Prince Charles described the breakdown of his marriage to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, as having echoes of a Greek tragedy in his correspondence with the former First Lady of the United States, Nancy Reagan.
The letter in question was written to the former First Lady on June 21st 1992, shortly after Andrew Morton’s biography Diana: Her True Story painted the Prince in a less-than-complimentary light. Now part of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation archive after Nancy’s death last year, this candid correspondence has been made public for the first time, with excerpts published in the Daily Mail.
‘No one can really understand what it all means until it happens to you, which is why it all keeps getting worse and worse,’ the Prince wrote of the disintegration of his marriage, adding: ‘One day I will tell you the whole story. It is a kind of Greek tragedy and would certainly make a very good play!’
Prince Charles and Mrs Reagan became firm friends after meeting back in 1947, when Ronald Reagan was Governor of California. The Prince visited the couple in the White House several times, the most famous visit being that of 1985, when he attended a gala dinner with Diana.
‘Diana still hasn’t got over dancing with John Travolta, Neil Diamond and Clint Eastwood in one evening not to mention the President of the United States as well!’ Charles afterwards wrote to the President and First Lady to thank them for the evening.
While the breakdown of Charles and Diana’s marriage has not yet become the subject of a play, it has remained a subject of public fascination, and will soon form the focus of American Horror Story showrunner Ryan Murphy’s next TV project, Feud: Charles and Diana.