Princess Diana and Prince Charles separated in late 1992 after 11 years of marriage, but it wasn’t until August 1996 — after multiple affairs, scandals, and one explosive TV interview — that the royal couple’s divorce was officially finalized. Here are seven things you may not have known about Diana’s life after splitting from Prince Charles.
- She lost her royal title. . . . Queen Elizabeth II reportedly wanted to let Diana keep the style of her royal highness, but Charles was “adamant” that she give it up — instead, she was given the title Diana, Princess of Wales. The loss of the honorific separated Diana from the rest of the family in such a way that she had to curtsy to those who had it, including her own children. Prince William, then 14, is said to have comforted his mother after the loss of her title by saying, “Don’t worry, Mummy, I will give it back to you one day when I am king.”
- . . . But got to keep her home. Diana was allowed to keep her apartment at Kensington Palace — which now serves as the official residence of William, Kate Middleton, and their two children — as “a central and secure home for The Princess and the children.”
- She had to ask the queen’s permission to use other perks. Diana was given access to the royal family’s jets and was able “to use the state apartments at St. James’s Palace for entertaining,” as long Queen Elizabeth gave the OK.
- Her jewelry box got a little lighter. Diana was permitted to keep all the jewelry she amassed during her marriage, with the exception of the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara, which Elizabeth gave to her as a wedding present after only wearing it once. It is now in the queen’s possession and was lent to Kate Middleton in both 2015 and 2016.
- She and Charles managed to coparent their boys despite lingering drama. The former couple was granted equal access to Prince William and Prince Harry, who were 14 and 11 at the time, respectively. The boys alternated holidays with each of their parents when they weren’t attending boarding school. Things seemed to be civil between Charles and Diana as they worked together to coparent their boys after the divorce and up until Diana’s death in August 1997.
- She dated around after the split. Diana technically began a relationship with surgeon Hasnat Khan while she was separated from Charles in 1995, and she even met his parents and introduced him to William and Harry. Following her split from Hasnat, Diana began dating Egyptian heir and film producer Dodi Fayed in 1997. The two dated for a couple months and vacationed in the French Rivera before their lives were tragically cut short by the Paris car accident.
- Overall, Diana was still considered a royal. Buckingham Palace publicly stated that as the mother of heirs to the throne, Diana would continue to be regarded as a member of the royal family and “will from time to time receive invitations to state and national public occasions” at the invitation “of the sovereign or the Government.” During a January 2007 inquest into her tragic death, Deputy Coroner of the Queen’s Household Baroness Butler-Sloss said, “I am satisfied that at her death, Diana Princess of Wales continued to be considered as a member of the Royal Household.”