Charles and Diana Divorce

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History on 28th August


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Charles and Diana Divorce

The 28th of August 1996 AD

How times change. Sixty years previously Edward VIII had been forced to abdicate by the establishment because of his love for a divorcee. In 1996 the heir to the throne, the future defender of the faith Charles Prince of Wales , divorced Princess Diana at the urging of that same establishment.

In February 1981 when Charles and Diana’s engagement was announced the majority of the press painted a picture of a fairytale romance, which in one way it may have been: a fiction.

Several times spokespersons for Buckingham Palace were forced to deny any rift between the royal couple, but they separated in 1992. By the middle of the decade revelations made by the Princess and about Charles seemed to end all possibility of reconciliation. The Queen wrote to the couple in December 1995 asking them to obtain an early divorce, and on August 28 1996 they were granted a decree nisi in the High Court.

On the day the divorce was finalised Diana became Diana, Princess of Wales , losing the ‘Her Royal Highness’ element to her title. That administrative neatening required by the divorce somehow smacked of spite. Diana was meant to keep details of the agreement secret, but it emerged that she had been given £17 million, with a payment of £350,000 annually for her official staff. It was rumoured that Prince Charles, as well as liquidating much of his own investment portfolio, had been forced to borrow from his mother to pay the lump sum.

A year and three days later Diana died in the car crash in Paris that has fuelled the fantastic fires of conspiracy ever since.

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My body has certainly wandered a good deal, but I have an uneasy suspicion that my mind has not wandered enough. - Noel Coward
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Mutiny on the Bounty - 1789, 1st Wembley FA Cup Final - 1923
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