This Is the Very First Thing Prince Charles Said When He Heard Princess Diana Died

More than two decades after her death, royal fans are still fascinated with Princess Diana‘s life and have questions about her death. Since she and Prince Charles had such a tumultuous marriage and a very public separation and divorce, many wondered how her former husband reacted when he heard the news.

Here’s the first question Prince Charles asked when he found out that the People’s Princess was killed in a terrible crash.

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

What happened the night Princess Diana was in car accident?

On Aug. 30, 1997, Princess Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed dined at the Ritz Hotel in Paris around 10 p.m. Just after midnight, the pair left the Imperial Suite and headed to Fayed’s apartment. They exited the rear of the building in an attempt to escape the paparazzi but to no avail.

They were chased by photogs as they drove off in a Mercedes S-280 limousine. The vehicle was driven by Ritz security head Henri Paul, who was traveling at a high rate of speed in an effort to lose the paps. The car ended up crashing into a pillar in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel.

Paul and Fayed were killed instantly but the princess was still alive. She was suffering from multiple injuries including a severed pulmonary vein and transported to the La Pitie Salpetriere Hospital.

Reader’s Digest noted that in the middle of the night Britain’s ambassador to France, Michael Jay, was awoken and told about the crash. He then contacted Queen Elizabeth II’s private secretary, Robin Janvrin, to notify the monarch.

Where was Prince Charles when he heard about the crash?

Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry
Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry | Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Prince Charles was staying at Balmoral Castle in Scotland with his two sons and the rest of the royal family when he got word about what happened to his ex-wife.

The Express noted that in her book The Firm, royal biographer Penny Junor stated “Initial reports were that [Diana] had been badly injured, but was still alive.”

Emergency surgery was performed on Diana but she died on the operating table at 4 a.m. on Aug. 31, 1997.

What Charles said when he found out Diana had died?

 Floral tributes to Princess Diana outside Kensington Palace
Floral tributes to Princess Diana outside Kensington Palace | Liba Taylor/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

This is What Princess Diana’s Bodyguard Who Survived the Car Accident Kept Repeating After the Crash

Upon hearing the grim news Prince Charles “fell apart,” according to Tina Brown author of The Diana Chronicles.

Junor revealed that the first question Charles had was: “They’re all going to blame me, aren’t they?”

He then said, “We’re going to see a reaction that we’ve never seen before. And it could destroy everything. It could destroy the monarchy.” To which his secretary, Stephen Lamport, replied: “Yes, sir, I think it could. It’s going to be very difficult for your mother, sir.”

But Charles was also very concerned about how difficult things would be for Princes William and Harry, and he dreaded having to tell them that their mother was gone. He also wasn’t sure if he should wake them up at that moment or let them sleep. Eventually, Queen Elizabeth decided that it was best to let them sleep and they were told in the morning.