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Papers say Di ready for divorce


January 4, 1996
Web posted at: 6 p.m. EST (2300 GMT)


From Correspondent Margaret Lowrie

LONDON (CNN) -- Two British newspapers are reporting that Princess Diana has told her advisors her marriage to Prince Charles cannot be fixed, and that she will agree to a divorce.

The Daily Express and The Daily Mirror reported that Diana will talk with her lawyer, Lord Mishcon, early next week. They quoted an unidentified source as saying, "You can expect moves toward a divorce to begin in earnest after Diana's meeting."

returning from vacation

Diana had nothing to say to reporters as she returned to London from Antigua on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Charles and the couple's two sons, Prince William, 13, and Prince Harry, 11, are on a skiing vacation at the Swiss resort of Klosters this week.


Nigel Evans, editor of Majesty Magazine, said a major issue will be the financial settlement. Charles' income comes from the Duchy of Cornwall, a portfolio of farms and city real estate from which he makes about 4.5 million pounds, or about $7 million in U.S. currency. He pays voluntary taxes of about a million pounds.

Evans also noted that in British aristocratic families a divorce means the woman keeps her husband's title and puts her Christian name in front of it to denote the split. Princess Diana, then, would become Diana, Princess of Wales.


The Daily Express suggested that Diana might receive a lump sum settlement of 15 million pounds, or $23 million. However, other news reports have said an annual allowance is more likely. Word from Charles' biographer, Jonathan Dimbleby, is that the prince has a personal fortune of $3 million, which is invested to provide for his sons.

Royal experts are saying divorce or not, Charles will be king. His predecessor of centuries ago, Henry the VIII, had established himself as sovereign of the Church of England so that the king could divorce and remarry.

While the divorce may not pose a constitutional problem, Charles could be in a public relations nightmare if he marries his mistress, according to Evans.

"If he remarries, there won't be public support for that," he said. "We're ready for a divorced monarch; we're not ready for a remarried monarch right yet."

But, the British are certainly ready for an end to the high profile marital disaster.

Just six weeks ago, Diana said publicly she did not want a divorce, but it she apparently hastened it by giving a revealing television interview in which she admitted -- as Charles already had -- that she has committed adultery. Her mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, then reportedly wrote to Charles and Diana telling them to divorce.

Buckingham Palace might be thrilled if Diana never spoke publicly again about her marriage. But royal observers predict she would not so easily put up with the same "golden gag" imposed on Princess Anne's ex-husband as part of his break-up agreement.

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