Royal heartbreak: How Prince Charles’ ‘joke’ left Diana devastated after Harry’s birth

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PRINCESS DIANA was left heartbroken after the birth of her youngest son Harry following an inappropriate joke from Prince Charles.

Diana’s devotion to her sons was one of the many features that helped her secure the affections of the British public. From the outset, Diana was determined to be a hands-on mother to Princes William and Harry, insisting that they did the “normal things” that other children did. She took them with her on royal tours, so as not to separated from them for long periods and made sure they received a rounded education.

Yet Prince Charles had always dreamt of having a baby daughter and was by all accounts not best pleased initially when his wife failed to deliver.

In his book Diana: Her True Story, royal author Andrew Norton claimed the Prince of Wales was so desperate for a baby girl, that Diana felt she had to keep the gender of her baby a secret during her second pregnancy.



On giving birth to Harry in September 1984, after nine hours of painful labour, the princess noted the “dismay” on Charles’ face.

Mr Norton wrote that the Prince of Wales’ first comment was “Oh God, it’s a boy”, before adding “And he’s even got red hair.”

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PRINCESS DIANA’S devotion to her sons was one of the many features (Image: GETTY)

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From the outset, Diana was determined to be a hands-on mother (Image: GETTY)

Presumably intended as a joke, Diana was allegedly devastated by the comment, given both the difficulty of the birth, as well as the fact that many in her family had red hair.

To compound the hurt, Charles then quipped to her mother at Harry’s christening: “We were so disappointed – we thought it would be a girl.”

Diana believed that her failure to produce a daughter was the final straw for their marriage.

Prior to Harry’s birth, Charles and Diana’s relationship had enjoyed a renaissance of sorts, but things soon soured afterwards.

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Yet Prince Charles had always dreamt of having a baby daughter (Image: GETTY)

She said: “Then, suddenly, as Harry was born, it just went bang, our marriage.

“The whole thing went down the drain.”

Diana’s marriage to Charles was always overshadowed by the Prince of Wales’ continued love for Camilla Parker Bowles.

In an interview with the BBC’s Martin Bashir, Diana gave her famous reply to the journalist’s question of whether she blamed Camilla for the breakdown of her marriage.

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Charles and Diana never had anything in common (Image: GETTY)

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“Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.” (Image: GETTY)

She said: “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”

Diana’s marriage to Charles already came under strain during their honeymoon at Balmoral.

The princess was left heartbroken after Charles sent an “unbelievable” nod to his ex-lover, Camilla, by wearing cuff links engraved with his and Camilla’s initials.

Speaking on the Channel 5 documentary Charles and Camilla: King and Queen in Waiting, royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said: “Almost unbelievably Charles wore cuff links with the C and C, meaning Charles and Camilla.”

He went on to claim that Charles and Diana never had anything in common and at times seemed unable to talk to each other.

The Prince of Wales met Camilla Shand, as she was then known, at a polo match in Windsor in 1970.

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Diana believed that her failure to produce a daughter was the final straw for their marriage. (Image: GETTY)

They became lovers soon after, before splitting up when Charles joined the Royal Navy the following year.

The future Duchess of Cornwall went on to marry British Army lieutenant Andrew Parker Bowles.

The Prince of Wales, though, never managed to get over his love for Camilla and it appeared they stayed in touch.

Camilla divorced her husband in 1995 and eventually married Charles in April 2005.

Source: EXPRESS CO UK