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British Royals

Letter from Diana, Princess of Wales Describes Honeymoon as “Perfect Opportunity to Catch Up on Sleep”

Letters from the late Diana, Princess of Wales, to her personal secretary are set to go up for auction in Gloucestershire next month.

Twenty-five lots from Diana’s former personal secretary, Jane Parsons, will be auctioned off.

In one of the letters, Diana wrote that “The honeymoon was a perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep…”

The letter, dated 15 August 1981, shed light into the earliest days of the ill-fated marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales. The couple were married on 29 July at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London in a lavish ceremony broadcast around the world. They split in 1992 and were formally divorced in 1996.

Their honeymoon began at Broadlands, a country home that once belonged to Lord Mountbatten – uncle to Prince Philip, and where he and The Queen spent their wedding night.

Three days later, Prince Charles and Diana flew to Gibraltar and boarded the Royal Yacht Britannia for an 11-day cruise around the Mediterranean. They then joined the rest of the Royal Family at Balmoral Castle for their traditional late summer holiday.

The other lots up for auction include a typed list of the wedding gifts the Royal Couple received, dried flowers from Diana’s wedding bouquet, thank you letters, Christmas cards, and photos of and invitations to royal events.

One lot includes a tally of all the letters Diana received following the birth of her eldest son, Prince William in 1982, how many presents were sent (4,500) and how many thank you letters Diana’s ladies in waiting sent out (24,000).

A letter from Diana after her 21st birthday thanked her staff for her birthday present. She wrote of her “gratitude at having such a wonderful collection of people looking after us” with the gift of a silver picture frame.

“I have never been more confused than on my birthday as presents and telegrams were pouring in for W at KP as well as my own – so at the moment I just seem to be churning out letters!” she wrote.

Another letter to Parsons, written on 5 July 1983, after she and Prince Charles returned from a tour of Australia says, “William recognised us instantly, which was a relief as sometimes children resent their parents leaving them! It’s marvellous to be home again and hopefully we won’t have to do any more travelling this year… Wishful thinking!”

Letters from the late Princess of Wales have hit the auction block before and always turn out to be hot commodities. A lot of her letters about Prince Harry were auctioned in January for £15,100.

This lot will be sold by Stroud Auction Rooms’ on 12 April.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.