Prince Charles Doesn’t Want to ‘Be a Distraction’ at Ex-Wife Princess Diana’s Statue Unveiling, Here’s Where He’ll be Instead

The new statue of Princess Diana is set to be unveiled on July 1st. Of course, Prince Harry and Prince William will be in attendance, as will Diana’s siblings, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, and Charles Spencer. But there is one notable person who isn’t expected to attend, and that’s her ex-husband, Prince Charles.

Prince Charles in a suit and Diana, Princess of Wales in a white dress with colored dotsclapping
Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Why isn’t Prince Charles coming to Princess Diana’s statue unveiling?

Prince Charles and Diana didn’t have the best relationship, even before their 1996 divorce. Given the fanfare that has always surrounded their relationship, sources told Entertainment Tonight that Charles “doesn’t want to be a distraction” during the event.

“He and Diana had a complicated relationship after their divorce, but they came to appreciate each other,” the source continued.

This isn’t the first time that the Prince of Wales has missed an event to commemorate his late ex-wife. He didn’t attend any of the 2017 events that commemorated the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death.

On July 1, when Diana’s statue is unveiled, Charles is expected to be in Scotland.

“[Charles] does find it terribly difficult,” a friend of the prince told The Times of London. “These moments have the potential to resurface old wounds, and it brings back memories for him; happy, sad, regretful. Since Diana’s death, he has felt it’s best to keep those memories to himself and leave his sons to it.”

Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s rocky relationship

Some might say that Prince Charles and Diana’s relationship was doomed from the start. When the two met, Charles was actually dating Diana’s older sister, Sarah. Charles saw Diana again at his 30th birthday party and the two began dating. They got engaged very quickly.

Prior to dating Diana, Charles fell in love with his now wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. However, while he was off serving in the British navy, she got engaged to Andrew Parker Bowles and married him. So, Charles moved forward with his union to Diana.

Before the wedding, Charles reportedly told Diana that he wasn’t in the marriage for love.

“One of the most shocking things that Diana told me was that the night before the wedding Charles told her that he didn’t love her,” Diana’s astrologer, Penny Thornton said in ITV’s documentary, The Diana Interview: Revenge of a Princess,. “I think Charles didn’t want to go into the wedding on a false premise. He wanted to square it with her and it was devastating for Diana.”

In fact, Diana thought about calling the whole thing off.

“She didn’t want to go through with the wedding at that point, she thought about not attending the wedding,” Thornton revealed.

But Diana did get married on July 29, 1981 and despite Charles’ obvious affections for someone else, she tried to make their union work.

“I think like any marriage, especially when you’ve had divorced parents like myself, you’d want to try even harder to make it work and you don’t want to fall back into a pattern that you’ve seen happen in your own family,” she said in the infamous Panorama interview.

The two were divorced in 1996.

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