Diana and Charles’ secret separation sparked ‘corrosive effect’

Princess Diana and Charles: Expert discusses separation of royals

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Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ seperation was officially announced in 1992. According to Patrick Jephson, who worked as Diana’s private secretary for eight years and was also the Princess’s equerry, there was a “very very stressful period” leading up to the public announcement, which sparked “corrosive effect’ among royal aides working for the Royal Family.

“As went through a period of, I suppose, real unhappiness when the Prince and Princess were publicly still together, but privately we knew they were apart.

“There was a very very stressful period leading up to the public announcement of the fact that they were going to separate, that was in 1992.”

He added: “So, you can imagine, if you’ve ever worked in an organisation where you are concealing some big secret, it has a very corrosive effect.

“It’s not good for morale.”

The former private secretary added: “Even though the news of the separation of the Prince and Princess was really unwelcomed and a trauma, really, for country, a big constitutional headache.”

Despite this, Mr Jephson said, for him, he was “relieved” because it meant the royal aides could “deal with the world as it really was, instead of the world as we were pretending it was”.

Rachel Bowie, one of the hosts of the Royally Obsessed podcast, agreed said that it was “much easier to operate from a place of truth”.

Depite the announcement of their separation, Diana and Charles both carried on with their official royal duties.

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According to Patrick Jephson, the Queen took a back seat during the breakdown and remained “strictly neutral”.

He claimed that the monarch carefully decided not to “favour the Prince or the Princess”.

Their separation, in 1992, was announced by Prime Minister John Major

The then-Prime Minister explained that the royal couple were separating “amicably”.


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The couple’s divorce was granted in 1996, four years after the announcement of their separation.

Diana and Charles were married for 15 years.

During their marriage, the couple had two sons. Prince William was born in June 1982 and two years later, in 1984, Prince Harry was born.

Following the couple’s wedding in 1981, their marriage suffered due to their incompatibility and extramarital affairs.


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