Princess Diana’s letters during ‘ugly’ divorce from King Charles auctioned for six-figure sum

Diana and Charles’s divorce was finalised four years after they separated, in 1992

Maanya Sachdeva
Saturday 18 February 2023 12:45 GMT
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Princess Diana’s letters to two of her close friends, written during her divorce from now-King Charles, have been auctioned for a six-figure sum.

Lay’s Auctioneers announced on Thursday (16 February) that the collection of correspondence addressed to the Princess of Wales’s close friends Susie and Tarek Kassem had been sold for £141,150.

Describing the lots, the UK-based auction house said: “Some letters do touch on the enormous stress she was experiencing during periods of very public heartbreak, yet her strength of character and her generous and witty disposition shine through.”

In Lot 416, dated 28 April 1996, Diana apologised for cancelling a trip to the opera with the Kassems, explaining the despair she felt over the divorce from then-Prince Charles.

She wrote: “It’s too difficult sometimes to keep ones [sic] head up and today I’m on my knees and just longing for this divorce to go through as the possible cost is tremendous.”

The letter, addressed to both Susie and Tarek, was sold for £12,500.

In a different letter, from 20 May 1996, Diana said she believed her phones are bugged.

Writing to Susie, she said: “I telephoned a couple of times today to catch up, but the line was engaged. As I don’t have a mobile, it is difficult to discuss personal items. As my lines here are constantly recorded and passed on.”

A letter from Diana to her close friends Susie and Tarek Kassem
A letter from Diana to her close friends Susie and Tarek Kassem (Lay’s Auctioneers)

Diana added: “If I had known a year ago what I’d experience going through this divorce, I’d never have consented, it’s desperate and ugly.”

This letter was sold for £23,000.

A few days after her divorce from Charles was finalised on 28 August 1996, she told her friend: “I am more than happy to have my freedom & reckon that I’m very fortunate to have a second chance!”

The pair separated in 1992, after 11 years of marriage. They share two sons, Prince William, 40, and Prince Harry, 38.

In a letter dated 17 December 1996, Diana informed Susie she would be travelling abroad on the 24th “as not being a lover of Christmas, I will top myself if I remain here!”

She added: “I hope 1997 will be an easier year for us all.”

Diana tragically died in a car crash on 31 August 1997 at the age of 36.

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