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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Royals' Divorce Negotiations at a Standstill

LONDON -- Princess Diana is threatening to sell her jewels. Prince Charles is considering legal action to prevent new leaks about the royal divorce. Diana's threat to make him wait until December 1997 to untie the knot has paid off.


That's a sampling of headlines in Saturday's British newspapers about the state of divorce negotiations which most royal watchers say are stalled.


The Sun started the latest round of leaks Friday with a report that Diana told Queen Elizabeth II that unless Charles stopped haggling she would make him wait until December 1997 for a divorce.


Diana can hold out until then because under English law, if either party contests a divorce, the other party must wait five years from the time of separation to end the marriage. The royal couple formally separated in December 1992.


According to Saturday's Daily Telegraph, the disclosure of Diana's meeting with the queen was greeted with "surprise bordering on exasperation'' by the prince's advisers, who are considering legal action to prevent further revelations.


"Possibilities include an injunction against any member of the princess' camp if it could be proved that they had been responsible for a particular leak. Any organization which then published further details would be in contempt of court,'' the paper said.


British law bans royal employees from revealing details of their masters' private lives.


Serious negotiations between the couple's lawyers began five months ago after the queen urged Charles, her 47-year-old heir, and Diana, 34, to divorce.


The Daily Mail said Diana seemed to have gained the sympathy of the queen and quoted senior royal sources as saying their meeting put the divorce talks back on track.


"Although there is still some way to go, obviously, the meeting has had its desired effect. There was a threat to pull out of the divorce negotiations. That has not proved necessary,'' the paper quoted an unidentified senior official as saying.


The Daily Express, which last week broke the story that divorce negotiations were at a standstill, said Diana was turning up the heat by threatening to sell some of her jewels.


"It is certain to bring her into open conflict with the queen, who firmly believes they are heirlooms and must remain in the royal family,'' the paper said.