Diana, Princess of Wales’ future plans dubbed ‘radical’, royal author reveals

Diana, Princess of Wales had planned to step away from her formal public life

Diana, Princess of Wales, a key volunteer of the British Red Cross Landmine Campaign listens to speaker Ken Rutherford who was injured by a land mine in Somalia at ceremonies at Red Cross headquarters in Washington DC 17 June 1997
(Image credit: JAMAL A. WILSON / Stringer Getty)

Diana, Princess of Wales made a bold decision to 'radically' change her life back in 1993 and the royal writer whom she told her plans has recalled the historic moment.

Diana spent most of her life as a royal supporting and promoting the work of many notable charities. Most notably she campaigned for the ban of landmines and was the patron of the HALO trust - an organization that helps clear up landmines left behind by wars.

But behind her remarkable work, Diana, who had sons Prince William and Harry with ex-husband Prince Charles, longed for a life away from the public eye and had planned to "withdraw from public life completely". And similarly, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle decided to step away from the royal family in March 2020 to start a new life in America.

Royal journalist Richard Kay recalled the moment he learned of Diana's intentions. "She told me she had decided radically to change her life," he said. "She was going to complete her obligations to her charities and to the anti-personnel landmines cause and then around November would completely withdraw from her formal public life."

Diana lived in her childhood home at Althorp House until she married Prince Charles. Her involvement with the landmines whilst a royal was so influential that was credited as helping to bring about the signing of the Ottawa Treaty.

But privately, the strain of being constantly in the public eye began to take its toll on the People's Princess.

Eventually, Diana could no longer bear the media attention and decided to take a momentous decision that would send shockwaves around the world.

The Princess announced her plans to walk away from public life during an emotional speech at a charity lunch in London in December 1993.

At the time she reflected on the fame and described it as a "manner that's been hard to bear". She said, "I was not aware of how overwhelming that attention would become nor the extent to which it would affect both my public duties and my personal life in a manner that's been hard to bear.

"At the end of this year when I've completed my diary of official engagements I will be reducing the extent of the public life I've led so far."

Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She has covered all things Entertainment for GoodtoKnow, Woman&Home and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand.