Princess Diana's Private Letters During Charles Divorce Resurface

Last week, private letters written by Princess Diana during her divorce from King Charles III went up for auction, but the proceeds went to a good cause. Lay's Auctioneers sold 32 letters the princess had written to her friends Susie and Tarek Kassem between 1994 and 1997. They sold for nearly $170,000 altogether, but the auction house told reporters from PEOPLE that all that money will go to charities the princess supported.

Princess Diana wrote these private notes on Kensington Palace stationary in her own hand, and with her official royal cypher. They were reportedly put up for sale by their recipients. The auctioneer's description read: "Susie & Tarek Kassem, as very close friends of Diana, Princess of Wales, have treasured these letters for over 25 years. They reflect the special and loving relationship they had with the most unique women that they had ever known."

"Now, in 2023, the ownership of these poignant documents is a responsibility that the Kassems do not wish to pass on to their children or grandchildren," the description continued. "They have decided to sell the letters and use proceeds of the sale to support some of the charities that were close to Susie and Diana's hearts."

The Kassem family reportedly decided to keep some of their "more personal and confidential letters" from Princess Diana, but even this sale was teased in advance as a chance to acquire some insight into her mindset. Altogether, these letters brought in $169,663. That money went to undisclosed charities that the princess herself was fond of.

So far the letters haven't been published in their entirety, and it's not clear if they ever will be. Some snippets have already come out, however – in one letter, Princess Diana confided in Susie Kassem that she believed her phone at Kensington Palace had been bugged. She wrote: "As I don't have a mobile it is difficult to discuss personal items. As my lines here are constantly recorded and passed on. If I'd known a year ago what I'd 'If I had known a year ago what I'd experience going through this divorce, I'd never have consented, it's desperate and ugly."

Princess Diana married Charles, who was then the Prince of Wales, in 1981 when she was 20 years old and he was 33. Their age difference was cited as one of the main reasons for their separation five years later. They completed their divorce in 1996, and Princess Diana passed away in a car crash in 1997. Her death remains a cultural flashpoint to this day, and the new collection of letters is sure to spark fresh coverage and speculation on the topic.