Skip to main content

Princess Diana and Prince Charles had a whirlwind courtship. It wasn’t long before they were engaged and then married. From the moment of the engagement, Princess Diana was thrust into the always present spotlight. The people absolutely loved her and couldn’t seem to get enough Diana. Prince Charles started to resent his wife’s popularity very early on in their marriage. But there was jealousy on both sides.

Princess Diana’s new world in the spotlight

Princess Diana and Prince Charles
Princess Diana and Prince Charles | David Levenson/Getty Images

Diana wasn’t prepared for what was to come next. The paparazzi followed her every move and practically staked out her life. She became the most photographed woman in the world overnight. It was a lot for anyone to deal with. On top of that, she had a jealous husband who was used to the spotlight being on himself and not someone else. The Prince of Wales quickly realized that his wife was immensely popular, even more than himself.

There was ‘a lot of jealousy’

Princess Diana participated in the BBC’s famous Panorama Interview with Martin Bashir in 1995. It was much later in their marriage and Diana had already realized at that time where things stood. “With the media attention came a lot of jealousy, a lot of complicated situations arose because of that,” Diana said.

The crowds preferred Princess Diana over Prince Charles

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | David Levenson/Getty Images

Prince Charles realized that his wife was extremely popular with the people. They clearly preferred her over him and he hated it. Princess Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell, spoke on the podcast Fatal Voyage: Diana Case Solved. He recalled Charles’ intense jealousy towards his wife and how the crowds would call for her over him.

“When the royal couple were doing engagements all around the world, the crowds wanted to see Diana,” Burrell said. “And they would chant Diana’s name. And of course, Charles would come back from the engagement and be furious. ‘Why do they want to see you? I married you and made you royal, you weren’t born royal. Why do they want to see you? I can’t understand it.’ Suddenly, the Princess’ star was starting to eclipse that of the Prince of Wales and he didn’t like it.”

There was jealousy on both sides

It wasn’t just Charles that was jealous of Diana. She was equally jealous of his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. Prince Charles was carrying on a longtime affair with Camilla and Diana learned very quickly what was going on. She didn’t just take it lying down either.

Princess Diana confronted both of them, separately of course. Charles always seemed to deny what was going on. On the one occasion that Princess Diana mustered up the courage to say something to Camilla, it didn’t really go anywhere. According to Andrew Morton’s biography on the Princess, Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words, Diana made it known that she was very aware of everything. Camilla went on to ask her what more she could want, virtually insinuating Diana had everything already, except her husband that is. Princess Diana simply replied, “I want my husband.”

There was obvious jealously on both sides of the troubled marriage between the Waleses for very different reasons. Prince Charles was jealous of his wife’s popularity and Princess Diana was jealous of her husband’s blatant affair. Eventually, their marriage fell apart and they divorced officially in 1996.