Here’s Why Princess Diana Didn’t Think Prince Charles Was ‘Fit to Be King’

There’s been some buzz lately over the British line of succession and why Prince Charles could potentially get passed over in favor of his younger, more popular son Prince William when Queen Elizabeth passes away. This would be an extreme break in protocol and remains a very unlikely turn of events. Still, it’s possible, especially if Prince Charles decides he doesn’t want the high stress job of ruling the country.

It’s not just personality that gives people pause about Prince Charles serving as king – they’re also concerned about a variety of other factors, including his age (the Prince of Wales is already 70). And then there’s that little comment his ex-wife, Princess Diana made about him being “unfit” to serve.

What exactly did she say? Read on to find out.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | David Levenson/Getty Images

Diana made her feelings about Prince Charles public

Who can forget the bombshell interview with Princess Diana and Martin Bashir? Millions of people watched as Diana broke down and admitted that there were three people in her marriage, so it was “quite crowded.”

But one overlooked aspect of that same interview was the part where Princess Diana said she didn’t believe her husband would excel in such a “suffocating” role. It seemed in her eyes, Princess Diana, who glimpsed a side of Charles that many others never saw, did not think the man could properly fulfill the duties of being king.

Did Diana think Charles was ‘unfit’ to be king?

Prince Charles
Prince Charles | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

As if that’s not enough, there’s the additional account of Princess Diana’s ex-butler. Paul Burrell, who was also a footman for Queen Elizabeth before working for Princess Diana, has plenty of insight into the inner workings of the royal family. He says Diana openly discussed her reservations about Prince Charles ascending the throne decades ago.

Burrell claims that Diana said in plain terms: “My husband is not fit for the top job.” The former butler also doubts Charles capabilities, especially if he won’t see the throne until he’s close to 80. “I know it’s his right, I know he’s heir to the throne, I know he’s waited his whole life to do it [but] his own wife said: ‘My husband is not fit for the top job.’ Diana said that,” Burrell explains.

Burrell says an opinion poll proves that the British people would rather see Prince William on the throne after Queen Elizabeth. But of course, it’s not up to them.

Would Prince Charles consider letting Prince William take his place as king?

Prince William and Prince Charles
Prince William and Prince Charles | Tim Graham/Getty Images

Some royal fans speculate that Prince Charles might willingly forgo his right to the throne because he knows the pressure would be too great. But there are others who say that very notion is absolute rubbish. They say Prince Charles is jealous of his son’s popularity and wants to throne more than Prince William does.

As Prince Charles revealed in a Vanity Fair interview, “Anyone of my age knows that days pass at a far greater speed than when they were young. But in my case, there are so many things that need to be done.”

The future monarch is referring to issues such as climate change that he’s intent on making part of his mission. That statement alone proves that Charles is not content to sit idly by and watch his son take over.