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."

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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.

READ MORE: Princess Diana was “in tears” after Prince Charles decided Prince William should follow royal tradition

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 Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after 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. Having spent the start of her career working on local newspapers and online, Selina spent six years as Acting News Editor and Entertainment Reporter at the Scunthorpe Telegraph where she dug into hard news stories, conducted interviews, covered court reporting, features, and entertainment, whilst going to gigs in her spare time.

Whilst at the paper she was awarded an O2 Media Judges' Special Award for helping a terminally ill cancer sufferer realise his dying wish and marry his childhood sweetheart through a successful newspaper campaign. Things like this are close to her heart when it comes to using journalism to make a positive difference in people's lives.

Selina later branched further into all things celebrity to became a Showbiz Writer at Heat magazine, covering red carpet events, showbiz parties, and various launches before going freelance for two years. One of her biggest celebrity achievements - aside from generating celebrity exclusives - was interviewing Take That (including Robbie Williams) and bumping into Simon Cowell so much at events she told him 'I'm calling you my showbiz dad!'

In 2017 she joined TI Media as a senior reporter on Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, Woman's Weekly celebrity desk before branching online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first.

When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.