King Charles, 74, doesn't really speak in public about his ex-wife, but he did cooperate in an early-2000s investigation into her death in a car accident in 1997.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on August 31, 2022. It has since been updated.
King Charles achieved a lot as the Prince of Wales, but the one thing he is still remembered for, even though it's been over two decades, is his failed married to Princess Diana. Charles, Queen Elizabeth's eldest son and heir was believed to be the world's most eligible bachelor. He wed 20-year-old Lady Diana Spencer in July 1981, but, in 1992, their marriage fell apart.
At the time, Camilla was touted to be a third person in the marriage, causing it to end, and she and Charles were blamed, especially after Diana's death in 1997. King Charles eventually did get married to Camilla and 2005, and even though everything that happened in the past is behind them, Princess Diana's legacy will always linger.
"His tragedy is whatever he does, whatever he says, however, he behaves, he will be remembered for one thing: the fact that his fairy-tale marriage ended," Andrew Morton, Princess Diana's biographer, told PEOPLE. "Just as Henry VIII is remembered for his six wives, King Charles is remembered for his first wife. It will always haunt him. His life has been defined by his marriage."
"The ghost of Diana really stalked him at every turn," added royal biographer Ingrid Seward.
Charles, 74, doesn't really speak in public about his ex-wife, but he did cooperate in an early-2000s investigation into her death in a car accident in 1997. He was questioned by UK police in 2005 as part of Operation Paget, an investigation into the different conspiracy theories that surrounded Diana's death.
The former head of Scotland Yard John Stevens told The Daily Mail that he spoke to Charles about a note Diana wrote in 1995 which said “My husband is planning ‘an accident’ in my car, brake failure, and serious head injury,” so that he could marry Tiggy Legge-Bourke, a former nanny for their sons Prince William and Prince Harry.
“Yes, allegations had been made about the Prince of Wales and other royals, but we had to find or examine the [existing] evidence before we approached him with formal questions,” Stevens says. “We found no other evidence to support the scenario suggested in Diana’s note.”
It was also recently revealed that Princess Diana never wanted to divorce Charles in the first place. Diana’s spiritual healer and friend Simone Simmons shared that Diana never wanted to divorce Charles and already regretted the BBC Panorama interview just the day after it aired. Simmons said that Diana was “blubbering” to her on the phone, saying she loved Charles all along and didn’t want to stop being his wife. “The day afterwards? Yes,” Simmons said. “Then, when the Queen wrote to her and demanded they get a divorce, she was blubbering on the phone, and I went over to calm her down. She said, ‘Simone, I never wanted to divorce Charles. I always loved him.’”
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