Princess Diana used honeymoon to 'catch up on sleep' rare letters reveal

Nicola Harley
Prince Charles kisses his bride, Princess Diana, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London, after their wedding - AP1981

It was a marriage doomed from the start as letters sent by Princess Diana reveal she spent her honeymoon "catching up on sleep".

In a rare insight into Prince Charles's marriage to Diana it appears the spark disappeared early on according to a letter sent by his former wife on their honeymoon to her lady-in-waiting.

Written on Royal Yacht Britannia crested paper and dated August 15, 1981, she wrote: "The honeymoon was a perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep...."

The couple married at St Paul's Cathedral in July 1981, before separating 11 years later in 1992 and finally divorcing in 1996.

Prince Charles with his arm around Princess Diana during their honeymoon at Balmoral in Scotland. Credit: Getty Images/Getty Images

The letter is included in a rare batch of correspondence between Diana and the Royal household which is set to be auctioned in Gloucestershire next month.

Sent to her personal secretary Jane Parsons MBE, the 25 lots include a typed list of wedding gifts; dried flowers from the Princess's wedding bouquet; letters written during the couple's honeymoon on the Royal Yacht Britannia, and following the birth of Prince William, as well as thank you letters, Christmas cards, photographs and invitations to numerous Royal events.

A typed tally of correspondence received after the birth of Prince William includes details of 4,500 baby presents and records that 24,000 thank you letters were sent out by ladies in waiting.

Letters to "everyone in the office" give thanks for her 21st birthday present and record her "gratitude at having such a wonderful collection of people looking after us". 

The Princess also hopes the staff are not left "exhausted, overworked and underpaid" after the birth of the new baby prince.

Letter Princess Diana wrote on her honeymoon reveals she used it to "catch up on sleep" Credit: EPA/EPA

Thanking Miss Parsons and other staff for the gift of a silver photo frame, the Princess says: "Recently I seem to have endless pictures of William, so it's lovely to think I'll be able to frame one of them for our bedroom."

She confides: "I have never been more confused than on my birthday as presents and telegrams were pouring in for W at KP as well as my own – so at the moment I just seem to be churning out letters!"

A letter on Kensington Palace crested paper dated July 5th, 1983, shows how pleased Princess Diana was to see her young son when she returned from the Royal tour of Australia.

She tells Miss Parsons: "William recognised us instantly, which was a relief as sometimes children resent their parents leaving them! It's marvellous to be home again and hopefully we won't have to do any more travelling this year... Wishful thinking!"

There are also two letters to the office staff, written by Charles and Diana just a few days after Prince William's birth, both on crested paper, on consecutive days June 25 and June 26, 1982.

Diana writes: "I know you are being buried under a avalanche of mail......don't despair, there won't be another baby Wales until I've had a decent rest." 

In his letter Prince Charles is "apologetic at all the extra work we are probably going to land on you!"

Princess Diana's most iconic fashion moments

 

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