That’s what some loyal Princess Diana fans would like people to think, but according to British newspapers, Prince Charles’s wife Camilla voluntarily decided to sit out Friday’s memorial service for the late Princess of Wales.
Palace officials say Diana’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry – who will lead the service, marking the 10-year anniversary of her death – extended an invitation to Camilla, and she had initially accepted. But once British newspaper columnists learned that the Duchess of Cornwall, had accepted the invitation from Charles and his sons, they unleashed a litany of postings urging her not to attend the service. (Camilla has long been criticized for having an affair with Prince Charles while he was still married to Diana.) One paper wrote that Camilla’s presence would be “deeply inappropriate,” and that Diana herself would have been “astonished.”
Apparently, their harsh words didn’t fall on deaf ears because today Camilla announced she had changed her mind and would not be attending the service after all.
“I’m very touched to have been invited by Prince William and Prince Harry to attend the thanksgiving service for their mother Diana, Princess of Wales,” Camilla said in a statement explaining her decision. “I accepted and wanted to support them, however, on reflection I believe my attendance could divert attention from the purpose of the occasion which is to focus on the life and service of Diana,” she then added: “I’m grateful to my husband, William and Harry for supporting my decision.”
Buckingham Palace then released its own statement saying Queen Elizabeth II supported Camilla’s decision. The Queen and Prince Philip will attend the service, along with Diana’s brother Charles Spencer and her sisters Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale along with Diana’s friend singer Elton John.
Legions of Diana fans reportedly cheered when they heard the news that Camilla (whom they believe destroyed the princess’ marriage) would be a no show at the service.
“I couldn’t be happier if I’d won the lottery,” said the secretary of the Diana Appreciation Society.
You’ll recall Princess Diana died in a Paris car crash with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, on August 31, 1997–a year after she and Prince Charles divorced.
What I find interesting is that the loyal Diana fans are not denouncing Prince Charles’ attendance at her memorial service. I agree that Camilla’s presence would be inappropriate. But, I also wonder how Diana would feel about Charles’ presence. I suppose his decision to go is based more on supporting William and Harry than anything else. But, still, would you want your cheating ex-husband at services marking the 10th anniversary of your death?