As well as seeing her ‘beheaded’ husband, Diana even dreamt about her own funeral – a tragic forecast into her fateful death in Paris in August 1997.
It was Diana’s fascination with dreams which led her to write the foreword for Joan’s book Your Children’s Dreams. After the princess invited the dream analyst to Kensington Palace, a friendship blossomed between the pair and Diana regularly called Joan for a chat. “She told me she loved dreams,” Joan tells New Idea.
“We spoke about symbols and how important they are, and she told me the boys loved to dream and they all talked about it.”
Joan remembers her first time meeting the princess in person. “It was just like if you and I were here talking over the dining room table,” she explains. “So comfortable, so divine.”
As her relationship with Charles worsened, Diana continued to seek comfort in Joan’s interpretations.
“She would ring me on the weekends – on a Sunday mostly, because that’s when she’d be very lonely.
“Her recurring dreams were mainly about being lost, and that’s a sign of losing your identity. She just couldn’t find out where she was going or what her future was.
“It’s also a sign that you’re trying to conform with outside expectations of who people think you are, but they don’t really reflect who you are.”
Joan says Diana would dream of ‘torn clothes’, which can also be interpreted as a symbol of constraint.
“Torn clothes are symbols of people tearing her apart, and her not being able to be who she wants to be.”
With her impending divorce at the forefront of her mind, it is unsurprising that Prince Charles played a significant part in Diana’s subconscious.
“She did dream about Charles a lot,” Joan says.
“She said that she thought he’d never be king. She’d seen him beheaded in her dreams, and that has a lot of connotations. In the dream world it can subliminally play on words like ‘losing your head’ or ‘getting ahead’. When he did appear in her dreams, she didn’t seem to know where he belonged. There were issues of dominance there.”
Perhaps the most interesting dream was Diana’s dream which appeared to predict her own funeral.
“It was quite astonishing because it happened just after her divorce,” Joan remembers. “I was in Kensington Palace with Paul Burrell [Diana’s butler] and her, and she said, ‘I had this dream last night and it was a funeral. I could see everyone there, Charles was there. He wasn’t dressed in his uniform but everyone else was’.”
Joan assumed the dream signified the death of her marriage to Charles.
“I didn’t take it as anything sinister, like her own funeral.
I said, ‘Ma’am, I’m sure the dream means the end of your marriage and you’re seeing the death of it’.”
While Diana’s dreams were complex, Joan says the mother of two princes was certainly on a journey – one which seemed to have a promising future ahead.
“I think her future would’ve been absolutely marvellous,” Joan says. “I think she was on the right track with everything. As far as she was concerned, she was on the road to making her life work. She grew so much while we were working through them [the dreams].”
One recurring dream saw Diana thrive.
“Falling in a dream can mean you’re falling down in someone’s estimation,” Joan says. “But when Diana had this dream, before she landed, she would fly. I loved that. Flying is freedom.”
For more, pick up the latest issue of New Idea Royal. Out now!