While Charles and Diana did try to make their relationship work, their efforts at understanding each other failed.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana's marriage was on hot coals probably right from the beginning. Even when he courted her, his heart was stuck on Camilla, who went on to become his second wife. While Charles and Diana did try to make their relationship work, their efforts at understanding each other failed.
It is not uncommon to seek help from community leaders or elders in the family in a situation like this. You go to them hoping for advice, understanding, and acceptance, and Princess Diana sought out her mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, for this reason. Diana believed that the Queen also had a loveless marriage and sought insight.
Diana had confronted Charles about his relationship with Camilla and didn't get an assuring response, as per Newsweek. "I remember saying to my husband, 'Why? Why have you got this lady around?'" she said, and he replied, "Well, I refuse to be the Prince of Wales who never had a mistress."
Diana, who was recorded by her voice coach, revealed details of their married life, which included physical intimacy. The Princess of Wales also said that she had begged the Queen for marital advice.
"So I went to the top lady, sobbing and I said, 'What do I do? I'm coming to you, what do I do?' And she said, 'I don't know what you should do, Charles is hopeless.' And that was it, that was help," added Diana.
Even though the Queen seemed unmoved, she and her husband, Prince Philip, gave both of them "an intervention of sorts," reported GoodHousekeeping. It didn't stop either Charles or Diana from doing what they wanted. Charles kept seeing Camilla and Diana kept revealing the details of her marriage to the press. While it seems that things truly turned sour between the couple after Harry's birth, Diana had misgivings right from the start.
She started feeling "extremely isolated" and the royal family "continuously misunderstood" her as early as 1991. And, while the Queen was initially sympathetic, that changed when Diana found her voice.
Daily Mail quoted a source close to the Queen saying that the monarch "felt the pretty girl was a misfit who didn’t quite contribute to the things they did and what they wanted her to do in the family. There was no real compatibility." She added, "Initially, she was sympathetic, but later on, I don’t think she felt sorry for her, not really."
Diana had become a regal rebel, who broke protocol many times that included refusing to say she would "obey" Charles when their wedding vows were being exchanged, writes GoodHousekeeping. However, it wasn't until Andrew Morton's book Diana: Her True Story was released in 1992 that the relationship between the Queen and Diana truly soured.
The Queen was reportedly "stunned" by the contents of the book and the fact that Diana was ready to air her "dirty linen in such a way." Later, the Princess of Wales revealed that she allowed the book to be written because she felt "desperate" and as if she was "at the end of her tether."
However, that harsh attitude against Diana changed recently and the Queen feels gratitude towards her former daughter-in-law. "She would never say now that Diana hasn’t contributed to the family," says the friend to Daily Mail. "She sees how much Diana radiates out of William and Harry and the effect they have on ordinary people. It is Diana that they see. That sense of fun, that easy way with people," they added.
In the end, the future of the monarchy has been the Queen's most important concern. The fame and popularity that the royal family enjoys today are still owed to the woman she had once called "quite mad."
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) Steve Wood, (R) Dan Kitwood