In 1981, the royal wedding made a sensational TV show. However, few people could say that Prince Charles and Princess Diana belonged with each other. Their marriage proved to be unhappy, and to make matters worse, Charles had an affair with his long-time lover, Camilla Parker-Bowles. So, what was the true reason behind that marriage?
Sally Bedell Smith, the biographer, claims that Prince Charles was forced to marry Lady Diana – at least, he believed so. In her book, published in 2017, she states that 32-year-old prince and 19-year-old Lady Spencer had only gone on a few dates before the media hype arose. Prince Philip wrote a letter to his son in which he noted that such wishy-washy behavior could ruin Diana’s reputation, and set out an ultimatum: propose to her or dump her.
Pamela Hicks, Charles cousin, who happened to read that letter, said that it was quite moderate and delicate in tone. However, Prince Charles seemed to have a different opinion. “He wasn’t sure he loved her at all”, Pamela said, “His father’s letter sounded like a threat to him. He believed that the father was bullying him into marriage.”
Charles and Diana’s marriage started in 1981, and two sons, Prince Willam and Prince Harry, were born in it. But later on, the couple began drifting apart. No matter how much Diana loved Charles, she couldn’t put up with his feelings for Camilla. A loving wife, mother and philanthropist in public, she had to struggle with inner problems, as Sally Bedell Smith writes. Diana was reported to abuse her husband and have a whole list of psychic disorders. She and the heir to England’s throne broke up in 1992 and filed for divorce in 1996.
Things could have taken a different turn if Camilla hadn’t married Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973. Andrew’s brother and father literally had a plot to make Andrew marry her. According to Sally Bedell Smith, they published a notice in the newspaper before the actual engagement took place. After facing such a hype, Andrew had no other choice than to marry his girlfriend of seven years.
So, could it have been better if Camilla hadn’t married Andrew and Charles didn’t have to commit to Diana? Who knows.