Perhaps the most well-known instance of a royal being stripped of their title, Princess Diana was told that she would no longer be Her Royal Highness after her divorce from Prince Charles, heir to the British throne. The couple wed at St, Paul’s Cathedral in 1981 and welcomed sons William (born 1982) and Harry (1984) not long after that. Reports of trouble in paradise soon followed, but Diana’s relationship with the Palace wouldn’t completely deteriorate until 1995, when she sat down for a sensational interview with the BBC’s Martin Bashir.
“There were three of us in the marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” Diana said, referring to her husband’s relationshp with Camilla Parker Bowles. Diana’s interview was apparently the last straw for Queen Elizabeth, who sent her daughter-in-law a letter informing her that divorce was the “best course” for her. The royal split was made official in 1996, and from that moment she was known simply as Diana, Princess of Wales.
The queen was reportedly “happy” for Diana to keep her royal title, but sources suggest that Charles insisted she be stripped of it. According to The Mirror, Diana was stung by this, which prompted a then 14-year-old Prince William to make a promise about her title that he’d never get the chance to keep. “Don’t worry Mummy, I will give it back to you one day when I am King,” he reportedly told his mother, who passed away following a Paris car crash in 1997.