Prince Philip Pushed Prince Charles Into Marrying Princess Diana, Source Says

Prince Philip is known as the iron fist in the British royal family. While Queen Elizabeth II is the face of the royals, the prince has been a force in the family’s domestic lives.

When his son, Prince Charles, was approaching his 30s without any marriage prospects, it was the Duke of Edinburgh that spearheaded his son’s search for a bride.

When the woman Prince Philip initially wanted Prince Charles to wed said no, the duke pushed his eldest son toward Princess Diana. Unfortunately, the romance did not turn into a fairytale.

Prince Philip originally wanted Prince Charles to marry Amanda Knatchbull

Still licking his wounds after his breakup with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles had no real interest in taking another bride. However, Lord Mountbatten, his father, and uncle pushed him toward his second cousin, Amanda Knatchball.

The Prince of Wales and Knatchball actually got along quite well. However, when Prince Charles proposed in the summer of 1979, Knatchball turned him down flat. She had no interest in being on the public stage.

“When the prince finally made his proposal in the summer of 1979 — shortly before Lord Mountbatten’s assassination by the IRA — the independent-minded Amanda politely turned him down,” Robert Lacey wrote in Battle of the Brothers via SheKnows. “The surrender of self to a system, she explained, was so absolute when joining the royal family, it involved a loss of independence ‘far greater than matrimony usually invites.’”

Princess Diana and Prince Philip were once very close

Quickly running out of options and now in his 30s, Princess Diana was soon put on Prince Charles radar. Though the pair never truly clicked, the Princess of Wales was very close with Prince Philip for a time.

“When Diana first joined the royal family, it was Philip who came to her aid, sitting next to her at black-tie dinners and chatting to her while she learned to master the art of small talk,” royal expert Ingrid Seward writes in her book Prince Philip Revealed obtained by The Daily Mail.

In fact, it was the princess who often confided in Prince Philip about her crumbling marriage. After all, it was his idea that his eldest son should ask her to marry him.

Prince Charles And Princess Diana Waving From The Balcony Of Buckingham Palace. They Are Accompanied By Prince Philip
Prince Charles And Princess Diana Waving From The Balcony Of Buckingham Palace. They Are Accompanied By Prince Philip | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Image

Prince Philip pushed Prince Charles into marrying Princess Diana

Liking the princess for what she represents, a young woman whom the royal family thought they could mold, Prince Philip, pushed his son into proposing to Princess Diana.

“He told some of his friends that he felt pressurized into marrying Diana because Philip said, ‘You’ve either got to marry her or let her go. You can’t string a … young girl [along]. She’s only 19. You can’t string her along,'” Seward wrote in Prince Philip Revealed: A Man of His Century, via Us Weekly. “And all the press is saying, ‘Oh, this is going to be the next queen.’ You’ve got to take a stand and say that this is not going to work, or you marry her.”

Prince Charles ultimately had no desire to go against his father. “Charles…he was frightened of his father, and he probably thought, ‘Well, OK. I’ll marry her if that’s what you want me to do,” Seward explained.