Princess Diana ‘Joined the Royal Family to Be Queen’ Not Just a Princess Claims Her Private Secretary

Princess Diana is best known for being the Princess of Wales, but one of her trusted employees revealed that she had plans to eventually become Queen. Patrick Jephson, who worked as Diana’s private secretary, claims that she had her sights set on becoming Queen once Prince Charles sat on the throne. But once their marriage unraveled in the 1990s, Diana shifted her focus to a life outside of the royal spotlight.

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

Did Princess Diana want to divorce Prince Charles?

When Diana, Princess of Wales, tied the knot with Prince Charles in 1981, she was thought to be the perfect match for the future King of the United Kingdom. Not only was she raised in the same social circle as the royals, but she also hadn’t dated anyone serious prior to Charles.

According to Express, in his book from 2007 titled Charles: The Man who will be King, Howard Hodgson wrote that Diana quickly fell in love with Charles and was ready to marry him after their third date.

“Moreover, she had made up her mind, in a most bizarre way, that she wishes to marry him despite the fact that she hardly knew him and, even worse, had — unlike most of her rivals — given little or no thought to the consequences of this action,” Hodgson shared.

Diana Charles wedding
Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles | Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Princess Diana may have had her heart set on Charles, but their marriage quickly unraveled. By the early 1990s, the pair separated, and Diana revealed to the world that Charles had been having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.

The two did not finalize their divorce until 1996, a year before Diana’s tragic death in Paris. In the years leading up to the divorce, Hodgson says that Diana wanted to fix her marriage and that it was Queen Elizabeth who urged them to make their breakup official.

Diana wanted to be Queen

In an interview back in 2013, Diana’s former secretary, Jephson, revealed that she had grand plans for her future in the monarchy. Jephson explained how Diana married Charles with the notion that she would become Queen once he inherited the crown.

“You must remember that she didn’t join the Royal Family to be Princess,” he shared. “She joined the Royal Family to be Queen.”

Princess Diana’s split from Charles in 1992, of course, changed her plans. With her future now uncertain, Jephson says that Diana found herself “yearning for normality” and that her actions in those days were a reaction to the trauma of her failed marriage.

Princess Diana tiara
Princess Diana, Princess of Wales | Anwar Hussein/WireImage

To deal with her struggles, Diana sought to have a “normal” relationship with Hasnat Khan, who was a heart surgeon from Pakistan. Jephson says that Diana hoped to live outside of the royal spotlight and had come to terms with her new role.

Although it sounds like Diana’s plans were derailed by her failed marriage, her comments from a 1995 interview seemingly contradict Jephson’s argument.

Did Princess Diana think she would be Queen someday?

A year before she finalized her divorce, Diana famously said that she would rather be the “queen of people’s hearts” instead of the Queen of the United Kingdom.

“I don’t see myself being queen of this country,” Diana added. “I don’t think many people will want me to be queen.”

Diana added that her comment about “many people” was meant to refer to the royal family, many of whom concluded that she was a “non-starter.”

Diana Charles
Prince Charles And Princess Diana During A Royal Tour In Toronto, Canada | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Writing in his 1992 book, Princess Diana: Her True Story In Her Own Words, Andrew Morton said that Diana never thought she would sit beside Charles on the throne. She reportedly said that she knew things would not work out from the very start.

As a counter, Jephson argued that Diana already knew that she was going to finalize her divorce in 1995, which explains her comments about being the “queen of people’s hearts.”

Did Prince Harry marry Meghan Markle because of his mom?

From her work in the charitable world to her influence on the fashion industry, Diana’s legacy extended well beyond her years. While Diana really did become the “queen of people’s hearts,” people have compared her to Prince Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle.

Before she married Harry, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, had already done a lot of charitable work. After they got married, Meghan’s influence grew more substantial, and the couple’s recent decision to leave the royal family mirrors Diana’s exit in some ways.

Princess Diana dancing
Diana, Princess Of Wales, watched by President Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy, dances with John Travolta at the White House | Anwar Hussein/WireImage

According to Marie Claire, Paul Burrell, Princess Diana’s butler, believes that the similarities between Meghan and Diana is what attracted Harry in the first place.

“Harry went for and married Meghan because she’s like Diana,” he shared. “Both women who would always stand up for what they believe in and wouldn’t be pushovers.”

Burrell added that there is one big difference between Meghan and Diana. When Meghan tied the knot with Harry in 2018, she already had experience in the spotlight. Princess Diana, on the other hand, had to learn how to live in the royal spotlight after she exchanged vows.