It was news that stunned the world — even if the tabloids had long claimed the royal marriage was in trouble: On August 28, 19 years ago, Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorced.
Diana — “The People’s Princess” — and Prince Charles wed in 1981 but by 1985, the marriage was reportedly already in dire straits. The pair, who had two sons together — Princes William and Harry — stuck it through for 14 years because, as Diana later told the BBC’s Martin Bashir, they “didn’t want to disappoint the public.”
Even before the couple wed, you could sense the pressure they both were under. In one interview, they were asked if they were in love. Charles followed up Diana’s quick “of course” with the infamous line: “Whatever in love means.”
During her revealing 1995 interview, Diana told Bashir, “The pressure on us both as a couple with the media was phenomenal, and misunderstood by a great many people.”
Sitting down with Bashir was an audacious move on the princess’ part; at the time, the 34-year-old had been separated from her husband since 1992. A month after giving the interview, Queen Elizabeth II urged the couple to get “an early divorce” — which they did on Aug. 28, 1996.
During the interview, Diana also addressed Charles’ alleged affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles — an old friend he’d go onto marry in 2005.
“There were three in the marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” she quipped.
In the end, Diana told Bashir she was content with her standing in the public eye, even if it was unlikely she’d ever be queen.
“I’d like to be a queen of people’s hearts, in people’s hearts, but I don’t see myself being Queen of this country,” she said.
A year after the split, Princess Diana was tragically killed in a car accident in Paris.
Below, read through the most interesting quotes from Princess Diana’s 1995 conversation with the BBC:
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