We have gathered priceless moments in time that sculpted one of the most devastating stories in British history. This time, let’s see what Charles has to say about it.
Two Lost Souls
Charles' cold and distant childhood, and Diana, longing for an authentic and enchanting Cindarella story, all came together to build the foundation of a devastating tale of a future king, and his princess, with her lost soul.
At first, everyone believed it was a match made in heaven and Diana answered the entire queen checklist, however, those with sharp eyes could recognize straight from the start, that the distance between the two could never be bridged.
A Royal Stud
Up until 1977, Charles dated many women and the royal family wasn't fond of his preferences. He was rebellious and described as being a stud, something unheard of when it came to the royal Windsor family.
He was seeking to stand out and be different. He didn't want to be like all the other members of his family. However deep inside he acknowledged that his future was already set and written.
And Then There Was Camilla
Camilla Rosemary Shand was one year older than Charles. Her father was a major in the British Army and she grew up surrounded by the prestigious elite society. Although she wasn't blood-related to the Windsors, she was somehow part of the British aristocracy.
She studied all over Europe and was considered a well-educated and good 'marriage material'. She was also the first woman to captivate and capture prince Charles's heart.
The Great Escape
Charles and Camilla first met in 1970, they were both in their early twenties and both huge polo fans. The attraction was instant and they began dating. As they wanted to avoid the public eye, they would often escape to the English countryside, hoping never to be found.
At first, it was a true fairytale with a real Prince Charming and his Princess, however, things were about to change and the crown was going to win this battle. But not for long.....
In the Navy
Camilla was all Charles ever wanted. Attractive, unthreatened by his known future, and shared his love of British nature. In 1971 it all came to an end. Charles was obliged to join the Royal Navy, and Camilla was left behind. Waiting for him wasn't an option and the path of royal history was set.
They had to go their separate ways. Later in life, Camilla would pay a heavy price for being part of Charles's pre-Diana history.
They Never Really Said Goodbye
We know today that even though they each married other people, the romance between Charles and Camilla never really ended. Camilla did love her husband, however, still had strong feelings for the future king.
With Charles, Camilla's shadow seemed to linger on for years and it is known that there were three people in the marriage of Chalares and Diana.
A Fixed Marridge Was on the Line
The future queen of England couldn't just be anyone. Charles's mother, Queen Elizabeth II, suggested several women that would suit the role, however, Charles refused. That's when the spencer family came into the picture.
A good match for Charles as far as the Queen was concerned was Lady Sarah Spencer, whose sister would eventually become the chosen one and change the royal family forever.
A Bride to Be
It was 1977 when Prince Charles and Lady Sarah Spencer began dating. It was at the same time that he met her younger sister, Lady Diana Spencer. Diana was just 16 at the time, still unaware of the future awaiting her.
You would have thought that such a scenario would have come between the two sisters. However, it didn't. They were so close and wouldn't let any Prince, future king or not, rock the boat. There were other things that were going to shake their deck.
More than Just a Princess
Diana may not have grown up a member of the royal family but she certainly had close ties to it for her entire life. She was born into a privileged family, with her father working as an equerry for King George VI and a youthful Queen Elizabeth II.
But no matter how close she may have been to royalty and the royal family as a child, nothing could have prepared her for life as a princess. It was a matter of time before the beautiful young Diana’s life would change forever.
Nineteen Going on Thirty
Diana was still very young in the summer of 1980 when she caught Charles’ eye. At the time, she was just 19 years old, and the prince was 31. It didn't take long for the couple to go on a vacation together and a new chapter for the royal family began.
This was a turning point in Charles's romantic life. That was the year he first asked Diana on a date. Charles was having a rough time after tragically losing his beloved uncle Lord Mountbatten, however, he was comforted by Diana and she was at his side.
In House Pressure
Prince Phillip, Charles's father, was pressuring Charles into making a decision. He was the future king of England and the clock was ticking. No one knows if arm-twisting was what made Charles go another step forward, as we know he wasn't madly in love, or if it was it a blast from the past that wouldn't let go.
For Charles, Camilla's shadow seemed to linger on for years which gave no chance to any other woman.
She Said an Early I Do
Diana was planning a trip to Australia, which Charles was aware of. He proposed before she was supposed to leave, assuming she would take advantage of her Australian break and think things carefully before giving an answer. But boy, was he wrong.
Diana replied sooner than expected, and before boarding the plane she said yes. 1981 kicked in and 19-year-old Diana was engaged to 31-year-old Charles, soon to be the King of England. History was about to be made.
The Reality of Royal Life
Diana and the prince dated for just six months before he proposed to her in February of 1981. They were married within a matter of months. Unfortunately, she would soon find the pressures of royal life to be too much for her to handle.
She found herself being hounded by the media and scrutinized by the royal family and the public. The media would chase her throughout her life, and eventually bring it to a sad end.
The Engagement Scandle
When Charles and Diana came out publicly with their engagement, the first sign of trouble arose. Charles was asked the simplest question, however, his answer would echo for many years to come.
He was simply asked if the two were madly in love. Diana kept quiet and then Charles replied "whatever in Love means." Poor Diana stood there with her fake smile and nodded her head. There was not much she could say at the time.
Cinderella on The Road
What started as a magnificent and enchanting wedding ceremony, would soon become one of the most talked about and influential relationships in the world. Camilla Parker Bowles, despite Diana's wishes, was present at the wedding ceremony.
Not a year had passed by and a new baby boy was born. Prince William came into the world. Two years later, his baby brother Harry, joined the family. Besides standards and family issues, things were looking pretty normal for the extended Windsor family, but not for long.
Things were not smooth sailing between Charles and Diana even in the early days. Diana faced medical problems concerning her weight. Her health issues stemmed from the pressure she’d been experiencing and the standards she had to keep up with. One thing is for sure, she was not living a life of a Princess.
She was devastated, however, saying goodbye to royal duties was not the thing she was most afraid of. She actually violated the rules when she dropped the word 'obey' during their wedding vows. It makes sense, the future would prove that she was not about to obey anyone...
Was She Ever a Part?
Diana never felt like she belonged. She couldn’t help but feel like she never lived up to what was expected of her.
It wouldn't take long before the fairytale would crash and crumble down. Rumors of affairs began to circulate, including that of Charles's affair with Camilla. Diana reportedly confronted her, but the sneaky relationship continued, and it started to take a toll on the young princess. The fact that the royal family continued to act as if everything was okay when she was devastated only made matters worse.
When Things Don’t Go Your Way
If Charles could have had his own way, he probably would have married his true love, Camilla. Charles’ great-uncle Lord Mountbatten did not believe that Camilla was aristocratic enough to be the Prince of Wales's wife.
Young Diana found herself married to royalty with two young children, one destined to be the king of England. Less than five years later, the cracks were too much to be oblivious to. and the presence of Camilla hunted wherever she went.
The Beginning of the End
No one can say what was the exact turning point for Charles and Diana's marriage and when things began to crumble down. Was it the age difference between the two? Was it the fact that Charles wasn't completely over Camilla? Or was it that Diana was growing up and was trying to shed a strong light on her individuality, something almost impossible when you're a royal?
Diana did eventually confront Camilla, however, the latter replied by saying that Diana had everything she wanted.
The Truth Revealed
The day came when speculations became facts and one phone conversation between Charles and Camilla was what eventually made their marriage collapse. There was no going back and the relations between the Prince and the Princess were on the verge of a breakdown.
During the 1990s, Prince Charles' diaries were published, revealing all of his unfaithful ways. Adding on to that, Diana's medical condition was documented too, painting her in a very different light than what she usually reflected.
Charles didn't share that he renewed his romance with Camilla in 1986, which was the point he felt his marriage had “irretrievably broken down.” Until the affair was publicized in 1992, the couple refrained from officially separating.
Could you imagine having to put on an 'everything is ok and we are trying to save our marriage' look on your face when deep inside, you know, your husband knows and the entire nation knows that that last word has been said, and the marriage was over?
It Was Diana's Time
Diana and Charles separated in 1992 and were officially divorced in 1996. The late queen Elizabeth finally came to her senses and authorized such a separation. By now, Charles wasn't the only one involved in a new love affair, and the press revealed that Princess Diana was entangled with another man.
James Gilbey was the new guy. The media was exposed to recordings of their private conversations. The public reacted to this in a much more severe way than they did when Charles's actions were discovered, making Diana feel more hunted and chased than she already was.
Affairs on Both Ends
Apparently, there were several love stories that Diana was involved in at the time, including the one she admitted lasted for several years, with an officer in the British Army named James Hewitt. There were even speculations that Prince Harry was a result of their affair.
Hewitt published a book titled "Love and War." He detailed their time together and gave his insights into Diana's personality when she was not watched over. With all that, Barry Mannakee was considered the love of her life as she revealed in an interview on British television.
Her Last Love
Then, Dodi Al-Fayed, an Egyptian billionaire came into her life. He suited her perfectly. He wasn't afraid of the camera and the paparazzi were never a threat. He knew what the price for dating her would be, he just never imagined how high it could go, costing him his life.
Al-fayed gave Diana everything she wanted and the paparazzi were having a blast. It was all given to them on a silver plate and the public was supportive and their princess had found true love.
Public in Paris
Within no time, Diana and Dodi were used to the flashes and the opinion people had of them. They began appearing in public and their faces were all over the tabloids. They were seen in pairs, the city of lights and they appeared to be in love.
It was thought at the time that Dodi made an extraordinary purchase while the two were on holiday. he bought a custom-made ring worth almost $15K. Was it an engagement ring? We will never know. Anyhow, it was time for revenge.
The famous interview Diana had on Panorama was the one that exposed everything there was to know about her and Charles's misfortunate marriage. She out and loud blamed Camilla for her marriage falling apart, making over 23 million people glue themselves to the TV screens.
In 1995, the divorce was finalized, stripping Diana of her royal title and turning Charles available once again. Tragedy would hit the family and the entire British nation not too long after, with Diana's catastrophic accident that ended her life.
The People's Princess
Regardless of her position, Diana was always loved by the public. She was the people's princess and everyone adored everything about her. The stories around her new love life didn't change that and she remained the favorite member of the royals.
Diana was keen to show the crowds that no man can ever be responsible for her inner satisfaction. That her joyfulness doesn't depend on anyone, not even a prince. She didn't need anyone to make her, finally, happy.
It was less than a year after the divorce was finalized between the two, that their worlds would come to an end when Diana lost her life alongside Al-Fayed in a tragic car accident. She might not have been officially a member of the number one family n the UK, but the entire nation mourned her loss.
What came unexpectedly was the feeling of guilt and blame the public turned towards Prince Charles. Of course, it was in no way his personal fault but people felt that he traumatized Diana and made her life impossible.
The Final Flash
This is the final image of Princes Diana prior to the crash. She is hiding her face from the paparazzi lends, avoiding being exposed. This photo clarifies how chased she was and how even little private moments were brutally taken away from her.
Many people considered this as being much more than just an accident. Throughout her entire life, she was never left alone, her space forever invaded and even in her last moments, she wasn't left in peace.
No one was sure what exactly was going on between Diana and Dodi at the time of the accident. Perhaps they were madly in love hoping for a bright future ahead, and perhaps it was just a fling, with no intentions on her side of getting too serious.
One thing we do know is that during one summer, they were one by the side of each other all time. They were seen on Dodi's yacht, and the images were published all over. That was their last summer together.
Out of Control
What upset the public the most following this tragedy, was the photographer's and the paparazzi's responses. Instead of reaching out to help they just continued taking photos, hoping to create the scoop of the moment.
This was followed by some photographers being arrested as things were getting out of control. This just goes to show how sometimes the media can forget they are taking pictures of real humans, not just "news items."
Two Lost Boys
Those who had it the hardest, were of course William and Harry, Diana and Charles' two little boys. They had to live through their parents' public divorce, they had to confront the tabloids, and now they had to come to terms with the most horrific event that could ever happen to them. Losing their mother.
Only years later, the two would share those devastating days with the public. Prince Harry said once that he hoped his experience of grief at such a young age, and the insights that followed could eventually help others.
Keeping it Low for Now
When the tragedy hit, Charles and Camilla were already involved (again). They did their best to keep it quiet knowing the public would swallow it so smoothly, and now that Diana had died things were going to get even more difficult to explain and have their relationship out in the open.
Charles's fears were about to become reality, as the public showed no support to him, and their compassion and empathy were driven towards William and Harry only.
Everyone Was Having a Hard Time
Even though their marriage had ended, Charles was terribly concerned about Diana’s tragic death. All he needed was someone to comfort him, however, Queen Elizabeth kept her distance as she too was finding the situation hard to handle.
Everyone around him blamed Camilla for coming between Charles and Diana, the Queen herself tried to make her disappear for her son's life, however, Charles admitted he could not let go of the love of his life. Camilla.
The people loved Diana, but Charles loved Camilla. And he could never love any other woman in such a way. In years to come, Charles and Camilla would finally take their vowels and marry. By this, Charles, today king of England, broke many rules that were never accepted by the monarchy.
Their love was and still is, stronger than the regulations set, and they have shown the world over and over again, that they are truly meant to be. Charles and Camilla's story is everything Charles and Diana's marriage was not.
No Need for Hiding
In 1999, Charles and Camilla exposed their love to the world. The public's reaction was one thing to handle, however, the queen's reaction was a much bigger deal. At that point, Queen Elizabeth refused to acknowledge her son's choice.
It would be more than a year later, that the queen would agree to be present in the same room with Charles and Camilla together. And when she did eventually do so, it was her way of silently approving.
Wedding Bells Rang Again
35 years after they first met, Prince Charles married his Princess, Camilla. Queen Elizabeth never attended. Prince William and Prince Harry welcomed their father's wife into their lives too.
They were aware of their history, and they knew all about the gossip and the past each one of them carried, however, they only really came to terms with their mother's side. Now they were about to hear their father's side of the story.
He Finally Got Everything Out
Charles never exposed his feelings about his 15 years with Diana to the public and chose to share his side only years later. Out of respect or out of sympathy, we don't know, but according to him, it takes two to tango, and Dianna was not dancing alone.
Several years ago, a book covering Camilla's life was published and a few good pages were dedicated to the Diana Charles and Camilla triangle. Apparently, Charles was having a very rough night on the eve of his wedding to Diana. Did anyone wonder back then what he was going through and how he felt? No.
They Were Forever in Love
Charles recalled his time with Camilla (before marrying Diana) as one of the most peaceful and blissful times of his life. He wanted to marry her. She was the world to him and when she was engaged to Parker Bowles, he begged for her to reconsider.
They never stopped loving one another, and even through his dark days with Diana, he excused his actions with Camilla by saying that there was no way he was going to be the only Prince of Wales in history that didn't have a mistress.
Diana knew all along, even before their wedding, that Charles still had feelings for Camilla, but she was about to marry the future king of England. What was she supposed to do? Charles didn't do much to make her think otherwise.
While married to Diana, he carried a photo of Camilla in his diary. How obvious can that be? Charles tried to be transparent with Diana, however, reality prevented him to do so. There were conventions and traditions that had to be respected.
It Was Black on White
When Charles proposed to Diana, he was too young, He wasn't ready to settle down and he wasn't in love and the writing was on the wall. Their marriage started off in such an unnatural way, what were the odds of it ever working?
Pamela Hicks, Charles’s cousin, was quoted in Charles's biography as saying; "There was no way such a reluctant union was going to end well in this day and age". But, like in many other sad stories, duty came first.
The Secret Was Out
Diana once recalled hearing Charles on the phone with Camilla. He was taking a bath and assumed no one could hear him. Or maybe, he spoke loud enough so everyone could hear him?
He told Camilla, " Whatever happens, I will always love you". Diana was heartbroken and even confronted him. He had nothing to say but that they had a row and things are sometimes just said with not much intention.
Fred and Gladys
Diana knew all along that something was going on and apparently, Charles and Camilla had nicknames for one another, Fred and Gladys. Just two weeks before the big wedding day took place, Charles presented Camilla with a present.
It was a bracelet with the letters F & G engraved on it. Charles was also seen wearing golden cufflinks that he did not receive from his future wife. Charles intentionally never tried too hard to hide his secret romance and deep inside was hoping for it to be revealed.
Diana and Her Sisters
Years later, it was revealed that on the eve of the wedding of the century, Diana was uneased but not for the reasons you are thinking of. While expecting her to be tensed and anxious before the big day, she was relatively calm which made her two sisters, who she spent the night with, even more concerned.
She felt deep inside she was making a mistake but her siblings told her there and then that she had no choice. She had to go through with it, who ever heard of a princess ditching prince charming one day before the wedding?
In the Name of the Crown
A few months after the wedding, Charles was interviewed and asked about their big day. He was dazzled and spoke about how overwhelmed they both were, and how proud he felt being British that day. It was all in the name of the crown.
He said nothing about his new wife, nothing about sharing their vowels, and nothing about his feelings towards her. Instead of committing himself to the woman he was supposed to love and following his heart, he was devoting himself to the monarchy.
Against Our Nature
For how long could loyalty to the crown come before human nature? Was the Charles and Diana story a lesson to teach those who rule? Was this mistake going to be repeated once again?
The British royal family has since been through several broken affairs and these days they have managed to slightly bend the rules, accepting and being more open-minded.
The Palace Walls Were Crumbling
Since Diana, the royal house has accepted the divorce of Princess Anne, the scandal of a marriage Prince Andrew and Sara Ferguson had, and has even managed to welcome an American divorcee into the family, something unheard of a few decades ago.
Charles and Diana's story will linger on forever as it marks the beginning of the end of a black period the royal family held on to for too many years. It marks the time for a change, sadly in such a tragic way.
Everyone is Welcome
Meghan Markle married Prince Harry, and although this was followed (and still is ) by scandals and nonstop talk shows, this is a sign of change. Princess Anne was able to remarry, but the most significant closure is with no doubt, Charles and Camilla.
Against all odds, their love won. What they share is obviously stronger than any tradition, and any house of ruling. They knew they belong to each other and life's twists and turns made sure they were united.
A New Era
In 2022, the Elizabethan days were over, and it welcomed the new king Charles III. Beside him, sits gracefully Camilla, Queen Consol, the king's only real true love.
It is thought that the new era will bring with it tolerance and forgiveness. Hopefully, they will be able to embrace the new world while preserving the magnificent heritage and tradition this institute has.