London: Princess Diana told friends she would never have divorced if she knew how “desperate and ugly” the process would be, previously unseen letters reveal.
The late Diana, former wife to now King Charles III and mother to princes William and Harry, also wrote of her fears that her phone had been bugged by the royal family at Kensington Palace.
Diana sought support and advice from close confidantes Susie and Tarek Kassem throughout her split from Charles, then the Prince of Wales.
Diana, Princess of Wales, pictured at home in Gloucestershire in 1986.Credit:Getty
In the collection of 32 letters, put up for auction by the couple, the princess writes that negotiations over the terms of the divorce left her “on her knees”.
The Kassems said they decided to put the correspondence up for sale because “owning the documents is a great responsibility” which they do not wish to pass on to their children.
Other letters by Diana have also been auctioned. This one from the estate of the late Cyril Dickman, a former steward at Buckingham Palace, went on sale in 2017.Credit:Cheffins Fine Art/AP
One of the most revealing letters detailing Diana’s feelings on the divorce was dated April 28, 1996 when she wrote to the Kassems to apologise for having to cancel a trip to see the opera Tosca.
She wrote: “I am having a very difficult time and pressure is serious and coming from all sides. It’s too difficult sometimes to keep one’s head up and today I am on my knees and just longing for this divorce to go through as the possible cost is tremendous”.
She also spoke of how she feared her phone at Kensington Palace was “constantly” bugged and the recordings of her private conversations were passed on to the royal family.
On May 20, 1996 she wrote to Susie Kassem: “As I don’t have a mobile it is difficult to discuss personal issues as my lines here are constantly recorded and passed on. If I’d known a year ago what I’d experience going through this divorce I never would have consented. It’s desperate and ugly.”
In another letter she thanked the Kassems for letting her spend Christmas in 1995 with them while her sons were with their father at Sandringham in Norfolk.
“I was so thrilled to be invited into a family occasion particularly as I was made to feel like one of the team,” Diana wrote.
The 32 letters and cards, written between 1995 and 1996, are expected to fetch about £90,000 ($157,000) in the sale at Lay’s Auctioneers in Penzance, Cornwall on February 16. Proceeds will go to charities Diana supported.
The Telegraph, London
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