Inside Charles and Diana’s last month together that lead to the split that shocked the world


PRINCESS DIANA’S bitter 1992 split from Prince Charles will get the big-screen treatment in new movie Spencer.

The flick, now being filmed with Kristen ­Stewart playing the ­troubled princess, depicts three days when Diana apparently decided her marriage was over.

New film Spencer will depict three days when Diana, played by Kristen Stewart, apparently decided her marriage was over

In fact it took more than a month for their split to be decided.

Here, we reveal what really happened on the days that shook the Royal Family.

But it took than a month for the couple, who married in 1981, to decide to split

Monday, November 2, 1992

THE Queen was rattled. Revelations of Charles’s infidelity with Camilla Parker Bowles in Andrew Morton’s book Diana: Her True Story, published earlier that year, had shaken her.

With Diana’s unhappiness front-page news, Her Majesty called for a review of their marriage.

On November 2 Charles and Diana embarked on ‘the togetherness tour’

Charles and Diana were ordered on a four-day trip to South Korea billed as “the togetherness tour” and Fleet Street editors were told the couple were firmly as one.

Palace aides even told journalists the itinerary had been turned upside-down so the pair could spend more time together — and claimed they were staying in the same room at the £2,000-a-night Presidential Suite at Seoul’s Grand Hyatt hotel.

But when the couple stepped off the plane at Seoul airport, their grim faces said it all. They barely looked at each other.

Buckingham Palace spokesman Dickie Arbiter reportedly remarked: “Oh f***, we’ve lost this one.” He later said: “There was no contact between them. It was as if an aisle curtain had descended between them.”

One reporter later described the “hatred that radiated between the two as they came down the steps of the plane”.

At their first engagement, at Korea’s national cemetery, the couple were like strangers as they laid a wreath. It was even claimed Diana had initially refused to perform the ­ceremony next to her husband.

Royal reporter Phil Dampier said: “For years we knew the marriage was on the rocks and they were spending time apart.

“But Buckingham Palace would always find an excuse not to confirm it. The lid was blown off with Andrew Morton’s book and everything was about to change.”

Tuesday, November 3

THE Sun dubbed the couple “The Glums” as their unhappy faces adorned the front page.

Another paper screamed: “Tortured: How much longer can this tragedy go on?”

The following day, the couple’s glum faces adorned the front page

Royal photographer Kent Gavin captured the mood in a famous picture of the ­melancholy pair looking in different directions.

He said: “It summed up the break-up. They were not happy. Even when they were standing next to each other like that, she was bored, he was bored.”

At the Presidential Palace, the couple squirmed when President Roh Tae-woo said they “looked like a beautiful couple together”.

ITN reporter David Chater asked them what everyone was thinking: “Are you really happy to be here?” Diana replied matter-of-factly: “Yes, thank you.”


At a banquet held by the president, Charles made two references to Diana but she stared blankly ahead.

Royal-watchers exchanged glances as Charles said, “We are fortunate in the depth of our relationship,” when speaking about the UK’s dealings with Korea.

Diplomats noted the obvious tension. One observer said: “She was almost recoiling in horror at even a glance, let alone a touch from him.”

But Palace sources still insisted the couple were fine and had tours together planned in the spring.

It was later claimed Diana called the Duchess of York, who had split from Prince Andrew ­earlier that year, and said: “I’ve got to get out of here.”

Wednesday, November 4

UNABLE to share a smile, Charles and Diana visited Bulguksa, a ­romantic temple for lovers.

Yet they could not bear to look at each other. Diana waited behind Charles to stop photographers taking pictures of her by his side.

Diana couldn’t look more miserable at a formal banquet

Earlier they sat cross-legged on silk cushions before an 8th Century stone Buddha in a grotto at Seokguram as the head monk said a prayer for their “prosperity and happiness”.

The couple just stared ahead.

Thursday, November 5

DIANA grabbed the limelight as she went on engagements without Charles, smiling for cameras and mingling with well-wishers.

Meanwhile, her husband visited a shipyard with far fewer journalists and photographers in tow.

The princess looked happier on a solo engagement in South Korea, but a very different story was unfolding away from the cameras

During this visit Charles’s deputy private secretary Peter Westburcot let slip that things were far from fine in the marriage.

Under pressure, he said: “We know that they’re not [fine] but we’re doing our best with them.” It was the first time any Palace official had confirmed what the world felt it already knew.

One reporter suggested it may even have been a deliberate leak.

James Whittaker said: “I think the lid on the pot was so red-hot by now, there was likely to have been an explosion.”

Confirmation spread round the royal Press pack. Two hours, later Sky News interrupted broadcasts to say: “Palace official confirms marriage is on the rocks.”

Charles and Diana later sat stoney-faced side by side at a ballet and were not once seen speaking.

Meanwhile news of their increased frostiness spread across the globe.

Friday, November 6

THE couple flew to Hong Kong as headlines yelled about a marriage now officially on the rocks. On the three-hour flight, Westburcot sat with Diana, trying to persuade her not to leave Charles.

Royal biographer Penny Junor later wrote: “During the flight he tried hard to talk the Princess out of separation.

On a three-hour flight to Hong Kong, Westburcot tried to persuade Diana not to leave Charles

“He tried to persuade her it would be best for everyone if they could find a modus vivendi [way of living].

“She had her own friends, her own life, the children had the stability of two parents and she was good at her job. Why did she want to destroy it all? It was to no avail.


“By the time the Prince was ­looking at the morning papers, the Princess was on a plane for London, determined that she was going to end the sham of their marriage.”

Charles had seemingly been aware of Westburcot’s “gaffe” — and the ­official apologised for causing the headlines. With Diana flying back separately, Charles privately knew they would then separate.

He wrote to a friend: “The strain is immense. I feel so unsuited to the ghastly business of human intrigue and general nastiness. I don’t know what will happen from now on but I dread it.”

Monday, November 9

SHOCK details began to leak about new chapters from Andrew Morton’s updated book, which had already done so much damage to the royals.

They were set to reveal that Prince Philip had written to Diana after the revelations of Morton’s book broke, accusing her of betraying the Royal Family.

Andrew Morton’s explosive book leaked, apparently leading to Prince Philip accusing Di of betraying the Royal Family

He reportedly told her to “fit in or get out” and ordered Diana to “help maintain the dignity of the Crown”. Diana reportedly wrote back saying her role was to be the mother of the heirs to the throne.

The updated book also revealed that during a “second honeymoon” cruise in August, Diana had caught Charles on the phone to Camilla.

It added that the Queen had stepped in and ordered a “three-month review” of the marriage while ordering Diana on the ill-fated tour to South Korea.

The Palace claimed divorce was not on the cards but added fuel to the fire by admitting: “Neither will there be any further attempt at reconciliation.”

Plans were rumoured to be under way for Diana to have her own “court” separate from Charles and to potentially go on her own tours in the New Year. But more damaging headlines were to come.

Wednesday, November 11

THE existence of an excruciatingly personal recording of a phone call between Charles and Camilla in 1989 was revealed.

Billed as “Charlie’s secret bedtime call” and “Charles and the tape recording of love”, passages were revealed including Charles ­saying: “I love you . . . I adore you.”

On November 11, Camilla was snapped at home as details of her intimate call to Charles emerged

HOAR revealed its take on the drama

Diana was said to be seen clutching a copy of the story at Kensington Palace.

She told bodyguard Ken Wharfe it was “sick”. But the full embarrassing transcript would not be published until the following year.

Friday, November 13

FACED with a second day of “Camilla-gate” stories in the papers, Diana went on a solo visit to Paris on what her secretary Patrick Jephson later described as “her most successful” trip.

She enjoyed a 40-minute meeting with President Francois Mitterand and received glowing coverage in the French papers.

After ‘Camilla-gate’, Diana went on ‘her most successful’ solo trip to Paris

She cryptically told Sun royal photographer Arthur Edwards: “It’s time to spread my wings.”

Sunday, November 15

WHEN Diana returned from Paris, she told Charles she was not going to Sandringham for a planned shoot but instead was taking William and Harry to Windsor Castle the following weekend.

The annual trip was booked to coincide with a break at the boys’ school, Ludgrove. The decision left Charles livid and would prove to be a major turning point.

Diana snubbed Charles when she returned from Paris – leaving him livid

Arthur Edwards said: “Charles was hosting a shooting weekend at ­Sandringham with the King of Spain, the Crown Prince of Jordan and other close friends.

“Diana was due to be the hostess and was meant to come up with the boys but at the last moment changed her mind and ­cancelled. For Charles, that was the moment when it was over.”

Thursday, November 19

CHARLES’ entreaties to Diana to at least let the boys come to Sandringham fell on deaf ears and his patience snapped.

Penny Junor wrote: “Now she was embarrassing him in front of his friends and making life difficult for their sons.”

Charles felt Diana was making life difficult for William and Harry (pictured at Sandringham later in the year)

Painful though it would be for everyone, there was no alternative but to call a halt to the marriage.

Friday, November 20

FLAMES swept through Windsor Castle, causing vast damage and burning for 16 hours after a curtain was ignited by a spotlight in the Queen’s private chapel.

Charles left Sandringham to comfort his mother, then returned to his shooting party.

On November 20, a massive blaze at Windsor Castle adds to the shaken monarch’s misery

Charles quickly went to comfort his mother

Diana later said: “The symbolism of the fire was not lost on anyone inside the family.”

Tuesday, November 24

Four days later, the Queen said 1992 had turned out to be ‘an annus horribilis’

IN her annual speech to business leaders at London’s Guildhall, the Queen said: “1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with ­undiluted pleasure.

“In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an annus horribilis.”

Wednesday, November 25

D-DAY. Charles sat down with Diana at Kensington Palace to tell her he had decided to separate.

Diana maintained it was not her idea to part, saying: “I come from a divorced background [her parents] and I didn’t want to get into that again.”

Charles told Diana he had decided to separate – she was pictured looking glum at a business event days later

But she agreed and lawyers exchanged documents. Charles then removed all his possessions from their apartment.

Diana later drove to Highgrove, where she removed her belongings from Charles’s country estate. She told friends she threw some of his clothes on a bonfire in the garden.

Wednesday, December 9

AT 3.30pm, Prime Minister John Major got to his feet in the House of Commons and said: “It is announced from Buckingham Palace that, with regret, the Prince and Princess of Wales have decided to separate.

“Their Royal Highnesses have no plans to divorce and their constitutional positions are unaffected.

As the heir to the throne went shooting, news of their separation broke

The world was shocked to hear of Charles and Diana’s split

“This decision has been reached amicably and they will both continue to participate fully in the upbringing of their children.

“Their Royal ­Highnesses will continue to carry out full and separate programmes of ­public engagements and will, from time to time, attend family occasions and national events together.”

That day Charles was on a Business In The Community visit to Holyhead in Anglesey, followed by a Prince’s Trust board meeting.

Diana heard the announcement on the radio news in her car. She didn’t go to Sandringham for Christmas but instead went skiing in the US with pal Jenni Rivett.

As she careered down the slopes with the Colorado wind whistling in her ears, she was finally free.

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