So many things about the breakup of the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales are heartbreaking. Of course, one of the most tragic is that Prince William and Prince Harry had to grow up in a broken home. But there is a lesser-known fallout from the life-changing event that has gotten a lot of attention recently.
As many of us know, when Diana and Charles divorced, Diana was stripped of her title, “Her Royal Highness.” While she did retain the ‘Princess of Wales’ designation, it was the loss of the higher title of HRH that she felt was the final insult on top of all the other indignities she suffered after being cast out of the Royal Family.
Sensing how much pain this unnecessary loss (the Queen is said to have been willing to let her keep it, but it was Charles who insisted it be removed) caused his beloved mom, her elder son, and confidante, Prince William thought of a way to lessen the blow.
Diana’s elder of two sons, who was only 14 at the time, sensed just how much the indignity hurt his mother. Still very much a child, but very aware of his future role within the monarchy, the young prince made a solemn vow to Diana that, sadly, he will be unable to fulfill.
Prince William would have done anything to make his mom happy, and when he made this promise to her, he felt as though he could undo some of the damage done at the time of the humiliating event.
“In his book, ‘A Royal Duty,’ Diana's close friend and butler, Paul Burrell, revealed William vowed to help Diana reclaim her title.
“William had said: ‘Don't worry Mummy, I will give it back to you one day when I am king.’ However, Diana - by then Princess of Wales - died three years later in Paris.”
I can only imagine that the fact that his heartfelt promise to his mum will no longer be possible just adds to the sense of immense loss that both he and Prince Harry undoubtedly feel to this day.
Perhaps, once he’s King, William will be able to order a posthumous declaration restoring her title. Until then, we hope he can be comforted with the realization that she died with the hope in her heart that she would, one day, return to her position of status as the mother of the future King of England and, once again, be addressed as ‘Her Royal Highness, Diana, Princess of Wales.”
And no matter what royal title she does or doesn’t have, Diana will always be remembered for an even more important role: that of “Mummy” to Prince William and Prince Harry. No decree could ever take that achievement away…