Why Princess Diana Felt ‘Torn’ in Her Marriage

Princess Diana wasn’t happy in her tumultuous marriage with Prince Charles. It ultimately ended, but not before it got ugly on both sides. Before the separation and subsequent divorce, Princess Diana felt “torn” in the life she was in with a whole world outside the palace walls. She wanted her freedom for a long time but was still unwilling to make the first move and was opposed to divorce.

Princess Diana was ‘torn’

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Diana was dealing with a lot throughout her marriage. Her husband was carrying on a notorious affair with Camilla Parker Bowles and there was no sign of it letting up. At the same time, Diana was forced to accept it and conform to her role as the Princess of Wales, a title she was given without a manual or rulebook.

According to Andrew Morton’s biography on the Princess in which she was the secret source, Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words, she was a woman dealing with complex issues while smiling through it all.

“She was tormented every day and in every way by the dilemma of her position, continually torn between her sense of duty to the Queen and nation and her desire to find the happiness she craved,” Morton wrote. “Yet in order to find happiness she felt she had to divorce; if she divorced she worried she would inevitably lose the children she lived for and who gave her such joy.”

Princess Diana didn’t want a divorce

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Princess Diana was terrified of letting the public down and losing her children at the same time. She was always a people pleaser, doing what was expected of her instead of what she wanted. At the same time, she opposed divorce and didn’t want one. She saw what divorce did to her parents and how it changed her and her siblings forever.

She didn’t want that for Prince William and Prince Harry. Diana was already living apart from Charles by 1992, but still she held on in the marriage. The thought of a similar situation to the one she went through as a child was appalling and not something she was about to let happen to her kids.

Prince Charles was having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles

Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles did a lot of damage to the marriage between Charles and Diana. She was clearly upset with the affair from the beginning. Diana had her suspicions about their relationship even before her marriage to Prince Charles. She would overhear them in private calls and Camilla seemed to know things she shouldn’t have known.

Diana even confronted her husband on numerous occasions about the affair which did absolutely nothing. On one occasion she even got up the nerve to confront Camilla, which unfortunately didn’t seem to help the situation except let Camilla know that Diana was fully aware of what was going on.

Princess Diana made her feelings quite clear in the BBC’s Panorama interview with Martin Bashir where she said the famous line, “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”

What changed Diana’s mind?

Princess Diana finally agreed to an end to the marriage after the Queen wrote urging divorce. A spokesman from the palace even said the Prince was in agreement with the divorce. Prince Diana was unfortunately forced into it and had to agree to the proceedings.

Diana and Charles were officially divorced in 1996. Princess Diana would go on to tragically lose her life in a car accident in 1997.