Princess Diana Once Revealed Prince Charles’ True Relationship With His Father: ‘He Was Intimidated’

Princess Diana and Prince Charles didn’t have a strong marriage. The two were married for 15 years, but their relationship fell apart before they even walked down the aisle. Still, in the time Diana spent in the royal family, she learned a lot about the relationships between the royals — including how things were between Charles and his father, Prince Philip.

Princess Diana with Prince Charles and Prince Philip
Princess Diana with Prince Charles and Prince Philip | Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Princess Diana once revealed everything about her life in a series of recordings

After Diana married Charles, the two did their best to remain faithful in the relationship. Still, there was never a genuine connection, and the harsh reality was that Diana had a difficult time dealing with everything within the royal family — especially knowing that she and her husband were not in love.

As the years went on, things between Charles and Diana went further south, and she eventually began secretly recording her words and stories for royal biographer Andrew Morton. Morton published Diana’s biography in 1992, all with the help of her own words. By then, she and Charles had separated, but the book wreaked havoc within the royal family.

Diana said Prince Charles was ‘intimidated’ by his father

In Diana’s recordings, she revealed Charles’ relationships with his mother and father. “He was in awe of his mama,” she said; today, Charles and the queen still have a strong relationship. But things with Philip weren’t the same. “[He was] intimidated by his father,” Diana noted; she didn’t go into much detail as to why.

Diana also recalled that she was always the “third person in the room” behind Charles’ mother and grandmother. It appears he had a lot of love for his mother figures but a tenser relationship with his dad.

Prince Charles and Prince Philip
Prince Charles and Prince Philip | Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Prince Philip reportedly often criticized his son 

Philip and Charles didn’t have a lot in common, which might have added to their complicated relationship. Charles was more sensitive than his father, and royal experts have suggested that the two butted heads over Philip’s treatment of his son.

These days, their father-son relationship remains complicated, but now that Charles has had his role perfectly carved for him, the two don’t seem to be on different pages quite as much. Once Charles’ affair with Camilla broke, the strain seemed to rear its ugly head once more, as years later, Philip did not attend his son’s second wedding ceremony. However, Philip and Queen Elizabeth did attend a prayer service for the two.

Prince Charles and Prince Philip in 1969
Prince Charles and Prince Philip in 1969. | Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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Charles’ words from his father affected how he parented his own kids

Charles took the experiences with his own father and applied them to the way he parented his sons. Years earlier, Philip was hard on Charles and encouraged him to make a quick decision about whether or not he wanted to marry Diana. Charles panicked and agreed to move forward, but when William had similar second thoughts about Kate Middleton, Charles encouraged his son to take time if he needed it.

William was feeling uncertain about a future with Kate, and Charles reportedly didn’t want his son to make the same mistake he did. Charles seems to have a stronger relationship with William and Harry than he did with his father growing up.