The rumors were many on 6 FEBRUARY 1981 that Prince Charles had proposed to Lady Diana Spencer. Stories and dates vary widely from 6 February to 12 February, with many press reports saying she left to see her Mother in Yass Australia on the very day to think it all over. Lady Diana on the verge of engagement continues.
After having Lady Diana Spencer visit the Beach Hut in Mollymook in the lead up to her July 1981 wedding to Prince Charles, Margie Nyholm put this picture up on the wall as a memento of the brush with royalty.
The beloved blonde was not yet a princess when she called Mollymook home for a brief holiday ahead of her wedding to Prince Charles in July.
Owner of the Beach Hut at the time, Margie Nyholm, recalls Diana visiting the shop.
“She came in every day,” Margie told the Times.
“She used to wear a towelling beach coat and scarf with big black glasses.
“It was so obvious that she was trying to be incognito that she stuck out like dogs balls.”
Part of a large party including her mother, Frances Shand Kydd, Margie remembers Diana as polite but aloof.
“It was interesting that when she (Diana) came in she would stand there and just look at all the big potato scallops and the fried food and just stare – she wasn’t really rude or anything, but she would just stare,” Margie said.
“Then she would order a juice and sip it while all the others would order everything particularly the juicy flat head tails that they loved.”
Even with her subdued behaviour, the future princess made an impression.
“She was quite a tall girl,” Margie said.
“At the time, I don’t know if it was just the beach coat and scarf, but she looked bigger than she actually was, but she had the most beautiful skin.
“Other than the poshy voice, it was her beautiful skin that stood out.”
Margie said she sensed a sadness about Diana and speculated that it may have been apprehension about her decision to marry Charles.
“I know that she was terribly unhappy,” Margie said.
“I remember thinking this girl must be getting over an illness as her mother was always telling her she must keep up her strength.
“I remember one of the ladies saying something to her about her already being on tea-towels.
“I think she had found out about Charles and Camilla but still had to go through with the wedding.”
Staying quiet during her holiday, it took a while before word started to spread that she was visiting the area.
“No one was expecting to see the future princess at Mollymook,” Margie said.
“All the media frenzy were out at Yass where her mother and step father had a property.
“So for the first few days no one recognised her.”
As her stay lengthened, Margie started fielding calls from the media about whether Diana was in town.
“We never divulged to the media that she was here, though, there was an excited buzz amongst the locals,” Margie said.
“Once discovered here she left as quickly as she had arrived.”
While visiting the area, Diana is believed to have stayed at a home off Riversdale Avenue in Mollymook where her mother, Frances Shand Kydd, stayed frequently over a period of 10 years.
Glenda Cartwright, who worked at Cowley’s Real Estate at the time, was the property manager for the home and became good friends with Frances.
While she knew Frances often visited the area, as she booked the property for her under an assumed name, Glenda did not meet Diana while she was visiting Mollymook.
Over her years of friendship with Frances, Glenda did get some insight into the life of Diana.
“I remember when my daughter had been married and Frances was saying how lovely my daughter looked at her wedding,” Glenda said.
“Diana had just married and I just remember shaking my head that Frances was just as interested in her wedding as she had been in Diana’s.”
Though rumours that Diana and Frances had a rocky relationship persist, Glenda descried Frances and “a really nice lady” who was “very down to earth” and said she knew her to be a caring and loving mother.
Throughout their friendship the two exchanged handwritten letters sharing their news.
Following the death of Diana, Glenda was touched by Frances’ letters which showed her grief at the loss of her daughter and her determination to be involved in William and Harry’s lives.
Glenda’s warm friendship with Frances made her sure that the popular princess, renowned for humanitarian and charity work, was just a “younger version of her mum”. Milton Ulladulla Times 2014
Andrew Morton’s book ‘Diana in Her Own Words’ reported that she took off on a pre-arranged trip to Australia sometime around February 8th, 1981. The book has this quote from Diana:
‘I then went away two days later to Australia for three weeks to sort of settle down and to organize lists and things with my mother. That was a complete disaster because I pined for him but he never rang me up. I thought that was very strange and whenever I rang him he was out and he never rang me back. I thought ‘Ok’. I was just being generous – ‘He is being very busy, this, that and the other.” I come back from Australia, someone knocks on my door. Someone from his office with a bunch of flowers and I knew they hadn’t come from Charles because there was no note. It was just someone being very tactful in the office.’