Was Prince William’s Mind ‘Poisoned’ After Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s Divorce?

A little more than a decade after they said “I do,” Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially separated and ended up divorcing four years later. Their split was messy and played out on an international stage. But at the heart of that split and all the back-and-forth mudslinging were their two children, Princes William and Harry.

Following their divorce, William’s relationship with his father appeared to be strained leaving some to wonder if his mind was “poisoned” against his dad. Here’s more on that and the thing Diana did that really upset William.

Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Prince Charles
Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Prince Charles | Terry Fincher/Getty Images

Did Diana ‘poison’ William’s mind against his father?

The late princess’ biographer, Andrew Morton, noted how nasty things had been between Diana and Charles even before they chose to separate and that they were regularly at odds.

“At home, the battlegrounds were their children and Charles’s relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles,” Morton wrote in Diana: Her True Story–in Her Own Words.

In Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion, and Defiance of Prince Charles, the future king’s biographer, Tom Bower, claimed that Charles’ relationship with his kids, especially William, post-divorce was difficult and that Diana had “poisoned” them.

According to Bower, Charles believed, “Diana had poisoned the boys’ minds towards their father.”

The Duke of Cornwall has never publicly talked about feeling that way or if still feels that way. It is, however, believed that Charles’ relationship with Camilla is something William had trouble accepting for a while especially after his mother’s death.

Prince William and Prince Charles
Prince William and Prince Charles | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

William was angry at his mother for her actions

Something William didn’t accept that Diana did was that explosive Panorama interview in 1995 in which she aired out all the dirty laundry pertaining to her marriage.

In her book titled, William and Harry, Vanity Fair’s Royal Correspondent Katie Nicholl touched on this subject. She said that the prince was in disbelief as he watched the interview in a teacher’s study at Eton where he was boarding.

“He simply could not believe that his mother had invited the television cameras into the home he had grown up in and loved, to betray his father and their family in such a public way,” Nicholl wrote.

Years later, William did say that he finally understood why his mom chose to do the interview.

“I can understand — having sometimes been in those situations, you feel incredibly desperate and it is very unfair that things are being said that are untrue,” the Duke of Cambridge explained. “The easiest thing to do is just to say or go to the media yourself. Open that door. [But] once you’ve opened it you can never close it again.”

What Prince William’s relationship with Prince Charles is like today?

These days, it appears that William and Charles’ relationship is stronger than it had been in the past.

Today, William has a family of his own and admitted that he wants his father to be around more so he can spend as much time as possible with his grandkids as they grow up.

“I would like him to have more time with the children,” William said. “Having more time with him at home would be lovely, and being able to, you know, play around with the grandchildren. When he’s there, he’s brilliant.”

Read more: How Prince William Honored Princess Diana By Sleeping Out On the Streets Of London