Princess Diana Always Wanted Prince Charles to Step Aside and Let Prince William Succeed the Queen, Documentary Reveals

Prince Charles and Princess Diana tied the knot in 1981, but their marriage was not a happy one.

In 1995, the Princess of Wales talked candidly about her troubled marriage in a televised interview. In it, she questioned if her then-husband should be king. Now, a newspaper editor has revealed that he spoke to Diana prior to that interview and she told him how she really felt about Charles succeeding the throne.

 Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Prince Charles
Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Prince Charles | Terry Fincher/Getty Images

Princess Diana ‘only cared about William’s succession to the throne’

In October 2020, a documentary titled Diana: The Truth Behind The Interview examines some of what the princess said in her BBC Panorama interview and also reveals who she spoke to leading up to it.

Prior to her bombshell interview with Martin Bashir, Diana talked to Daily Telegraph Editor Sir Max Hastings and had some equally surprising things to say (per The Daily Star).

In the documentary, Hastings recalls, “I spent the best part of a couple of hours with Diana and she put on a wonderful show. It was absolutely gripping stuff.”

He continued, “It became clear first of all how much she hated Charles… yes, she did hate Charles. She said that all she cared about was William’s succession to the throne and she said to me, quite explicitly, ‘I don’t think Charles can do it.’ The outcome she wanted to see was for Charles to stand aside as heir… and for William to occupy the throne. This was pretty dynamic stuff.”

 Prince Charles and Princess Diana with their son, Prince William
Prince Charles and Princess Diana with their oldest son, Prince William | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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Diana publicly doubted if Prince Charles is fit to be king

Hastings’ claims are in line with the public comments Diana made about Charles during the Panorama interview when she questioned if he was fit for the job.

Diana told Bashir that she didn’t know if the prince was cut out for such a “suffocating” role.

“Being Prince of Wales produces more freedom now, and being king would be a little bit more suffocating,” the princess said. “And because I know the character I would think that the top job, as I call it, would bring enormous limitations to him, and I don’t know whether he could adapt to that.”

After that interview aired, several royals were livid including Queen Elizabeth II who was very upset that her family and their affairs had been reduced to a soap opera. The monarch decided right then that enough was enough and called for her son and daughter-in-law to divorce, which they did in 1996.

Does Prince William even want to be king?

Prince Charles, Princess Diana, and Prince William
Prince Charles, Princess Diana, and Prince William | Jayne Fincher/Getty Images

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William found out that he was going to be king at a young age when he heard it from other children at school. After learning about his destiny, the queen began teaching and training him for the role.

Over the years though, some royal fans have noted that William has never seemed thrilled with the fact that he will be king one day. The reason for that is because of what has to happen first–both his grandmother and father have to die before he can ascend the throne.

No one wants to think about losing a loved one but that will be William’s reality before he becomes the monarch. So while he may be a little hesitant about that day, it doesn’t mean that he will not fulfill the role he has been preparing for his whole life.