According to her former voice coach and butler, Princess Diana always wanted to live in California and even planned to move their with her children just before her death.
In an exclusive ABC News report, the princess’s ex-butler, Paul Burrell, stated that the late royal informed him about the relocation, saying, “This is our new life, just won’t it be great? Think of the lifestyle, the boys — nobody’s judgmental here in America, you don’t have the class system, you don’t have the establishment.”
The late Princess Diana’s reported fantasy of going to California and leaving the royal family behind parallels her son’s life: Last year, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle opted to live in Montecito, which is an hour south of Malibu on the California coast.
In 2020, a source told Vogue that the pair selected Montecito because “Harry loves California.” “They were both drawn to the smaller town of Santa Barbara, where they can integrate into the community while having some distance and privacy that is hard to come by in the Los Angeles area,” the insider stated.
According to Princess Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell, a property in Malibu was already chosen for her just before her death.
Burrell stated: “[The house] was going to be in Malibu…
“I saw the plans. We sat on the floor, spread out all the maps and the layout of the house.” The boys, who were 12 and 15 at the time, were stationed in the United Kingdom, although Diana had joint custody with their father, Prince Charles. Burrell continued, saying: “Why couldn’t [the boys] come and spend a portion of their time in America? That would be very stiff and staunchy if the queen would say, ‘No, they can’t go to America”.
In an interview with US Weekly, Diana’s voice teacher Stewart Pearce stated that the relocation to Malibu was extremely serious. He stated:
“She was talking about buying a property in Malibu [and saying] that would be ‘really great’ for the boys to have freedom so that they could surf. Because they’re both very sporty, you know, but they could surf, they could roller blade, they could Frisbee.”
Of course, Harry and Meghan have other links to California: Meghan was raised in Hollywood, and her mother, Doria Ragland, lives nearby. “I guess the highlight for me is sticking [Archie] on the back of the bicycle in his little baby seat and take him on these bike rides, which is something I was never able to do when I was young,” Harry told Oprah.
Princess Diana married Prince Charles on July 29, 1981. Their marriage, however, finally became too strained to maintain. Prince Charles was 12 years older than Princess Diana, and an illicit affair ultimately began. When the couple’s marital problems grew too public and hard to handle, they separated in 1996. Princess Diana died in a vehicle accident in Paris on August 31, 1997, only a year after her divorce.