Letter written by Princess Diana 8 months before her death says she hoped 1997 ‘will be an easier year’
A tragic Christmas letter from Princess Diana revealing her hopes that 1997 will be “an easier year” has surfaced as part of a compilation of her confidential correspondence.
In the moving note dated December 17, 1996, eight months before she died in a car accident in Paris, Diana also revealed her intention to spend the next Christmas abroad ‘in the sun’, adding: ‘I’ll get over myself if I I stay here. !’
The tone of the two-page letter reflected the traumatic year the Princess of Wales had just gone through, having gotten over her divorce from then-Prince Charles.
Diana was thought to have spent her last Christmas alone at Kensington Palace but, according to this letter, she had arranged to fly abroad.
As is the royal family tradition, William and Harry spent that Christmas at Sandringham with their father and grandparents.
Princess Diana wrote that she was looking forward to some Christmas sun abroad.
In one poignant moment, she hoped that 1997 would be an easier year for her.
The letters were written just eight months before Princess Diana’s death.
He then adds, “I hope ’97 is an easier year for all of us.”
Diana entered into a relationship with heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan in 1997, but this ended in July.
She then entered into a brief relationship with Dodi Fayed, who died alongside her in a car accident on August 31, 1997.
The letter has been revealed as part of a cache of 32 letters and cards that Diana wrote to her close friends, Susie and Tarek Kassem.
The Kassems, who got to know Diana well over the last two years of her life, are selling the collection at auction with part of the proceeds going to charity.
In a second, optimistic letter to the Kassems in September 1996, Diana also wrote about how she looked forward to her future after finding her freedom.
She wrote: ‘I am more than happy to have my freedom and I think I am very lucky to have a second chance!
‘A lot of good things have come my way and it’s fun… who would have thought!’
In a letter written in September 1996, Diana said she was “happy to have my freedom.”
She also mentioned how lucky she was to have had a second chance.
Mimi Connell Lay, of Lay Auctioneers of Penzanze, Cornwall, who sells the letters, said: “The 1996 Christmas letter is heartbreaking. We have the benefit of hindsight, of course, and we know what happened to him in the year 1997.
“It really is a tragic card in that sense.
“Diana really struggled with Christmas as she always had to spend it at Sandringham House and found it very difficult to move forward in the marriage.
‘Diana spent Christmas 1995 with the Kassems and it is clear from this letter that she had made plans not to spend it alone at Kensington Palace.
‘I think the line about getting over yourself was a lighthearted throwaway comment since you put an exclamation point at the end.
‘The letter you sent in September 1996 was much more optimistic and spoke of looking forward to the future.
“Of course, at the time she was in a relationship with Hasnat Khan, whom she had called the ‘love of my life’.
Their relationship ended in the summer of 1997.
Princess Diana pictured at a Christmas event in December 1996
The Kassems, who lived in London and are now 70, have treasured the letters for more than 25 years.
They have decided to sell them because they feel a great responsibility to own them and do not want to pass that on to their children or grandchildren.
The letter Diana wrote on December 17, 1996 says: ‘I was so excited to receive flowers and a crystal bow, thank you so much for thinking of me… I’m going abroad for a week on the 24th in the sunshine. as not being a christmas lover, i’ll kill myself if i stay here!
“I hope ’97 is an easier year for all of us.”
He then goes on to refer to the death of his close friend Yannis Kaliviotis, whom he knew as John. The 27-year-old died earlier that year of cystic fibrosis.
She added: “I often think of John and his family and miss them more than I could have imagined.”
The letters will be sold on February 16.