The Real Reason Kensington Palace Was Known as the ‘The Mad House’ at One Time

Life for Princess Diana as a member of the Royal Family was full of turmoil. She was trying to be the Princess of Wales in less than ideal conditions. Her marriage with Prince Charles disintegrated early on and things became even harder for Diana.

Princess Diana knew about Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles

The Prince and Princess of Wales
The Prince and Princess of Wales leave Gibraltar on the Royal Yacht Britannia | Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Princess Diana learned really quickly that Prince Charles was having an affair with the woman who is now his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Diana’s marriage with Charles never stood a chance. Charles was already enamored with Camilla Parker Bowles and Diana had her suspicions even before the marriage. Diana confronted Charles on multiple occasions about the affair, which did nothing to stop it from continuing.

Their last official trip together

The marriage between Prince Charles and Princess Diana broke apart even further and by that time she had already given him his heir and a spare in Prince William and Prince Harry. Charles and Diana went on their final official trip together in October 1991 to Ontario, Canada along with their children.

Princess Diana’s biography is released

Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Prince Charles
Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Prince Charles | Terry Fincher/Getty Images

Only a few short months later, Andrew Morton’s explosive biography of the Princess would be released called Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words. Diana was the secret source for the work and even participated in taped conversations with Dr. James Colthurst for Morton to use for material in his novel. The work goes into enormous detail about just how unhappy everyone was on both sides.

Diana seemed to be ‘happiest’ when Charles was away

The book details how much things had broken down between the Prince and Princess of Wales. Their relationship was hanging on by just a few threads. “As a close friend commented: ‘She seems to dread Charles’s appearance. The days when she is happiest is when he is in Scotland. When he is at Kensington Palace she feels absolutely at a loss and like a child again. She loses all the ground she has built up when she is on her own,’” Morton wrote.

‘The Mad House’

Princess Diana was just a shy girl when she met Prince Charles and got caught up in a whirlwind courtship and marriage. The pair didn’t know enough about each other before they married and quickly realized how incompatible they were. Apparently, the tension was obvious for everyone, especially at Kensington Palace.

“As Oonagh Toffolo observed: ‘It is a different atmosphere at Kensington Palace when he is there. It is tense and she is tense. She doesn’t have the freedom she would like when he’s around. It is quite sad to see the stagnation there,’” wrote Morton. “Another frequent guest simply called it ‘The Mad House.’”

Eventually, the pair finally decided to separate and then finalize their divorce in 1996. Diana still remained the most photographed woman in the world. She continued to use her celebrity for good and to promote the causes she cared about. Princess Diana didn’t get to enjoy her freedom for long though. She died in a tragic car accident alongside her partner, Dodi Fayed on August 31, 1997.