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Princess Diana Agrees to Divorce; Settlement Details Remain Unclear

February 29, 1996| Associated Press

LONDON — Princess Diana has agreed to a divorce from Prince Charles, ending a stormy marriage that began with a glittering ceremony in 1981 and collapsed 11 years later after both sought solace in affairs.

The decision to divorce means that Diana will never become Queen of England.

No financial settlement for Diana was announced, and there was no word about whether she had won the role she wanted as an informal goodwill ambassador for Britain.

Diana's statement apparently caught Buckingham Palace by surprise. There also were sharp differences between the two sides over whether Diana, 34, will retain her title of Princess of Wales.

Diana's spokeswoman said she will retain the title, but Buckingham Palace insisted that no titles had yet been discussed.

The couple, who separated in 1992, have two sons: Prince William, 13, and Prince Harry, 11. William is second in line to the British throne, after Charles.

Wednesday's announcement was the culmination of years of reports on Charles' and Diana's troubled union, ranging from TV interviews that captivated the nation to tabloid speculation over whom they might marry next.

The public airing of dirty laundry created a spectacle that led some to question whether Britain's royal family was still an asset to the country. Queen Elizabeth II herself was visibly pained by the constant stream of public recriminations and revelations about her son's tortured marriage.

In December, fed up with the bickering, the queen recommended that Diana and Charles, 47, divorce quickly.

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