PRINCESS DIANA devastated when her father, Earl Spencer, died in 1992, but her then-husband Prince Charles reportedly had a very surprising reaction to the news according to an unearthed podcast.
The two were so distant and widely regarded as incompatible – even by Charles himself – leading many have to speculate as to how the Prince of Wales managed to soothe his wife during this time, especially as she was so close to her father.
In a podcast series called ‘Images of Diana’ released in August 2017 to commemorate the 20 years that have passed since her death, host Natasha Kaplinsky looked into how his reaction reflected the state of their marriage.
She began: “This was not a good year all round, but definitely not a good year for Diana.”
Royal biographer Sarah Bradford said: “No, because she loved her father very much. And she was out on holiday with Prince Charles when it happened and they went back together but Charles most unwillingly, he wasn’t around for her.
“He went immediately up to Scotland as I recall. Just another underlining of how far apart they were.”
Princess Diana and Prince Charles (Image GETTY)
Charles and Diana came to resent one another (Image: GETTY)
Angela Levin claimed in her biography, ‘Harry: Conversations with the Prince’, how much the unexpected death affected the ‘People’s Princess’.
The biographer said: “She went to see her father in hospital on Wednesday 25 March, the day before the planned holiday, to reassure herself that it safe to leave him.
“The Prince of Wales was to join Diana and their sons as an attempt at family togetherness in their increasingly cold marriage.”
The holiday was initially a success.
Diana was walked down the aisle by her father Earl Spencer (Image: GETTY)
Ms Levin said: “Diana contacted the hospital every day: she was told her father was doing well and happily monitoring England’s progress in the cricket Wold Cup. Three days into the holiday Diana was in an excellent mood, even laughingly offering reporters piggyback rides down the mountain.”
She then received a phone call while William and Harry had a snowball fight with their father and friends.
After taking the call she returned to the window of her residence and abruptly told the photographers to go away. She had just been informed of her father’s death.
He had a heart attack at 2pm and died almost instantly. The hospital said it was peaceful, but as Ms Levin pointed out, “he also died alone”.
Earl Spencer and the Queen with Diana and Charles on their wedding day (Image: GETTY)
The pair used to go skiing together (Image: GETTY)
Ms Levin explained: “Diana remained behind the closed shutters with Charles for hours, although how much comfort he was able to give her at this point in their marriage is questionable. She wanted to return home immediately but no plane was available and they had to wait until the next morning.
“Charles broke the new to his sons who were both extremely fond of their grandfather. After some minutes of silence, Harry asked: ‘Does this mean we can’t go skiing together?’”
The boys stayed skiing while Charles went back to the UK with Diana, even if reluctantly.
Charles and Diana skiing with Sarah Ferguson (Image: GETTY)
1992 was also considered a difficult time for the rest of the Royal Family. The Queen even referred to it as her ‘annus horribilis’ during a November speech to celebrate 40 years on the throne.
In March, Prince Andrew separated from Sarah Ferguson, and soon divorced. Princess Anne and Mark Phillips filed for divorce too, and there was a fire at Windsor Castle which caused an estimated £50million worth of damage.
Diana and Charles did not get a divorce until 1996, when the Queen apparently “ordered” the two to make their split official in an effort to reduce their public spats.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK