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Lady Di & Prince Charles holidays in Mallorca

A look back to the British royal family visits to the island

featured in News & reviews Author Ana Hernández, Mallorca Editor Updated

It has been 30 years since the first time Prince Charles, Lady Di and their sons William and Harry visited Mallorca on holidays. On August 7th, 1986 they arrived in Palma invited by King Juan Carlos I to soothe the rather cold institutional relationships between both monarchies.

Diana and Charles had chosen to begin their honeymoon in Gibraltar in 1981, and King Juan Carlos I was not very happy about it to the point that he did not attend the royal wedding. It was Queen Elizabeth I who broke the ice, inviting the Spanish monarchs to London in an official capacity. Juan Carlos returned the favour by organising a private break for the Prince of Wales on the island of Mallorca.

They were housed at Marivent Palace, the Spanish royal family's summer residence in Cala Major. Diana, Charles, Willian and Harry made the most of what Mallorca has to offer: they accompanied Sofía and Juan Carlos aboard their yacht, 'Fortuna', to watch the Copa del Rey regatta, visited the small island of Cabrera, sunbathed at Ses Illetes beach and even took the kids to Marineland waterpark.

Their marriage had already started to crumble, and Lady Di and Prince Charles spent quite a lot of time apart. While she was swimming in the crystalline waters of Mallorca's southern beaches, he preferred to paint watercolours of the picturesque landscapes around Valldemossa.

But there is no doubt that they enjoyed their time in Mallorca, as they returned in the summers of 1987, 1988 and 1990. Diana, who had already spent some time in Port d'Andratx before becoming Princess of Wales, came again in 1996. After four years of separation, Charles & Diana formally divorced in 1996. During her Mallorcan holiday that year she stayed at the luxury hotel La Residencia in Deià as a guest of her friend, Richard Branson, who has recently made a spectacular comeback to the island where he has opened a lush retreat near Banyalbufar.

To retrace the steps of the British royals' 1980's holidays in Mallorca - hopefully without all the marital drama - book a hotel in Mallorca and check out what you can do on the island in the summer, and with the whole family.