Princess Diana and Prince Charles had the wedding of the decade. From the outside looking in, it seems as though the couple had everything that they could ever want: power, privilege, and two adorable sons. Still, as everyone now knows, Princess Diana and Prince Charles had a miserable marriage and their relationship was strained from the beginning.
Many royal fans have wondered over the years just how much input the rest of the royal family had on their marriage, and whether or not Queen Elizabeth ever spoke to the couple directly about the breakdown of their relationship.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana had problems from the start
Prince Charles got engaged to Diana Spencer in February 1981. Prince Charles was the most eligible bachelor in England and the public and press had been eagerly awaiting an engagement announcement. Spencer, then only 18 years old, seemed like the perfect wife for the future king. They tied the knot in 1981 and judging from the stunning photos of the ceremony, the couple never looked happier.
Still, there were problems bubbling just under the surface. Reportedly, while on their honeymoon, Princess Diana caught sight of a pair of engraved cufflinks that had been given to Prince Charles by his former girlfriend: Camilla Parker-Bowles.
It seems likely that the seeds of divorce were planted even on the honeymoon, with the revelation that Prince Charles was still emotionally involved with Parker-Bowles. It wasn’t long before Princess Diana developed an eating disorder. Eventually, in the late 1980s, Princess Diana got the courage to confront Prince Charles about his affair with Parker-Bowles.
Princess Diana struggled with the divorce decision
After years of unhappiness, Princess Diana and Prince Charles came to the realization that they needed serious help. Still, many reports claim that Princess Diana didn’t actually want to divorce her cheating husband. Supposedly, she wanted to try and work on their marriage for the sake of her boys: Prince William and Prince Harry.
Did the royal family ever step in to help Prince Charles and Princess Diana?
As the heir to the throne, Prince Charles’ actions were subject to intense scrutiny, both by the media and within his own family. Still, a new report reveals that when Princess Diana and Prince Charles first introduced the idea of divorce, Queen Elizabeth II didn’t act immediately. The report claims that the queen wasn’t sure that her eldest son would really welcome her help. The report also claims that, in retrospect, she would have acted sooner since the dissolution of Prince Charles’ marriage had implications for the royal family and the entire country.
Prince Philip, on the other hand, did try to extend an olive branch to his daughter-in-law at one point prior to the divorce. Even though Princess Diana claimed that Prince Philip was the one who initially told Prince Charles that he should have an affair if his marriage ends up not working out, her father-in-law wrote her a series of letters when their troubles were first made public. One letter even stated that Prince Charles was “silly” for risking so much for Parker-Bowles and that he couldn’t imagine anyone in their right mind leaving Princess Diana for Parker-Bowles.
The tragic finale to Princess Diana’s life
Princess Diana and Prince Charles did eventually divorce. After their divorce was finalized in 1996, the former couple went their separate ways, communicating for the sake of their young sons.
Sadly, Princess Diana did not get the chance to experience much of her life post-divorce. She was killed in a car crash in 1997, leaving her sons, ages 15 and 12, without their mother.