi photographers who consistently tailed Diana during any public outing.
Prince Charles married the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles, on April 9, 2005.
READ MORE: Watching The Crown? Here Are the Real Facts You Need to Know
We Finally Know Why Prince Charles And Princess Diana Divorced
The wedding between Prince Charles and Princess Diana went down in history. On July 29, 1981, Diana Spencer, wearing a sumptuous taffeta gown complete with a 25-foot train, made the three and a half minute walk down the aisle of St Paul's Cathedral in front of 3,000 guests and 750 million TV viewers (via BBC). By the end of the day, she'd become a princess.
It was the royal wedding of the century — but as we all know, what happened next couldn't be further from a fairy tale romance. In fact, in years to come, Diana would call her wedding day, "the worst day of my life," explaining that she felt like "a lamb to the slaughter" (via Independent). Charles and Diana's relationship quickly soured, and the tabloids of the day were obsessed with tracking the strained relationship. By 1992, the couple had officially separated (via History).
With the release of the fourth season of Netflix's The Crown, a new generation was introduced to the heartbreaking and complicated Charles and Diana story. While the show is somewhat fictionalized, it does give an insider look at the dysfunctional marriage. So we finally know why Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorced.
On This Day: Prince Charles, Princess Diana divorce announced
Dec. 9 (UPI) -- On this date in history:
In 1907, the first Christmas Seals to raise money to fight tuberculosis went on sale in the post office in Wilmington, Del.
In 1955, two weeks of bloody student uprisings against President Fulgencio Batista appeared to follow the pattern of the student riots that deposed Cuban Dictator Gerardo Machado 22 years ago. Batista would remain in power four more years before losing power to Fidel Castro.
In 1958, in Indianapolis, retired Boston candy manufacturer Robert H. W. Welch, Jr., established the John Birch Society, a right-wing organization dedicated to fighting what it perceived to be the extensive infiltration of communism into U.S. society.
In 1974, White House aide John Ehrlichman testified at the Watergate trial that U.S. President Richard Nixon was responsible for a coverup.
In 1987, the First Palestinian Intifada against Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank. Palestinians protested and rioted after an Israeli Defense Forces truck struck a civilian vehicle, killing four Palestinians.
In 1990, Lech Walesa won Poland's first direct presidential vote.
In 1992, British Prime Minister John Major announced the formal separation of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
In 1992, some 1,700 U.S. Marines landed in Somalia to secure the airfield, port and U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu and restore order to the conflict- and famine-stricken country.
In 2002, United Airlines, which said it was losing $22 million a day, filed for bankruptcy.
In 2008, federal agents arrested Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges in a scheme involving the sale of Illinois' open Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
In 2009, the U.S. government's bailout program for ailing major banks "played a critical role in renewing the flow of credit and preventing a more acute crisis," the independent Congressional Oversight Panel said in a year-end report.
In 2014, a U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report said the CIA's interrogation of terror suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were more brutal than it told the White House or public. The so-called "CIA torture report" called CIA tactics "deeply flawed."
In 2016, South Korea's National Assembly voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye because her unofficial aid, Choi Soon-sil, sought donations from businesses and influenced Park politically. Park was permanently removed from power in March 2017.
Though the news of the separation was front-page news, it wasn't overly surprising to those who followed the comings and goings of the royal couple.
Charles and Diana's marriage had been crumbling since Prince Harry's birth in 1984, with whispers — that were later confirmed — of infidelity on both sides.
The couple pictured on Garter Day in 1992. (Getty)
The Waleses had appeared strained and "glum" during their recent joint public appearances, and were reported to already be living separate lives.
The separation confirmation came months after the publication of a controversial Diana biography that detailed the breakdown of the marriage — including Charles' affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.
Andrew Morton's Diana: Her True Story had been published in May and made waves both publicly and behind palace walls.
LISTEN: 9Honey's royal podcast The Windsors explores Prince Charles' life in the royal spotlight, and the job he'll one day inherit. (Post continues.)
The Queen and Prince Philip were said to be horrified by the book's contents.
Philip, who had a close relationship with Diana, reportedly wrote to his daughter-in-law and told her to "help maintain the dignity of the Crown".
When the princess stood her ground, the Duke gave her an ultimatum and 'threatened' her with exile from the family, Morton claimed (per The Express ).
Prince Philip is said to have written to Diana about the explosive Andrew Morton biography. (Getty)
At the time of the book's publication, the Princess of Wales confirmed sheɽ told friends and family to cooperate with Morton, but insisted she had not personally contributed.
However, after Diana's death in 1997, the author revealed she had secretly recorded tapes for him in which she spoke candidly about her marriage and life in the monarchy.
Four years after their separation was announced, Charles and Diana formally divorced .
The arrangements were finalised on August 28, 1996, marking the first time a British heir apparent had been granted a divorce.
Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles announced their engagement in February 1981. (Getty)
The agreement was reached two months after the Queen wrote individual letters to her son and daughter-in-law, urging them to end their marriage.
"After considering the present situation the Queen wrote to both the prince and princess earlier this week and gave them her view, supported by the Duke of Edinburgh, that an early divorce is desirable," a palace spokesman told media at the time.
"The Prince of Wales also takes this view and has made this known to the Princess of Wales since the letter."
As part of the divorce agreement, Diana received a sizeable settlement and retained her apartment in Kensington Palace and her jewellery collection.
Charles and Camilla rekindled their romance following the prince's divorce. (Getty)
Though she remained the Princess of Wales, Diana gave up her Royal Highness styling and was henceforth styled as Diana, Princess of Wales.
Just one year later, the so-called 'People's Princess' was killed in a road accident in Paris.
Prince Charles and Camilla rekindled their relationship, going public as a couple in 1999. They married in a civil ceremony in 2005.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana's relationship: a timeline
2021 will mark the 40-year anniversary of the wedding of the century. If you're not sure what we mean by that, let's take a trip down memory lane.
The ill-fated marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana has never really left public consciousness, but it's well and truly back in the spotlight thanks to The Crown .
Season 4 of the Netflix drama focuses largely on the late Lady Diana Spencer's entry into the royal family, tracking her whirlwind courtship with the heir apparent and the events that caused their relationship to sour.
The Crown's new season has propelled Prince Charles and Princess Diana back into the spotlight. (Getty)
Here, 9Honey looks at the key moments of the couple's relationship leading to their royal history-making divorce in 1996 .
1977: First meeting
Prince Charles first met Diana as a 16-year-old during a visit to Althorp, the Spencer family home. The 29-year-old prince was friends with her older sister, then Lady Sarah Spencer they began dating but the relationship was short-lived.
Charles later recalled thinking Diana was "very jolly and amusing" she in turn found him "pretty amazing".
Prince Charles met Diana through her sister Lady Sarah Spencer, pictured here in 1977. (Getty)
However, their love story wouldn't begin for another three years.
1980: A reunion and whirlwind courtship
Charles and Diana met again in 1980, developing a romantic relationship that Charles later described as "a gradual business", though by other accounts it was rushed.
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Their third date involved Diana travelling to the Balmoral estate in Scotland to spend a weekend with the rest of the royal family. The "easygoing" 19-year-old was a hit and passed the family's famous ➺lmoral test'.
Diana pictured working at a kindergarten in 1980. (Getty)
As news of the royal relationship emerged, Diana, at the time a nursery teacher's assistant living in a London sharehouse, became an overnight media sensation and was often swarmed by photographers.
1981: The ⟺iry tale' engagement and wedding
The couple are said to have only met 12 or 13 times before the proposal, which was reportedly prompted by Prince Philip.
The future Prince and Princess of Wales announced their engagement in February 1981. (Getty)
Charles and Diana married at St Paul's Cathedral on July 29, 1981, becoming the Prince and Princess of Wales. Millions tuned in to watch the ceremony from around the world.
Despite appearances, things weren't necessarily rosy behind the scenes.
Diana claimed to have discovered a bracelet Charles had made as a gift for Camilla, inscribed with the initials of their nicknames for one another, just days before the wedding.
Princess DIana and Prince Charles during their wedding day carriage ride, 1981 (Getty)
The newlyweds also had a "row" over a pair of cufflinks Charles wore, bearing two interlocked Cs, during their honeymoon , during which they sailed on the royal yacht before spending time at the Balmoral estate.
1982: Prince William is born
The couple became parents in 1982 with the arrival of Prince William.
1983: Charles and Diana tour Australia
As depicted in The Crown , Charles and Diana travelled to Australia for a royal tour in 1983, bringing little William along with them.
1984: Prince Harry is born
The Wales' second child Prince Harry was born in September 1984.
Diana is said to have described Charles' less-than-enthusiastic reaction to having a second son as "the beginning of the end" of their marriage.
Charles and Diana leave hospital with baby Harry in 1984. (Getty)
1986: Charles and Camilla rekindle romance
According to an authorised biography of the heir apparent, Charles and Camilla, who had remained close despite both being married, rekindled their romance physically in 1986.
Around this time it's claimed Diana and Charles were essentially living separate lives.
1989: Diana confronts Camilla
Diana's frustration over Charles and Camilla's relationship bubbled over in 1989, when she confronted the future Duchess of Cornwall at her sister's 40th birthday party.
The Wales family in a photoshoot at Kensington Palace in 1986. (Tim Graham Photo Library via Get)
The princess later recalled their conversation, saying she told Camilla, "I know what's going on between you and Charles and I just want you to know that."
"[Camilla] said to me: 'You've got everything you ever wanted. You've got all the men in the world fall in love with you and you've got two beautiful children, what more do you want?' So I said, 'I want my husband . I'm sorry I'm in the way . it must be hell for both of you. But I do know what's going on. Don't treat me like an idiot'," Diana said.
1992: The separation
The Prince and Princess of Wales announced they were separating "amicably" in December 1992. However, the pair continued to carry out royal duties.
The couple pictured in November 1992, weeks before their separation was announced. (Getty)
The news came months after tapes of conversations between Princess Diana and rumoured lover James Gilbey , in which she spoke candidly about royal life, were published as well as the publication of infamous biography Diana: Her True Story In Her Own Words .
1994: Charles admits to infidelity
The Prince of Wales acknowledged the rumours of his affair with Camilla for the first time in a 1994 documentary. Private phone conversations between the two had leaked the year prior, sparking a tabloid storm.
Speaking to Jonathan Dimbleby, Charles was asked if he had upheld his vow to be "faithful and honourable" in his marriage to Diana, replying: "Yes. Until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried."
Charles admitted he had been unfaithful during an interview with Jonathan Dimbleby. (YouTube)
"There is no truth in so much of this speculation," he added, saying the breakdown of his marriage was "deeply regrettable".
The night the program aired, Diana wore her so-called 'Revenge Dress' to a London event.
1995: Diana shares her side
Diana pictured during her explosive BBC Panorama interview in 1995. (Corbis via Getty Images)
During the interview, she addressed the end of her relationship and famously referred to Charles' affair with Camilla, declaring, "Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." She also spoke about her own affair with James Hewitt.
Diana stressed it was not her "wish" to divorce Charles, telling Bashir: "I think like any marriage, especially when you've had divorced parents like myself, youɽ want to try even harder to make it work and you don't want to fall back into a pattern that you've seen happen in your own family."
1996: The divorce
Charles and Diana's divorce was finalised on August 28, 1996 it was the first time in modern royal history that an heir to the throne had been granted a divorce.
Diana and Charles put on a united front for William's first day at Eton College in 1995. (Getty)
Their agreement was reached two months after the Queen wrote individual letters to tell them she and Prince Philip felt an early divorce was "desirable".
Diana received a sizeable settlement paid in one lump sum, with reports suggesting a figure of around $AUD31 million with a $830,000 salary for her private office, and relinquished her royal title.
The divorce was finalised almost one year to the day before Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris on August 31, 1997.
Queen Urges Prince Charles And Diana to Divorce Soon
Queen Elizabeth II has written to Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, and to his estranged wife, the Princess of Wales, urging them to agree to an early divorce, Buckingham Palace said today.
A statement released by a spokesman for the palace said the Prince favored a divorce and had discussed the matter with his wife. Her reaction is not yet known.
But it is likely that Diana will go along with the move. In fact she did much to precipitate it by granting the BBC an interview a month ago in which she presented her version of the breakdown of their marriage.
During that interview, which was not cleared with the palace and reportedly angered the Queen, the Princess said that she did not want a divorce herself and was concerned about its effect upon their two sons. But she said she would follow the wishes of her husband.
"I await my husband's decision of which way we are all going to go," she told the interviewer.
Ending the long-troubled marriage, whose ups and downs have preoccupied the British public for four years and done much to undermine the reflexive respect for the monarchy here, would not in itself raise any constitutional obstacles. Being divorced would not prevent Charles from becoming King, although it would obviously mean that the Princess would never be Queen.
There is even a precedent: King George I divorced his wife before assuming the throne in the 18th century.
Opinions are divided over what would happen, however, should Charles decide he wants to remarry, since the Church of England does not technically recognize the right of divorced people to remarry in the church. As a practical matter the objection is often overridden and many priests perform marriages of divorced people in churches, arguing that they are doing so in a civil capacity.
But the same fig leaf might not easily apply to Charles, since upon becoming King, he would also become head of the church or "Defender of the Faith." In recent years, a few clerics have argued that because he is the spiritual leader, it would be incorrect for him to become King with a new bride or to remarry as King.
A critical voice in this situation would be that of the Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey. Church officials said tonight that the Archbishop had been consulted before the Queen sent the letters urging the royal couple to divorce, and that he had presumably given his approval to their contents.
Prince Charles and Diana, whose marriage on July 29, 1981, stirred the nation and the world with its fairytale images of young romance in a royal setting, officially separated in December 1992, six months after the publication of a book that chronicled Diana's unhappiness. Under British law, two years' separation is sufficient grounds for divorce.
The Prince has admitted to a relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles, a friend whom he had known before his marriage. Whether she would be acceptable to many Britons, who appear to blame her for breaking up the royal marriage, is an open question.
In a film made by the journalist Jonathan Dimbleby that was broadcast in June 1994, Prince Charles admitted that he had been unfaithful once his marriage fell apart. Mr. Dimbleby later indicated that the Prince's affair had been with Mrs. Parker-Bowles, who was also married at that time.
The Prince, 47, and the Princess, 34, have two sons -- Prince William, 13, and Prince Harry, 11. A divorce would not upset their claim to the throne.
Diana is popular in Britain, and her interview last month -- in which she confessed to adultery, called the palace her "enemy" and said she wanted to be "queen in people's hearts" -- brought her much sympathy. But most people appear to feel that the relationship is so obviously troubled that an early divorce would be best all around.
That leaves the question of what kind of settlement the Princess might receive and what kind of state role, if any, she would play.
In the BBC interview, she expressed a desire to be a sort of roving ambassador and someone who performs good works. Since then, British newspapers have been filled with stories of her undertaking late-night visits to console the sick in hospitals.
The BBC said today that Prime Minister John Major, who told the House of Commons of the couple's separation in December 1992, had visited the Princess in Kensington Palace, apparently to discuss her response to the Queen's letters, but no details were given.
Aware of her popularity, the palace let it be known that members of the royal family consulted Diana after the interview and had invited her to spend the Christmas holidays at Sandringham, the royal estate in Norfolk. But several days ago, it was announced that she had declined the invitation.
The official statement today was released after news of the Queen's letters broke in the Thursday edition of The Sun, a popular tabloid, which appeared on the streets late tonight. The statement said:
"After considering the present situation, the Queen wrote to both the Prince and Princess earlier this week and gave them her view, supported by the Duke of Edinburgh, that an early divorce is desirable. The Prince of Wales also takes this view and has made this known to the Princess of Wales since the letter.
"The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will continue to do all they can to help and support the Prince and Princess of Wales, and most particularly their children, in this difficult period."
A Timeline of Princess Diana and Prince Charles's Whirlwind Romance
"I remember thinking what a very jolly and amusing and attractive 16-year-old she was," Charles said of meeting Diana.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles's love story seemed like a fairy tale in the beginning. But as candid interviews and tell-alls would later reveal, their marriage was less than idyllic. In fact, it was a tumultuous time littered with secrets and affairs.
Ahead, we're breaking down everything you need to know about Charles and Diana's relationship, from endearing courtship to eventual split.
November 1977: Charles first meets Diana.
When Prince Charles first met Diana Spencer, he was casually dating her sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, née Spencer. Diana and Charles were introduced in November 1977 at her family home at Althorp, where the prince was taking part in a grouse hunt. At the time, she was 16 and he was 29, per The Telegraph.
During their official engagement interview in 1981, Diana revealed, "We sort of met in a plowed field," before calling the prince "pretty amazing."
Charles joked, "I remember thinking what a very jolly and amusing and attractive 16-year-old she was."
July 1980: Sparks fly between Diana and Charles.
After their first meeting, Diana crossed paths with the future king on several occasions, even attending his 30th birthday at Buckingham Palace in November 1978, per History Extra. However, it wasn't until they reunited at the New Grove house of Philip de Pass, a friend of Diana's, in the summer of 1980 that their romance began.
Diana would later reveal on tape, "He'd just broken up with his girlfriend, and his friend Mountbatten [Prince Philip's Uncle Dickie] had just been killed. I said it would be nice to see him." Diana's candid revelations were recorded in 1992 by her voice coach, Peter Settelen, and were aired as part of the PBS documentary Diana: In Her Own Words, per ABC News.
"The next minute he leapt on me, practically," Diana continued in the tape recordings. "It was strange. I thought, 'This isn't very cool' . but I had nothing to go by, because I'd never had a boyfriend."
According to the Express, royal biographer Andrew Morton detailed the story of Charles and Diana's reconnection in his book Diana: Her True Story&mdashin Her Own Words. "Diana was seated next to Charles on a bale of hay and, after the usual pleasantries, the conversation moved on to Earl Mountbatten's death and his funeral at Westminster Abbey," Morton wrote. "In a conversation which she later recalled to friends Diana told him: 'You looked so sad when you walked up the aisle at Lord Mountbatten's funeral. It was the most tragic thing I've ever seen. My heart bled for you when I watched."
February 1981: Charles and Diana announce their engagement.
After a short courtship, Charles and Diana announced their engagement in February 1981. During her conversations with Settelen, Diana said, "We met 13 times and we got married," revealing that her engagement to the Prince of Wales happened extremely swiftly.
According to The Guardian, Diana's older sister, Lady Sarah, said of the engagement, "I introduced them. I'm Cupid." However, Sarah definitely wasn't heartbroken about her ex getting engaged to her little sister and, according to Sunday People, revealed that she wouldn't consider marrying Charles "if he were the dustman or the King of England."
As reported by OprahMag.com, Charles felt pressure from his father, Prince Philip, to propose. According to royal expert Robert Jobson, writing in his book King Charles: The Man, the Monarch, and the Future of Britain, Charles allegedly told a friend, "To have withdrawn, as you can no doubt imagine, would have been cataclysmic. Hence I was permanently between the devil and the deep blue sea."
July 29, 1981: Charles and Diana tie the knot.
Just five months after getting engaged, Diana and Charles got married at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. Lady Diana wore a custom bridal gown designed by British designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel, featuring a 25-foot-long train.
Of the iconic wedding, Diana later revealed to Morton (via OprahMag.com), "I remember being so in love with my husband that I couldn't take my eyes off him. I just absolutely thought I was the luckiest girl in the world. He was going to look after me. Well, was I wrong on that assumption."
However, there were some tense moments behind the scenes on Diana's wedding day. In a 1991 interview with Morton, Diana revealed (via Good Housekeeping) that she knew Camilla Parker Bowles had been invited to the nuptials. Sadly, Diana had become aware of Charles's close connection to Camilla, and this put her on edge during the ceremony. "I knew she was in there, of course. I looked for her," Diana explained. "So walking down the aisle, I spotted Camilla, pale gray, veiled pillbox hat saw it all, her son Tom standing on a chair. To this day you know&mdashvivid memory."
According to British Marie Claire, Diana and Charles visited several locations on their honeymoon, including taking a cruise around the Mediterranean on the Royal Yacht Britannia before spending some time at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
June 21, 1982: Prince William is born.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles welcomed their first child, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, less than a year after their 1981 nuptials.
September 15, 1984: Prince Harry is born.
Prince Harry was born Prince Henry Charles Albert David on September 15, 1984. Morton's royal biography tragically revealed that the princess allegedly didn't tell Charles that she was having a boy, as she knew her husband desperately wanted a girl. According to the book, Charles's surprise reaction to the birth of another boy went something like, "Oh God, it's a boy. And he's even got red hair!" Diana reportedly described this as "the beginning of the end of their marriage."
1986: Charles rekindles his relationship with Camilla.
Charles remained close with Camilla after briefly dating her in the early '70s. When Charles returned to the Royal Navy, his relationship with Camilla had reportedly cooled. Per People, "Although the smitten prince courted her for six months, he failed to propose before returning to sea in February 1973." In 1973, Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles, but her love for the prince never fully died.
Charles and Camilla allegedly reignited their physical relationship in 1986, around two years after Harry's birth, according to People. The magazine also reported that Diana opened up to Morton about Camilla, saying, "I was terrified of her. I said, 'I know what's going on between you and Charles and I just want you to know that. &hellip She said to me: 'You've got everything you ever wanted. You've got all the men in the world fall in love with you and you've got two beautiful children, what more do you want?'"
Diana's reply: "'I want my husband.' And I said, 'I'm sorry I'm in the way . and it must be hell for both of you. But I do know what's going on. Don't treat me like an idiot.'"
December 1992: Charles and Diana formally announce their split.
Charles and Diana announced their separation in December 1992. Of the split, The New York Times said, "Buckingham Palace wrote the unhappy ending today to a storybook marriage gone badly wrong."
1993: Charles's private phone conversations with Camilla leak to the press.
Scandal broke in early 1993 when private telephone conversations between the prince and his mistress were leaked to the press. The Mirror published a transcript of an incredibly personal conversation, which had been secretly recorded in 1989 while Charles and Camilla were both still married. The revelation seemingly confirmed the infidelity to the general public. Subsequently, Camilla filed for divorce from Andrew in January 1995, while Charles and Diana finalized their divorce in August 1996.
In 1993, Charles admitted his infidelity during a TV interview with journalist Jonathan Dimbleby, via The New York Times. When asked if the prince had been faithful throughout his marriage to Diana, Charles replied, "Yes . Until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried." Diana also admitted to having affairs during her tumultuous marriage to Charles and was linked to James Hewitt for as long as five years.
1995: Diana confirms that Charles's affair overshadowed their marriage.
In 1995, Diana gave her now-infamous interview to BBC's Panorama, and said, "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."
The same year, when asked if she thought she'd ever become queen, Diana told the BBC's Martin Bashir, "I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts &hellip but I don't see myself being queen of this country. I don't think many people will want me to be queen. Actually, when I say many people I mean the establishment that I married into, because they have decided that I'm a non-starter."
August 1996: Their divorce is finalized.
Despite publicly separating in 1992, the Prince and Princess of Wales's divorce wasn't finalized until August 1996, according to History. As for the divorce settlement, The New York Times reported, "The Prince has formally declared that he will no longer foot his ex-wife's bills, leaving her to pay all her expenses out of a lump-sum divorce settlement said to be at least $22.5 million."
August 1997: Princess Diana dies in a car crash.
A year after her divorce from Charles was finalized, Diana tragically died in a car crash while in Paris. The Express reported that royal biographer Penny Junor wrote in her book The Firm that following news of Diana's accident, Charles allegedly said, "They're all going to blame me, aren't they?"
Diana was with her billionaire boyfriend, Emad "Dodi" Fayed, at the time of the crash, likely traveling to his private Parisian estate. The People's Princess died after being taken to the hospital, while the car's driver, Henri Paul, and Fayed "died instantly," per BBC News. The world mourned their princess, whose charity work continues to be remembered today.
Today in history, December 9: Charles and Diana announce separation
Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation on this day in 1992 with no plans to divorce.
Front page of The Herald Sun following the announcement of Charles and Diana’s separation. Source:Herald Sun
Highlights in history on this date:
1594: Gustavus II of Sweden born by the time of his death in 1632, Sweden had become the strongest power in Europe.
1625: England and United Provinces agree to subsidise Denmark’s King Christian IV in his campaign against Germany.
1824: Spain’s army is defeated at Ayacucho, Peru, by Simon Bolivar’s forces.
1854: Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem The Charge of the Light Brigade is published in England.
1868: William Ewart Gladstone becomes British prime minister for the first of his four terms.
Former British prime minister William Ewart Gladstone. Source:News Limited
1905: Salome, a one-act opera by Richard Strauss from the story by Oscar Wilde, has its first performance in Dresden, Germany, and is condemned as obscene.
1940: British 8th Army opens offensive in North Africa in World War II.
1941: China formally issues a declaration of war against Japan, Germany and Italy.
1949: Western Australian plebiscite rejects prohibition.
1967: The Cunard liner Queen Mary docks at Long Beach, California after its final voyage.
The Queen Mary sails into Long Beach, California. Source:Supplied
1972: North Vietnam and Soviet Union conclude agreement for economic and military aid to Hanoi.
1976: UN General Assembly calls for Middle East peace conference in Geneva with Palestine Liberation Organisation taking part.
1983: Treasurer Paul Keating announces floating of the Australian dollar.
1990: Poles elect Lech Walesa president in Poland’s first free elections.
1992: Prince Charles and Princess Diana of Britain announce they are separating but have no plans to divorce.
1994: After 25 years of violence, the Irish Republican Army sits down with British officials to talk peace.
1996: In Australia, independent politician Pauline Hanson sacks adviser John Pasquarelli.
1997: Death of Ted Matthews, the last Australian survivor who landed at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915.
Ted Matthews, the last Australian survivor who landed at Gallipoli, on Anzac Day in 1997. Source:News Corp Australia
2002: United Airlines files for bankruptcy, the largest such case ever in the global airline industry.
2004: Canada’s Supreme Court rules that gay marriage is constitutional.
2005: French Socialist Realist painter Boris Taslitzky, who risked death drawing portraits on scraps of SS stationery he stole as a prisoner at a Nazi concentration camp, dies aged 94.
2010: Student protesters angry over a hike in university tuition confront riot police, vandalise government buildings and attack a car carrying Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla.
2011: Sir Zelman Cowen, Australia’s 19th governor-general, dies aged 92.
Governor-General Sir Zelman Cowen greets Queen Elizabeth II on her arrival in Canberra in 1980. Source:AP
2014: Australian con artist Samantha Azzopardi is deported from Canada to Sydney after duping Irish and Canadian authorities with false horrific tales of being a child sexual abuse victim.
2015: Australian Federal Police raid the Sydney home of Craig Steven Wright – whom media claimed was suspected to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the founder of Bitcoin – in relation to possible tax offences.
2016: South Korean MPs vote to impeach the country’s first female leader President Park Geun-hye amid protests that drew millions into the streets.
2017: Iraq announces that its war against Islamic State is over.
2018: A large brown snake slithers through the centre of Canberra, astounding shoppers.
Happy Birthday, Judi Dench! Source:Getty Images
John Milton, English poet (1608-1674) Clarence Birdseye, US frozen food inventor (1886-1956) Douglas Fairbanks Jr, US actor (1909-2000) Kirk Douglas, US actor (1916) Bob Hawke, former Australian prime minister (1929-2019) Dame Judi Dench, British actor (1934) Joan Armatrading, British singer-songwriter (1950) John Malkovich, US actor (1953) Nick Seymour, Australian rock musician of Crowded House fame (1958) Felicity Huffman, US actor (1962) Imogen Heap, English singer/songwriter (1977) Larry Emdur, Australian television personality (1964).
“The well of Providence is deep. It’s the buckets we bring to it that are small.” – Mary Webb, Scottish religious leader. (1881-1927).
The film followed on the heels of revelations published in May 1992 in Andrew Morton's book Diana: Her True Story.  The executive producers were Frank Konigsberg and Larry Sanitsky, who had previously worked together on Surviving: A Family in Crisis (1985) and Act of Vengeance (1986). They went on to produce Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (1994) and Titanic (1996) together. 
Oxenberg, who played Diana, is a daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia and a third cousin of Charles.  She had played the part of Diana once before, in The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana (1982). 
Oxenberg commented on playing Diana again:
"Diana's life has changed so much since her marriage it was like playing another person. There's so much more information about her now. The character I played the first time was quite one-dimensional, the fantasy of a young girl falling in love with a prince. There was no emotional or psychological drama or struggle or anything. It was what it was. This new film has a lot of levels, dimensions and textures. It's more human." 
Gladys Crosbie was also repeating her part, having played Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in Britannia Hospital (1982), and was considered to be a "dead ringer" for Her Majesty. 
ABC's first airing of the film on US television was on 13 December 1992,  and was well-timed, coming four days after British prime minister John Major had announced in the House of Commons the "amicable separation" of Charles and Diana.  
The film begins in the early days of the marriage of Charles and Diana, when they appear to be fond of each other and even in love. However, early scenes show them to have very different characters and interests. Charles is shown as intellectual and fastidious, a lover of opera, whereas Diana wants romance and is bored by opera. Also, the spectre of Charles's former mistress Camilla Parker-Bowles intrudes into the marriage from the beginning. Within two months of their wedding, Diana accuses Charles to his face of being in love with Camilla. A series of tribulations and infidelities is eventually shared with the world through newspaper reports. The couple ends up estranged and indifferent to each other, but still connected through two young sons, William, now aged ten, and Harry, eight.
Variety found the film "good-looking but unsatisfying" and commented that the fractured relationship of Charles and Diana was "punctuated by moments so melodramatic they would make Barbara Cartland groan". It considered that Rees had failed to convey Charles's eccentricity and that Oxenberg's Diana was too constantly about to snap, lacking Diana's earlier girlishness and her later elegance. 
Princess Diana and Charles divorce: 27 years on - How marriage was doomed from startLink copied
Meghan Markle and Harry ‘making Diana proud’ says expert
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Princess Diana and Prince Charles tied the knot at St Paul&rsquos Cathedral on July 29, 1981, and the ceremony was dubbed &ldquothe wedding of the century.&rdquo However, the fairytale was not to last and 11 years later the couple announced their separation.
On December 9, 1992, after more than a decade of marriage, Princess Diana and Prince Charles&rsquo separation was officially announced in a statement read by then Prime Minister John Major in the Commons.
Buckingham Palace released a statement on the same day in which it emphasised there were no plans for the couple to divorce.
The Buckingham Palace statement issued at the time read: &ldquoThe Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, though saddened, understand and sympathise with the difficulties that have led to this decision.
&ldquoThe fact is that, with great sadness, they have recognised that their continuing relationship would be better under separate domestic arrangements."
Princess Diana and Charles divorce: 27 years on - How marriage was doomed from start (Image: GETTY)
Princess Diana and Charles divorce: They tied the knot on July 29, 1981 (Image: GETTY)
&ldquoThey are still fond of one another and fully supportive of one another&rsquos intentions to fulfil their individual public duties as wholeheartedly as before.&rdquo
The Palace statement added both Dana and Charles would participate fully in the upbringing of their two sons - Prince William and Prince Harry and they would continue with a separate schedule of public engagements, occasionally attending events together.
While Prince Charles was to move to Clarence House, Princess Diana would remain living at Kensington Palace.
At the time both Buckingham Palace and Clarence House refused to consider the hypothetical implications of an eventual divorce - as it was believed at the time this could affect Charles&rsquos right to the throne as a divorced king.
Princess Diana and Charles divorce: In 1992 they announced their seperation (Image: GETTY)
However, Prince Charles and Diana did eventually go onto divorce in 1996 after Diana gave an explosive TV interview about her marriage to the Prince of Wales to the BBC&rsquos Panorama programme.
In the interview, Diana blamed Charles&rsquos affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles for the break down of their relationship and said there were &ldquothree people&rdquo in their marriage.
However, according to one journalist, there were signs the couple&rsquos marriage was doomed from the start.
In the days leading up to Prince Charles and Diana&rsquos wedding, they gave a joint TV interview.
BBC broadcaster Angela Rippon was one of two journalists to interview the couple and has since recognised there were red flags even then.
Speaking on Channel 5 documentary, Charles and Di: The Truth Behind Their Wedding, Ms Rippon watched back the interview.
Reflecting on the interview Ms Rippon said: &ldquoWhen I say &lsquowishing you a lifetime of happiness together&rsquo, he looks towards her and she looks down at the floor.
&ldquoGoodness, maybe we should have read so much more into to that five seconds at the end of the interview.
&ldquoThat expression on Diana&rsquos face at the end speaks volumes. gosh.
&ldquoMight have told so much more about what was to come.&rdquo
She also flagged warning signs in the couple&rsquos body language.
Princess Diana and Charles divorce: They finally divorced in 1996 (Image: GETTY)
Ms Rippon added: &ldquoI got the impression that Prince Charles was very protective towards her.
&ldquoLady Diana was almost slumped in the chair, her shoulders were up, she was in new territory, she was out of her depth.
&ldquoPut any 20-year-old in front of a television camera and say &lsquothis is an interview about what could be one of the most important days of your life and it&rsquos going to be seen by hundreds of millions of people around the world, and there&rsquos this man standing behind the person interviewing you making sure you get it right&rsquo, wouldn&rsquot you be nervous?
&ldquoCrikey anybody would be nervous.
&ldquoThere&rsquos a moment when her eye contact goes above my head and I&rsquom assuming that&rsquos when she&rsquos looking at Michael.&rdquo
After re-watching the interview Ms Rippon says: &ldquoThat was 38 years ago.
&ldquoWith the knowledge of hindsight you read so much more into body language, what was said, looks that were given, reactions.