Diana, the former Princess of Wales, was on everyone’s lips in the 80s and 90s. As a key member of the British royal family, the princess was one of the most photographed women in the world, frequently appearing on newspaper covers worldwide.
It is nevertheless the tragic accident in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris in 1997 that has perhaps stuck in the memory the most, after what is said to be one of the world’s most famous car accidents.
Diana, her boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed, driver Henri Paul and security guard Trevor Rees-Jones were in the car. Dodi and Henri died instantly. Trevor was badly injured.
Gets a special role during the coronation
Diana was taken to the Hospital la Salpêtrière, but was confirmed dead on 31 August at 04:00 – aged 36. On September 6, the funeral was watched by 2.5 billion people.
Once again, the whole world was in shock and bottomless grief, and thoughts quickly turned to the two children left behind, William and Harry.
Took over the throne
Prince William (40) is currently number one in the British line of succession, and is expected to take over the throne after his father, King Charles (74), dies. There is no tradition for a reigning monarch to abdicate in Britain, and it was thus never expected that Charles would become king before his mother, Queen Elizabeth, died.
The Queen left a whole world in mourning when she passed away on September 8 last year. The second she took her last breath, Charles became king. This weekend he will be officially crowned.
It may still come as a surprise to some that Princess Diana spoke about this topic already 27 years ago.
In November 1995, less than two years before her tragic death, Diana gave an exclusive interview to BBC1 Panoramawhere she opened up about her very public and shocking divorce from then-Prince Charles – which also affected the lives of Prince William and Prince Harry.
With Prince William, who had recently turned 13, second in line to the throne, Diana was asked if she thought her son should take the throne directly after the Queen.
– Was arrested in a bachelor party
– Do you think it would make more sense, in the wake of the marital problems you and the Prince of Wales have had, if the position of monarch was directly passed on to your son, Prince William? asked the journalist Martin Bashir at the time, according to People.
– Well, then you have to see that William is very young at the moment, so would you want a burden like that to be placed on his shoulders at such a young age? I can’t answer that question, Diana replied.
Bashir then rephrased the question:
– Is it your wish that Prince William, when he reaches the right age, should take over for the Queen instead of the Prince of Wales?
– My wish is that my husband finds peace in his soul, and with that comes other things (than becoming king journ.anm.), yes, she said at the time.
Reveals the “truth” about King Charles
– Did she know something?
Anders Johan Stavseng, royal house expert in Se og Hør, says that Princess Diana clearly expressed that she did not want the 74-year-old to become king.
– This would be Diana’s nightmare. Diana made it clear that she did not want Charles to become king. Diana wanted her eldest son Prince William to take over the throne from Elizabeth, if he was old enough at the succession.
– We can only speculate as to why Princess Diana so firmly believed that her ex-husband was unfit to be king. Did she know something that others didn’t? She took the truth with her to the grave.
– Desperate and ugly
Stavseng further explains that the princess felt deceived by her ex-husband. As is well known, he started an affair with Camilla (75) while he was still married to Diana. Camilla is crowned queen this weekend.
– The adultery was probably one of the reasons why she thought he was not fit to be king.
Speculation abounded for a long time about whether Charles would ever become king, mostly because Queen Elizabeth sat as reigning monarch for seven decades, without expressing her intention to step down.
However, the Queen came out publicly for the first time in April 2018 and endorsed Prince Charles as the next head of the Commonwealth, according to People. At the time, she asked all the heads of the Commonwealth for her son to take over for her as head of the United Kingdom and the rest of the Commonwealth.
Although the monarch had wanted to skip Charles in favor of Prince William, she did not have the power to choose a successor outright. The parliamentary act “Act of settlement”, which was adopted in 1701, means that the monarch’s heir must be his or her direct descendant. In this case it was King Charles, not William.
The monarch also has no political power, and thus cannot change laws that have already been passed.