Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Princess Di Weighs Charles' New Offer

LONDON -- Princess Diana's lawyer said Friday she could accept a divorce offer from Prince Charles as soon as next week, ending a 15-year marriage that began as a fairy tale but ended in bitter discord.


Diana is due to meet her lawyer, Anthony Julius, later Friday to discuss the offer by the heir to the British throne, delivered to Diana's legal team Thursday after 10 weeks of bickering.


Julius, speaking outside his office in central London, told a horde of waiting reporters: "Proper consideration will be given to the proposals made. It could be next week before we know anything, maybe the week after."


A spokesman for Charles declined comment, saying the divorce negotiations were private. Julius, one of Britain's leading media litigation lawyers but a divorce novice, said he had no idea yet of the details of the offer.


British media reported that Diana was offered a lump sum of between ?15 and ?20 million ($23.4 and $31.2 million) plus around ?400,000 a year to allow her to run a private "court" once she leaves the royal circle.


The media speculated that Monday is the likeliest day for an announcement to avoid overshadowing a state visit to Britain by South Africa's President Nelson Mandela, which begins Tuesday.


Queen Elizabeth, who in December demanded the couple divorce speedily to stop further damage to the royal family, is expected to step in to help Charles pay -- either by providing part of the money or by guaranteeing a bank loan.


Charles, 47, receives an income of around ?1.5 million a year from the Duchy of Cornwall, land and other investments. But he is not allowed to sell the assets of the Duchy and could not come up with the lump sum on his own.


Married in 1981 in a glittering ceremony, the couple soon drifted apart, finding few interests in common apart from their two sons. They have been separated since 1992 and have both since admitted adultery during their marriage.


Diana, 35, delayed her arrival at a charity ball in the center of London hosted by former Pakistani cricket captain Imran Khan on Thursday night to study details of the package.


Dressed in an embroidered Pakistani-style cream outfit, she smiled broadly for a phalanx of photographers and cameramen when she eventually arrived at the plush Dorchester Hotel. The latest deal is believed to meet most of her demands, although there is uncertainty whether she will be allowed her wish to retain the title of Her Royal Highness.


It had been assumed until now that she would lose the title, like the Duchess of York after her divorce earlier this year from Charles' brother, Prince Andrew.


But she remains the mother of a future king, elder son William, who is 14, and will retain huge influence once he takes the throne.


Once Diana agrees to the terms, the marriage could be ended rapidly. Charles could seek the first stage of the formal divorce process before the couple's 15th wedding anniversary July 29, with the final decree coming six weeks and a day later.