Skip Nav
Celebrity Couples
The 13 Shortest Marriages in Celebrity History
The Royals
10 Times Princess Diana Was the Most Badass Member of the British Royal Family
Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton's Not Too Princessy to Play Sports

Prince William Wanted to Give Diana Her Princess Title Back

The Heartbreaking Thing Prince William Told Diana After She Lost Her Title in the Divorce

When Prince Charles and Princess Diana ended their marriage in 1996, their oldest son, Prince William, was just 14 years old. At the time, he was a student at Eton College studying biology, art history, and geography and playing soccer and water polo. He hadn't yet begun his official royal duties or military career. For all intents and purposes, he was a normal teenager — besides, you know, the whole being king one day thing — and most normal teenagers are pretty bummed about their parents splitting up. But as second in line to the British throne, William recognized his (future) power and made a promise to his mother that is both incredibly adorable and incredibly heartbreaking.

Charles and Diana's divorce was finalized in August 1996, but some drama surrounding her royal title ensued. Queen Elizabeth II reportedly wanted to let Diana keep the style of her royal highness, but Charles was "adamant" that she give it up — instead, she was given the title Diana, Princess of Wales. The loss of the honorific separated Diana from the rest of the family in such a way that she had to curtsy to those who had it, including her own children. William is said to have comforted his mother after the loss of her title by saying, "Don't worry, Mummy, I will give it back to you one day when I am king."

Tragically, Diana was killed in a car crash just a little over a year after William made his touching vow to her. In the decades after her death, both he and his brother, Harry, have opened up about their mother, sharing stories about their time with her as well as honoring her impact, both with the charities they support and the traditions she's passed on to them.

Image Source: Getty / Anwar Hussein
From Our Partners
Prince William at Manchester Arena National Service May 2018
Queen Elizabeth II at the Chelsea Flower Show 2018
Who Are Meghan Markle's Godchildren?
Photos of Prince William With His Kids at the Royal Wedding
Did Meghan Markle Forget to Curtsy to Queen Elizabeth?
Why Was There an Empty Seat at the Royal Wedding 2018?
Reactions to Prince Harry's Lip Bite at the Royal Wedding
Princess Diana's Family at Prince Harry and Meghan's Wedding
Lady Louise Windsor at Royal Wedding 2018
Prince William and Prince Harry Wedding Pictures
Meghan Markle's Dad Speaks Out About Royal Wedding
Best Moments From Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Wedding
From Our Partners
Latest Celebrity & Entertainment
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds