Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation after 12 years of marriage in 1992 but both remained active players in their sons’ lives. The Princess of Wales was repeatedly spotted having fun together with Prince William and Prince Harry on holiday or days out at amusement parks. But one picture of the two princes and their friends spending time with her former husband sparked a “displeased” reaction from Diana, according to former newspaper editor Eve Pollard.
Speaking to Yahoo’s The Royal Box, Ms Pollard said: “This is years and years later and by now she was I think certainly separated, maybe divorced, from Prince Charles.
“There was a lovely picture of him taking William and Harry skiing I think and they were accompanied by two other boys and in this picture, I think Prince Charles pretended to strangle one of the boys.
“We wrote a piece saying ‘he obviously knows his sons’ friends well’, which means he obviously spends quite a bit of time with them, otherwise you wouldn’t pretend to strangle a nine… 10… 11-year-old, and I think she wasn’t very pleased with that.”
Ms Pollard claimed Princess Diana was unhappy with the picture as the snap had come at a time when she felt hurt and believed to be the parent with a closer relationship with William and Harry.
Princess Diana was not pleased with the picture, Pollard claimed
Prince Charles was photographed having fun with his sons and their firends
She continued: “She was the earth mother to these boys – you know, all those pictures of them at Alton towers and all those pictures of them on holidays, on Necker, all sorts of places.
“And this was at the stage where I think she was still feeling very hurt and aggressive towards (Charles).
“You know, there are stages in life and that happened then.”
The relationship between the Prince and Princess of Wales became so tense in the last years of their marriage the Queen is believed to have intervened with a letter urging them to divorce.
Princess Diana had a very hands-on approach to raising William and Harry and wanted them to have a normal childhood
Princess Diana took her sons on several holidays and spent much time with them
Prince Charles agreed to the request but Diana took two months before giving her assent to the Queen.
The couple went on to officially divorce in 1996, a year before the Princess of Wales tragically died in a car accident in Paris.
Royal author Ingrid Seward claimed in her book The Royal Family at War that Diana shared surprising details on the end of their marriage before her death.
Ms Seward said: “Diana did tell me something quite interesting.
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Princess Diana and Prince Charles had a tense relationship in the last years of their marriage
Princess Diana and Prince Charles were married 11 years before they separated
“She said that on the day of the divorce, she and Charles sat down together on the sofa and they both cried.
“It was this crazy separation but by the time the divorce was finalized, they were on much better terms.”
Prince Charles personally travelled to France to escort his late ex-wife back to the United Kingdom for the state funerals.
William and Harry have since taken on the mantle of their mother’s commitment to charity work, with the Duke of Sussex last month inaugurating the Princess Diana Hospital in Huambo, Angola.
The prince also visited the exact site where the Princess of Wales was pictured walking down a minefield during her last visit to the African country in 1997.
Following the visit, Harry said: “I am humbled and honoured that my mother’s work and commitment to de-mining continues to inspire, and that her legacy is being recognized and celebrated today with the naming of the centre in her honour.”
“It has been an honour to retrace my mother’s steps today. I lost her 22 years ago, but the memory of her is with me daily, and her legacy lives on – which is why I am so happy to name the centre The Princess Diana Orthopaedic Centre.”