New letters from Diana show a happy princess
With all the sadness often associated with Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles, it is almost refreshing to read upbeat letters from the Princess of Wales written in the early years of their union.
Some personal correspondence to her friend Margaret Hodge are being auctioned June 21 and expected to bring up to $32,000. The letters date back to September 1981 -- during their couple’s honeymoon – through to July 1986.
Hodge is a former school principal who worked with Diana at a London kindergarten before the teenager became one of the most photographed women in the world.
The letters and cards, all signed “Miss Diana,” have a definite happy note – especially when mentioning her boys William and Harry -- though the Daily Mail reveals some of the heartache that was going on behind the scenes.
In a letter from Dec. 21, 1985, for example, Diana writes of her children’s lives, yet she revealed much later that she had attempted suicide several times during the year:
I took William to see Father Christmas in a shop last week & he was quite undaunted by the prospect, instead he produced a list as long as your arm of presents he wanted for the 24th & nothing was left out! I do not know how parents cope with more than two children as the parents of these boys are exhausted before the event (24th/25th) trying to keep up with their pace!
W adores nursery school & luckily for us its [sic] just around the corner & Harry longs to join in too, so there weren’t any tears from big brother on taking him there the first week. [Diana then draws a smiley face]
I mustn’t bang on any more as the point of this letter was to say that I’m thinking of you a great deal & wishing you all a happy Christmas.
Keeping up appearances seemed important in these letters to Hodge, who stayed in contact with the Princess right up to her death in 1997.
The following letter from September 1982, less than three months after the birth of William, was written as the princess was suffering post-natal depression, it was revealed later:
PLEASE forgive the lateness of this letter but due to the avalanche of mail, I have only just received your card & letter! The reaction to William & my birthday has been incredibly heartwarming and certainly kept me buisy with pen & paper! William has brought such happiness to us & we are constantly found looking besotted at this small package, making strange gaga noises! I was enormously touched that you remembered my birthday, but its typical of Margaret not to forget something thats special to me! At the first opportunity that comes, I will sneak William out, so that you can have a viewing.
Hodge is convinced that, at least at the beginning of the marriage, Diana was a happy person.
“I know she was very much in love with Prince Charles and she just wanted to be loved in return,” Hodge reflected.
Photo gallery: Life of a princess
Pippa brings up the rear in voting
UPDATE: Last week we reported that Pippa Middleton, despite all the backend support she received, would not be receiving Britian’s annual Rear Of The Year award. There was much speculation after the royal wedding that Pippa would leap to the top of the poll. But her entry came rather late in the voting, and not enough to overcome the eventual winner, Carol Voderman (right), a former host of the British TV game show ‘Countdown.’
“I always suspected there were a lot of people out there who were glad to see the back of me, so this has turned out to be very funny indeed,” said the 50-year-old Vorderman.