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Princess Diana Was Scared She’d Lose Her Boys to the Royal “Establishment” If She Spoke About Her Split From Prince Charles

Too scared to speak out. Princess Diana feared she might never see her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, if she opened up about her split from their father, Prince Charles. According to Di’s friend James Colthurst, she was worried that she’d lose her boys to the royal “establishment” if she ever shared the details of her contentious divorce.

princess diana with william and harry - getty

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“She wanted to tell the world how ghastly things had been and how appalling,” James told People of Diana, who divorced Charles, now 68, in August 1996 years after she discovered his affair with now-wife Camilla Parker Bowles. “She was worried she would be blamed and then sidelined. And then would lose her position as mum.”

MORE: Princess Diana Calls Wedding to Prince Charles the “Worst Day” of Her Life in Newly Released Interviews

Despite her concern, Diana eventually spilled the secrets of her tumultuous marriage with author Andrew Morton, who wrote the book Diana: Her True Story, released in 1992 — the same year that she and Charles officially separated.

prince charles and princess diana - getty

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

And in 1995, during an infamous BBC interview with journalist Martin Bashir, Diana dropped several truth bombs about her rocky romance with Charles. “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” she said of her ex’s dalliances with Camilla, adding that the sadness she felt over the affair only exasperated her hidden battles with depression and bulimia. “It was a symptom of what was going on in my marriage,” she said at the time.

MORE: Prince William Awkwardly Disses Stepmother Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in Princess Diana Documentary

The beloved late royal’s pal James will share more remembrances of Diana — who tragically died at age 36 in 1997 after a fatal Paris car crash — in ABC’s The Story of Diana, a two-part television event, premiering on Wednesday, Aug. 9 and Thursday, Aug. 10 at 9 p.m. EST.

Check out the gallery to see more fascinating facts about Diana!