Secrets to How Princess Diana Affected Prince Charles’ Relationship With Queen Elizabeth, Revealed

In recent years, the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana has become more apparent. But there’s still mystery when it involves the man between them: Prince Charles. Did his rough marriage with Diana affect his relationship with his mother? What was their mother-son dynamic like before that? And how did Diana’s death hurt their bond? We took a deep dive in search of answers.

The early years, before Diana

Queen Elizabeth with Prince Phillip and Princess Anne.

Queen Elizabeth did not closely raise her two children. | AFP/Getty Images

Multiple biographies have suggested that Queen Elizabeth took the “monarch not mum” route with her children, and left much of their upbringing to nannies and royal staff. As Town & Country summarizes how Prince Charles’ childhood consisted of his parents being away on royal business, and how he grew up having a much closer relationship with his grandmother, the Queen Mother.

Next: And as Charles got older…

When it came to courting

Prince Charles In Cambridge.

It took a lot to get Prince Charles to settle down. | Peter Dunne/Daily Express/Getty Images

The Prince of Wales had his fair share of girlfriends before his first marriage. But as he got older and he remained single, the pressure on him to get hitched grew. Charles’ father, Prince Phillip, reportedly conveyed to him in a handwritten letter — because Phillip wrote to him as opposed to having heart-to-heart talks — that he had to get engaged or his reputation would be on the line. The queen, on the other hand, said very little. It has been suggested that both Charles’ parents’ behavior made him feel bullied into getting married.

Next: Speaking of him getting married…

When Diana first came into the picture

Princess Diana sits with Prince Charles.

She seemed like a fitting wife for the young prince. | Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

It’s believed that both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip played a part in convincing Prince Charles to propose to Lady Diana Spencer. (Phillip even allegedly wrote his son a letter telling him to “either propose or release her.”) The queen was reportedly very taken with Diana in the beginning. This may have clouded her judgement on how well the pair was matched, and encouraged her to nudge Charles into the marriage.

Next: The signs of tension on the ‘Big Day.’

Behind-the-scenes at the royal wedding

Lady Diana, Princess of Wales and Charles, Prince of Wales are seen during their wedding.

Their wedding prep was not full of excitement and joy. | Stringer/Getty Images

Previously unseen photos from Charles and Diana’s wedding have unveiled the tension felt through the royal family on that day. Photographs reveal what appears to be tension between Diana and the queen, and a somber mood between the newlyweds. But there is no sign of warmth between the queen and her son either.

Next: And things only got worse.

The issue of infidelity

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles sitting next to each other during an interview.

Prince Charles’ affair greatly affected Diana. | Abdelhak Senna/AFP/Getty Images

When Prince Charles’ affair with long-time mistress Camilla Parker-Bowles became too much for Princess Diana to bear, she allegedly went to the queen for aid. In video footage, Diana said the queen’s reply was: “I don’t know what you should do. Charles is hopeless.” While the response is unhelpful towards Diana’s plight, it also shows a lack of faith in her son.

Next: How an international tragedy hurt their relationship.

After Diana’s death

Prince Charles and Princess Diana are walking side by side.

Prince Charles mourned her death despite the affair and rocky marriage. | Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Despite their rocky marriage, Prince Charles was still quite torn up when he learned that Diana had been in a fatal car crash. He went on many walks and cried to himself because of how awful he felt, both for himself and for his young sons. Charles reportedly went to the queen for support, only to be met with a cold front and a suggestion that Camilla do the comforting. This created a fallout between the two royals.

Next: Moving forward…

In present day

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles sitting together during a ceremony.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles appear to be on good terms. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles appears to still be a bit more formal than the typical mother-son dynamic. (Although the queen appears to be a little more carefree in her old age.) There are still rumors that the queen doesn’t like Camilla, which could be affecting whether or not she abdicates the throne to Charles in the near future. But for the most part, their relationship has weathered the storm that Princess Diana was part of.

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