You may recall seeing images of Princess Diana on Christmas Day greeting fans while walking to church alongside Prince Charles, their sons, and the rest of the royal family. But what happened after the Prince and Princess of Wales separated? Did Diana stop going to the Sandringham estate? And if so, who did she celebrate the holiday with?
Read on to find out the answers to those questions.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles celebrated with their kids until 1995
In 1992, after a tumultuous 11-year marriage marred by affairs and lies, Prince Charles and Princess Diana formally separated. However, despite splitting they continued to spend the Christmas holiday together as a family for the sake of their children, Prince William and Prince Harry. That was until Diana made other arrangements.
In 1995, the princess decided she needed to cancel plans to go to the Sandringham House in Norfolk. Her decision was based on the fact that a month earlier she gave her explosive BBC Panorama interview in which she spoke about Prince Charles’ infidelity and questioned if he could handle being king.
Diana reportedly thought that facing all the royals after that would be “intolerable.” The Daily Mail noted that she told a friend, “I’d have gone up there [to Sandringham]in a BMW and come out in a coffin.”
The princess gave her staffers off on Christmas Day
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So what did Diana do for Christmas? Did she spend it with other family or at home with her staff? According to her former chef, Darren McGrady, she actually spent the day alone at Kensington Palace.
McGrady revealed that the princess’ sons went to Norfolk while Diana stayed behind in London but she didn’t think it was right to have her staffers work on that day.
“William and Harry would go off to Sandringham and Princess Diana was there on her own. And she insisted on the staff spending their time with their families over Christmas, so we would leave food in the refrigerator,” McGrady explained on Yahoo’s The Royal Story. “So there was the princess, on her own, on Christmas Day.”
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This duchess always spends the day alone
Princess Diana’s former sister-in-law, Sarah Ferguson, also spent the holiday alone. Following her split from Prince Andrew, the Duchess of York did not make the trip to Norfolk either as some members of the family hadn’t forgiven her for her salacious headlines.
Fergie’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, would always travel to Sandringham with their father and attend services with the other royals on the morning of the 25th.
A rep for the duchess previously stated that since technically she’s no longer a member of the royal family she does not join them at the queen’s estate.
“The duchess will be spending Christmas on her own as she has for the last 20 years,” her rep confirmed via The Express.