PRINCESS DIANA and Prince Charles’ marriage ended acrimoniously in 1996 – but the Prince of Wales had long “given up” on his wife by that point, according to a royal author.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles married in their spectacular 1981 royal wedding. However, the parents of Prince William and Harry would go on to have a notoriously rocky relationship that ended with their high-profile 1996 divorce. However the Prince and Princess of Wales’ marriage began to disintegrate well before etc public knew of their struggles, and Charles had “given up” on his wife before they separated in 1992, according to royal biographer Penny Junor.
In her 2005 book “The Firm”, Ms Junor takes a look at the dynamics of the relationship.
She writes: “It was never the case that Charles didn’t care.
“Couldn’t cope, yes; and as the months and then the years went by with no let-up form the unpredictability of Diana’s behaviour, he became hardened and at times downright callous in his attitude towards her.
“He had found her a top psychiatrist, he had done what he could to appease here.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana (Image: Getty)
Prince Charles and Princess Diana became engagaed in 1981 (Image: Getty)
“He had cut out of his life the friends she disliked or of whom she was suspicious; good, loyal friends, some of them friends since childhood – and, in typical style, he took the easy way out and did it without telling them.
“They were left to wonder what had happened when phone calls, letters and invitations to Highgrove and Balmoral simply stopped.
“He even gave away his faithful old labrador Harvey because Diana thought he was smelly.
“None of this seemed to make any difference; and when she burst into tears or launched into a tantrum, nothing he could say seemed to calm her.
Their marital problems began shortly after their 1981 royal wedding (Image: Getty)
“So he gave up.”
Ms Junor continues: “When she made dramatic gestures he walked away, when she self-harmed he walked away.
“Not because he didn’t care but because he couldn’t help.
“He felt desperate, hopeless and guilty, and to this day he feels a terrible sense of failure for not having been able to make his marriage work.”
By 1992 it seemed obvious to the world that the Prince and Princess were unhappy (Image: Getty)
Diana’s divorce in 1996 made headlines around the world (Image: Getty)
Ms Junor also pinpoints the moment at which “all hope had gone” for the ill-fated marriage.
She describes how, by 1992, the Queen and Prince Philip had urged the couple to work through their differences, however as the year wore on all hope faded.
Ms Junor writes: “It had taken one final disastrous tour to Korea, and a botched weekend Charles had planned to have with the children at Sandringham, for the prince finally to snap and agree there was no purpose in carrying on.
“The marriage was over and all hope that he and Diana might still be friends was also over.
Charles and Diana timeline (Image: Getty)
“On December 9, 1992, the Prime Minister, John Major, announced their separation in the House of Commons.”
The author continues: “Julia Cleverdon, chief executive of Business in the Community, was with the Prince of Wales that day.
“She had worked closely with him for nearly ten years and in all that time, despite innumerable crises, she had never seen him so utterly miserable.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK