When speaking of Princess Diana, people often talk about her relationship with her ex-husband Prince Charles or her children Prince William and Prince Harry. But at one point, the closest member of the royal family to Diana, besides her children, was Prince Philip. Unfortunately, that relationship went south after one critical comment from Philip.
Philip loved Diana from the beginning
When joining a new family, it is important that the members of that family make an effort to welcome you. When Diana joined the royal family, Philip often went over and above to make her feel comfortable.
“When Diana first joined the royal family, it was Philip who came to her aid, sitting next to her at black-tie dinners and chatting to her while she learned to master the art of small talk,” an excerpt from Ingrid Seward’s new book Prince Philip Revealed obtained by The Daily Mail reads.
And even as Diana and Charles began to drift apart, Philip remained helpful.
“As the couple’s marriage began to crumble and her increasingly erratic behaviour threatened the image of the monarchy, he tried again to help, setting up a highly personal correspondence with her and explaining that he understood the difficulties of marrying into the Royal Family,” the book states.
Prince Philip and Diana’s letters
Prince Philip and Diana took to writing each other letters after her marriage to Charles fell apart. Philip even signed the letters, “Pa.”
“We never dreamed he might feel like leaving you for her,” Philip wrote of his son. “I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind leaving you for Camilla. Such a prospect never entered our heads.”
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“If an international ban on mines can be secured it means, looking far ahead, that the world may be a safer place for this generation's grandchildren.” – Princess Diana, 1997 Today in Angola The Duke of Sussex will retrace his mother’s steps to see the legacy of her work and how her connection with this community helped make the elimination of landmines a reality. In 1997 Diana Princess of Wales visited Huambo to bring global attention to the crisis of landmines and the people whose lives were being destroyed. Two decades later, the area has transformed from desolate and uninhabitable to lively and vibrant, with colleges, schools and small businesses. The Duke is humbled to be visiting a place and a community that was so special to his mother, and to recognise her tireless mission as an advocate for all those she felt needed her voice the most, even if the issue was not universally popular. Princess Diana’s visit helped change the course of history, and directly led to the Convention against Anti-Personal Landmines, also known as the Ottawa Treaty. Today, with the support of @thehalotrust, Angola now has a stated aim under the Treaty to be clear of known mines by 2025. Despite great progress, 60 million people worldwide still live in fear of landmines every day. During his visit today, The Duke will walk along the street which was once the minefield where his mother was famously pictured. #RoyalTourAfrica #RoyalVisitAngola Photo©️PA
Diana wrote back in June of 1992.
“‘Dearest Pa, I was so pleased to receive your letter, and particularly so to read that you are desperately anxious to help.., I am very grateful to you for sending me such an honest and heartfelt letter. I hope you will read mine in the same spirit. With fondest love, from Diana.’”
They continued writing back and forth for a while, always thanking one another for writing.
“‘Dear Pa, Thank you for responding to my long letter so speedily,’” Diana wrote on another occasion. “I agree this form of communication does seem to be the only effective one in the present situation, but at least it’s a start, and I am grateful for it. I hope you don’t find this letter over-long, but I was so immensely relieved to receive such a thoughtful letter as the one you sent me, showing such obvious willingness to help. My fondest love, Diana.’”
In his letters, Philip offered to help Diana work on her marriage.
“I can only repeat what I have said before,’” he wrote. “If invited, I will always do my utmost to help you and Charles to the best of my ability. But I am quite ready to concede that I have no talent as a marriage counsellor!’”
What ended their friendship?
As the letters went on, Philip wrote that Charles was wrong for getting with Camilla but that Diana was also wrong in her extramarital affairs as well. He even asked Diana to reflect on why her husband might have gone back to Camilla. Having any blame placed on her reportedly did not sit well with Diana.
“Eventually it was too much for Diana,” the book reads. “Unable to take criticism of any sort, she decided she hated Philip (that is what she told me) and his mission failed.”
And with Diana’s revealing BBC Panorama interview, she effectively shut the door on her relationship with Philip for good.
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