Queen Elizabeth Insisted That Prince Charles and Princess Diana Get Divorced — Here’s Why

Besides the word “pregnant” and women wearing wedge heels, there aren’t too many things that Queen Elizabeth truly despises. As reigning monarchs go, Her Majesty is easygoing and down to earth, considering her position.

However, there is one thing that breaks her heart every time, and unfortunately, she’s had to experience this common occurrence more than once. Queen Elizabeth is very opposed to divorce and even takes it personally when members of her family choose to dissolve their marriages. As head of the Church of England and the ultimate overseer when it comes to approving partnerships, the queen sees herself as responsible for any royal marriage failure.

Queen Elizabeth Prince Charles Princess Diana
Queen Elizabeth with Prince Charles and Diana Spencer | Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

One of the most highly publicized and downright disastrous marriages was the one between Queen Elizabeth’s eldest son Prince Charles and Princess Diana. And even though she hates divorce more than she hates sugar in her tea, the queen was the one who insisted this miserable pair call it quits for good.

Princess Diana was skeptical of Prince Charles from the beginning

Even as she was walking down the aisle at her 1981 royal wedding to Prince Charles, Princess Diana was scanning the audience seeking out a glimpse of Camilla Parker Bowles, her husband’s former flame. Though Diana hoped Charles would forget about Camilla in time, she knew that the Prince of Wales still harbored feelings for his ex and probably always would.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana wedding
Prince Charles and Princess Diana wedding | Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

But she couldn’t have known how awful it would become. As the years passed, Princess Diana became more and more isolated, begging for her husband’s attention and reacting dramatically whenever he ignored her. Eventually, he started up an affair with Camilla and Diana knew about it. When the whole thing became unbearable, the pair separated.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana only got divorced for one reason

By the time Charles and Diana began living apart in 1992, both of them had already given up on the marriage in their hearts. But that wasn’t what Diana wanted at all.

“Given the choice, she would have stayed and tried to make a happy marriage,” Diana’s friend and personal trainer Jenni Rivett told Yahoo’s Royal Box. “She wasn’t the one who wanted to separate or divorce. She was sad about it. She wanted to be a loving wife.”

Charles and Diana
Charles and Diana | Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Perhaps they would have kept on maintaining their strained, distant relationship in different households without ever officially divorcing. But then Queen Elizabeth stepped in.

The queen begged Charles and Diana to get it over with

She may despise divorce, but Her Majesty is equally disgusted by royal scandals. With Prince Charles carrying on a not-so-secret affair with Camilla and Princess Diana having a few affairs of her own, the queen realized their marriage couldn’t be saved. That’s why she insisted they had to make their split official.

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

The New York Times reported that the queen sent both of them a letter in December 1995 that strongly encouraged them to consider getting divorced. Since it’s hard to say no to the queen, Prince Charles and Princess Diana agreed, and filed for divorce in February 1996. The process was finalized in August, just one year before Diana’s tragic death would occur.

In a perfect world, Prince Charles would have loved Diana back. Or he would have married his true love Camilla in the first place. But given everything that happened, it makes complete sense that Queen Elizabeth made the decision she did about allowing these two to get divorced.