Princess Diana Expressed Doubts That Prince Charles Would Ever Become King

Saying Prince Charles and Princess Diana had a complicated relationship would be the understatement of the century. These two went from reluctant couple to bitter divorce in the space of 15 years, with plenty of contention, hurt feelings, and so much drama along the way.

There are some truly shocking things that Princess Diana said about her ex-husband over the years. But maybe the most surprising was her claim that she doubted he’d ever become king.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles
Princess Diana and Prince Charles | Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

It wasn’t just Prince Charles who Diana took issue with — the Princess of Wales had negative feelings toward the whole royal family and the so-called “establishment” they represented. She didn’t appreciate being placed under a spotlight or being judged. And perhaps more than anything, Princess Diana was desperate to shield her children from the pain she suffered herself.

Princess Diana said Charles was ‘unfit’ to be king

Royals aren’t known for being forthcoming with interviews about their deepest thoughts and feelings, but Princess Diana played by her own set of rules in that regard. She broke protocol and revealed her true opinions about the whole family in a bombshell Panorama interview with Martin Bashir in 1995.

Perhaps the most famous portion of the interview was when Princess Diana admitted that Charles’ affair with Camilla hurt her deeply. She said there were three in the marriage, which she described as “quite crowded.”

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

But her comments about Prince Charles and his capacity for ruling were equally shocking. During the same interview, Diana said the Prince of Wales would not do well in the “suffocating” role of reigning monarch. Her butler Paul Burrell later admitted that Princess Diana said Charles was not mentally strong enough to handle it.

“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 his own wife said: ‘My husband is not fit for the top job.’ Diana said that,” Burrell explained.

Princess Diana didn’t think Prince Charles take the throne

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

Princess Diana passed away tragically in 1997. But before that, she expressed her doubts that he’d ever see the throne. Remember this was years before people advocated skipping over Charles in favor of his younger, more handsome, more popular son Prince William.

When she was asked if Prince Charles would become the king, Diana wasn’t certain at all. “I don’t think any of us know the answer to that,” she said during the interview.

“And obviously it’s a question that’s in everybody’s head. But who knows, who knows what fate will produce, who knows what circumstances will provoke?”

Diana continued: “There was always conflict on that subject with him when we discussed it, and I understood that conflict, because it’s a very demanding role, being Prince of Wales, but it’s an equally more demanding role being King.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles | Chris Jackson – WPA Pool /Getty Images

Prince Charles does plan to become king

Despite his ex-wife’s doubts and the opinions of other people, we have every reason to believe that Prince Charles will take his rightful place as king once Queen Elizabeth passes away or relinquishes her duties by retiring. He even has big plans for changing certain aspects of the monarchy when he does so.

As the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, Prince Charles has been waiting a long time for this moment. He’s ready for the demands of being king now more than ever.