PRINCESS DIANA and Prince Charles’ tumultuous marriage breakdown played out in front of the watching world – but behind closed doors the young Prince William was his mother’s confidant, according to a royal biographer.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles married in their spectacular 1981 royal wedding. The Prince and Princess of Wales welcomed Prince William in 1982 and Prince Harry in 1984, however their marital problems would go on to result in their high-profile 1996 divorce. By the time of the little princes’ parents’ separation in 1992, the young Prince William was becoming used to being a shoulder for his mother to lean on in her turmoil.
Veteran royal correspondent Robert Jobson, in his 2006 book ‘William’s Princess’, delves into Prince William’s childhood.
Mr Jobson writes: “The princess proudly told friends that William was her ‘soulmate’.
“It was a turn of phrase that left many distinctly uneasy.
“Some even cautioned her against confiding so unreservedly in her eldest son.
Princess Diana; Prince William (Image: Getty)
The young princes with their mother in 1992 (Image: Getty)
“But she insisted that her boys hear the truth from her lips.”
He goes on: “It was not solely a quirk of Diana’s personality that she chose her son as confidant.
“Some psychologists claim that when a marriage is rocky, the mother often turns to her oldest child for the emotional support and advice she would normally hope to receive from her husband.
“This is what Diana did and sometimes she simply went too far, burdening William with problems that he should never have been asked to shoulder.”
The author continues: “William also had a knack of spotting what Princess Diana needed.
“Throughout the turmoil of his parents’ marriage crisis in 1992, he assumed the role of supportive son.
“He was just ten but already, in Diana’s eyes at least, he had reached that rewarding age when the child becomes a companion and friend to his parent, able to grasp, at least in part, a parent’s adult troubles.
“Whenever Diana felt uncertain, William was there for her.
“He once told her that he wanted to be a policeman so that he could protect her.
“Her heart must have ached with love at his earnest words.”
Mr Jobson goes on to write how, during what would prove to be her last days, the Princess telephoned William to confide in him about her summer romance with Dodi al-Fayed.
He writes: “Again Diana confided in William, talking over the differences between Dodi and [ex-boyfriend] Hasnat Khan, after whom she still hankered.
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“It was an extraordinary topic of conversation for a mother to be having with her 15-year-old son, but he was well used to it.
“If it was William’s blessing for her relationship with Dodi that she wanted, then she got it.
“Dodi made his mother laugh; he seemed to make her genuinely happy.
“At last Diana had found happiness in her private life and everybody – including her ex-husband – was pleased for her.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK