Prince Charles ‘tormented’ over Diana’s death anniversary
Prince Charles has endured an August horribilis but will
“weather the storm” caused by coverage of the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, say sources close to the heir to the throne.
They spoke out after his biographer Sally Beddell Smith said the raking up of the so-called ‘War of the Wales’ had caused Charles and Camilla “real damage”.
“Too much of what Diana said has been taken at face-value now, amplified online through her voice and image from beyond the grave,” she said, referring to a Channel 4 documentary featuring interviews Diana gave to voice coach Peter Settelen at the height of her marriage problems in the early 1990s.
“Charles is hardly a saint, but Diana could be an unreliable narrator, and she was often vengeful,” she added.
“I think the coverage has inflicted some real damage on Charles and Camilla, as the plummeting poll numbers have shown. All his admirable work as Prince of Wales over the past 40 years has been disregarded, and republicans have exploited the accusatory mood to question his fitness to be king.
“If 1992 was the Queen’s annus horribilis, this has been Charles’s aestas horribilis (Horrible Summer). He has been a ghost in the Diana commemorations, constrained from comment lest he seem like a cad. He will doubtless recover, but it will take some time.”
A source close to the royal couple said: “It’s not been another annus horribilis but it has been an August horribilis. But they’ve weathered the storm before and they’ll weather it again.”
I think the coverage has inflicted some real damage on Charles and Camilla
Sally Beddell Smith
Another said: “It’s very much a case of getting back to work next week, not from this story but from their holiday.”
In her biography, Prince Charles: The Passions And Paradoxes Of An Improbable Life, Mrs Bedell Smith claimed Charles’s role as a father had often been put into the shade by Diana, on occasions such as when she was photographed hugging Princes William and Harry on the Royal Yacht Britannia in Canada in 1991.
“By then Diana had mastered the art of creating a narrative through images for the cameras,” she wrote.
“The boys were waiting with their nanny on the deck of the Britannia for their parents to return from their engagements. The limousine had scarcely come to a stop when Diana popped out, caught sight of the boys, and strode with determination up the gangplank, leaving Charles far behind.
“After a cursory handshake with one of the Royal Navy officers, she broke into a run, beamed an incandescent smile, and outstretched her arms. She scooped up William, then Harry, in un-royal bear hugs amid blinding camera flashes.
“Charles arrived seconds later and leaned down to give his sons hugs and kisses, partly obscured from the cameras by Diana’s back. His gestures were restrained, but no less loving than his wife’s.”
The author claimed Charles’s “measured tread” was then compared unfavourably with Diana’s warmth.
Although the British press only ran the Diana photos, foreign publications used the Charles shots, with one headline in a Canadian newspaper reading: “Abroad Britannia, Charles Forgets Protocol for Tenderness”.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK
Tags: Measured Tread, Diana Photos, Foreign Publications, Prince Charles, Abroad Britannia, Charles Forgets Protocol for Tenderness, Leaving Charles, Gangplank, Engagements, Limousine, Cameras, Camilla Parker Bowles, Diana and Camilla, Princess Diana and Camilla, Princess Diana and Prince Charles