AP NEWS
Related topics

Diana Says She Doesn’t Want to Divorce Prince Charles

November 21, 1995

LONDON (AP) _ Both Princess Diana and Prince Charles were unfaithful during their marriage, but she does not want a divorce, Diana said in an interview broadcast Monday night.

In her first public comments about her private life, Diana told the BBC: ``I don’t want a divorce.″ But she said she would be willing to discuss the possibility with Charles if he feels differently.

``I await my husband’s decision on which way we’re all going to go,″ she said. ``... To date, neither of us has discussed this subject, though the rest of the world seems to have.″

In a candid interview, the 34-year-old Princess of Wales described how her fairy-tale marriage ended because Charles was in love with another woman, Camilla Parker Bowles.

Charles admitted in 1994 to having had an affair after his marriage broke down. Diana’s interview was seen as her retort to the confession.

The princess said she was devastated when she found out about the affair in 1986. She said it fueled a sense of failure that led to an eating disorder and self-mutilation.

``There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,″ she said. ``... It was pretty devastating.″

Diana said she became bulimic, and ``escaped″ into a cycle of bingeing and vomiting. She also said she hurt her arms and legs, but did not specify how.

``It was a symptom of what was going on in my marriage. I was crying for help, but I was giving the wrong signals,″ she said, adding that ``I’m free of it now.″

By 1987, Diana said she and Charles were effectively leading separate lives in private, but ``we were a good, good team in public.″ She disclosed that Charles asked for the formal separation, which was announced in December 1992 after 11 years of marriage.

Asked if her relationship with Army Maj. James Hewitt, her former riding instructor, had gone beyond a close friendship, Diana said: ``Yes it did, yes.″

``Were you unfaithful?″ asked reporter Martin Bashir.

``Yes, I adored him,″ Diana said. ``Yes, I was in love with him.″

She denied having an adulterous relationship with her friend James Gilbey, but confirmed that he was the man who called her ``Squidgy″ in a secretly taped telephone conversation. She said the release of that tape ``was done to hurt me″ and was ``the first time I knew what it felt to be outside the net″ of the royal family.

Diana spoke quietly, almost wanly, and she swallowed hard and appeared near tears several times during the hour-long interview. But she also laughed and repeatedly flashed the shy smile that has been her trademark.

She wore a navy suit with a white shell and dark stockings. Her hair looked slightly tousled.

``I don’t sit here with resentment,″ she said. ``I sit here with sadness because the marriage hasn’t worked. I sit here with hope because there’s a future ahead, a future for my husband, a future for myself, a future for the monarchy.″

Prince Charles was reported to be at his home in Gloucestershire. It was not known whether he was watching. Buckingham Palace said it would not comment on the interview.

The British Broadcasting Corp. said about 15 million people were expected to watch the interview, recorded Nov. 5, on its ``Panorama″ program Monday night.

The princess was at a charity gala when the interview was broadcast, and Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip _ celebrating their 48th wedding anniversary _ were attending the Royal Variety Show.

The interview was scheduled to air in the United States at 9 p.m. EST Friday on ABC-TV, which bought the American broadcast rights.

Diana said that once the separation was announced, she became a liability to the royal household. Visits abroad were stopped and letters got lost, she said, without specifying who was behind the campaign.

``Everything changed after we separated, and life became very difficult,″ she said.

But she said of herself: ``She won’t go quietly, that’s the problem. I will fight to the end, because I believe that I have a role to fulfill, and I’ve got two children to bring up.″

Diana said her sons, William, 13, and Harry, 11, were the main reason she did not want a divorce. ``Our boys, that’s what matters, isn’t it?″ she said.

She said when she and Charles separated, she told her son William about Charles’ affair, explaining that ``although I still loved papa, I couldn’t live under the same roof with him, and likewise with him.″

Diana said she wants to be an ambassador for Britain, but doesn’t expect to ever become queen.

Nonetheless, she said, ``I’d like to be a queen in people’s hearts.″

AP RADIO
Update hourly