Prince William adored Princess Diana, therefore it should come as no surprise when he made a promise to restore her “Her Royal Highness” title after he became king. According to The Sun, the young prince was only 14-years-old at the time of his parents’ divorce. At the time of Prince Charles and Diana’s divorce, the issue of her title was a contentious one. It is reported that the Queen was happy to let Diana retain the use of “HRH,” but Prince Charles was adamant in his refusal that his ex-wife could not keep the title. In fact, according to royal protocol, Diana would have to curtsey to her own sons when stripped of it.
In a book called A Royal Duty, Paul Burrell reveals that the young Prince William promised that his mom would have her title restored. At the time, Wills, as his mother called him, was a student at Eton College in Windsor. He never fulfilled the promise as his mother died at the age of 36 on August 31, 1997. Coincidentally, William also just celebrated his 36th birthday last month on June 21.
“Don’t worry Mummy, I will give it back to you one day when I am king.”
Prince Charles and Princess Diana had a bitter divorce. Town & Country reports that Charles began his affair with Camilla in 1986, and Diana confronted Camilla three years later. By this time, Charles and Diana’s marriage was on the rocks and she also told Camilla, “I’m sorry I’m in the way … and it must be hell for both of you. But I do know what’s going on. Don’t treat me like an idiot.”
The royal couple separated in December 1992, but their divorce was only finalized in 1996. Besides the issue of custody of the children, one of the issues in contention was Diana’s title, at least in the eyes of the public. The BBC actually reported that, according to the Palace, the title was relinquished voluntarily.
In an interesting article after Diana’s death, the BBC found that the Spencers and the Palace came to the decision that the princess’s title would not be restored posthumously. The Spencers believed that giving the title back after her death would have been against the late Diana’s wishes. Apparently, the idea was discussed on the Royal Train on the way to Diana’s funeral service. On board were the Spencers, Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry.
Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, famously paid tribute to his sister at her funeral service and said that she “needed no royal title to continue to generate her particular brand of magic.”