Princess Diana's 'secret' trip to Australia before committing to Prince Charles revealed

Princess Diana went to 'clear her head'

Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997) sitting on a step at her home, Highgrove House, in Doughton, Gloucestershire, 18th July 1986.
Princess Diana took a 'secret' trip to Australia before engagement to Prince Charles
(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Princess Diana always adored Australia, and now it's been revealed the Princess of Wales took a "secret" trip in 1981, shortly before becoming engaged to Prince Charles. 

Princess Diana always had a fondness for Australia—visiting on several royal tours during her time in the royal family.

But now it has been revealed that the Princess of Wales took one trip to the commonwealth country that went under the radar. 

According to Yahoo! Australia, Princess Diana snuck off for a "secret" visit in 1981, just months before announcing her engagement to Prince Charles, in which she actually re-designed her engagement ring.

It is thought the late Princess visited her mother, Frances Shand Kydd—who split her time between Yass, New South Wales, the Scottish island of Seil and London following her marriage to Peter Shand Kydd.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles formally announced their engagement on February 24 1981, but this suggests the eldest of Queen Elizabeth's children may have popped the question earlier in February, leaving Princess Diana with time to "think seriously" about this next step.

According to royal commentator Tina Brown’s biography The Diana Chronicles, Diana’s whirlwind trip to Australia was heavily instigated by her mother, who had her own reservations about the royal wedding. 

"[She] whisked Diana off to a remote hideout in Australia to throw off the press and make her think more seriously about the momentous step,” Brown reveals in the book. 

At the time, Frances denied reports that Diana was in Australia in a bid to throw the press of the scent. 

"Our daughter is certainly on holiday, but not in Australia or the United Kingdom,” she told reporters.

Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales, pose outside Chateau de Chambord during their official visit to France on November 9, 1988 in Chambord, France

Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their engagement in 1981 

(Image credit: Georges De Keerle / Contributor via Getty)

Brown is not the first person to suggest Princess Diana spent some in Australia that summer.

Margy Nyholm—who owned a fish-and-chip shop in New South Wales also confirmed she served the Princess of Wales numerous times during the summer of 1981.

Margy told Good Weekend, “She was attempting to be incognito, but instead she stood out.

“She was a very tall girl, young with very white skin. She wore a scarf, big dark glasses and a beach coat.

Princess Diana with her mother Frances Shand Kydd

Princess Diana with her mother Frances Shand Kydd

(Image credit: Getty)

“She wouldn't make eye contact. There was a fragility about her. A beautiful-looking woman, but not a happy one.”

It's been 24 years since Princess Diana tragically passed away, but her memory is still being kept alive.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed their second child last week, a daughter named Lilibet Diana Mountbatten Windsor—a nod to the late Princess, albeit a tribute Prince Harry was "wary" of for this heartbreaking reason

Georgia Farquharson

Georgia writes across Woman & Home and Good to Know and specialises in all things royal. Previously labelled the "Queen of the royals," Georgia knows the whose who and what's what when it comes to the monarchy. When she's not eagerly following the royal family, Georgia enjoys shopping and self-care. She lives with this motto in mind; "if your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough."