Why The Real Problem in Princess Diana’s Marriage Was The Royal Family’s Cowardice

Princess Diana and Prince Charles were married for nearly fifteen years, but throughout their entire relationship, sadness and heartache prevailed. Only 20 years old when she married into the royal family, Princess Diana experienced great love and affection from the public, but disinterest and unhappiness within her marriage.

Over the years, many fans have wondered why the royal family didn’t step in and try to help Prince Charles and Princess Diana when it became obvious that their relationship was in serious trouble. A recent podcast broke down some of the struggles that Princess Diana faced while married to Prince Charles, and why she might have carried so much resentment towards the royal family.

Princess Diana felt the threat of Camilla Parker Bowles early on

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | Bettmann/Getty Images

Princess Diana met Prince Charles when she was still a teenager, introduced to him when he was dating her older sister. Prince Charles, at the time, was England’s most eligible bachelor, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. The whole world was waiting with bated breath to see who he would choose to be his wife.

Camilla Parker Bowles, whom Prince Charles dated in the early seventies, was deemed to be an inappropriate choice for a royal bride, due to her lack of high-born pedigree. So, Prince Charles’ attention fell to Diana Spencer. Even though Princess Diana and Prince Charles got married in 1981, Parker Bowles lingered. At some point in the 1980s, after the birth of Prince William, Prince Charles and Parker Bowles started an affair.

While various stories claim different things regarding when Princess Diana first became aware that her husband was seeing another woman, there can be no doubt that she realized very early on. One report claims that Princess Diana actually confronted Parker Bowles at a birthday party, and then on a later occasion told her that she knew about her and Prince Charles and asked to not be treated “like an idiot.”

The royal family knew of the affair

While Princess Diana definitely knew about the affair, there were others within the royal family who knew about Prince Charles’ indiscretions as well. Reports state that the entire royal family was quite aware of the relationship between Prince Charles and Parker Bowles. The fact that they knew and didn’t step in to confront Prince Charles upset Princess Diana thoroughly. The story goes on to detail that the royal family “turned a blind eye” to the problems within Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage and it was their very lack of involvement that might have contributed to the royal couple’s ultimate undoing.

Why didn’t the royal family step in to help?

Many royal fans might wonder why, exactly, the rest of the royal family didn’t at least try to help Prince Charles and Princess Diana, especially when it became obvious that Prince Charles’ affair was going to tear them apart.

One report reveals that Queen Elizabeth II actually considered trying to help her eldest son, but wasn’t really sure that he would welcome her input. In retrospect, it does seem as though the queen wishes that she would have stepped in sooner.

Prince Philip actually did reach out to Princess Diana several times during the initial separation and divorce proceedings, telling his estranged daughter-in-law that Prince Charles was a fool for leaving her and risking everything for the sake of Camilla Parker Bowles.

Of course, Prince Charles and Princess Diana did end up divorcing in 1996. While their union was full of heartbreak, there were at least two positive things that resulted from their marriage: Prince William and Prince Harry.