A new book will reveal a previously undocumented insight into how Prince Charles felt ahead of his famous wedding with Princess Diana back in July 1981, suggesting the Queen’s son “wept” the night before.
The book, authored by royal writer Sally Bedell Smith and entitled Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, is a biography of the Prince’s life so far, and apparently reveals how he felt torn between his future wife, Diana, and his former girlfriend (who he later married) Camilla Parker-Bowles.
PEOPLE reports the book explaining how Prince Charles felt so “pressured” by the palace into marrying Diana that he “wept” the night before their wedding, reportedly because he was still in love with his ex-partner Camilla. And if that was the case, it wouldn’t be surprising given the well-documented and long-standing relationship between Charles and Camilla.
The couple met back in 1971 and began dating after being drawn to one another through their shared sense of humour and the fact that Camilla “always listened”, according to author Bedell Smith.
Although the pair were reportedly happy together, two years after dating they split up due to Charles’ relocation when he was stationed overseas with the Royal Navy in 1973. It was thought the split was not only because of distance, but because at the age of 24, Charles wasn’t quite ready to settle down. Camilla’s “past” also became an issue, apparently, relating to her on/off relationship with Andrew Parker-Bowles who became her husband later that year.
Despite Camilla’s marriage, she and Charles remained friends thanks to their overlapping social circles, and it’s reported the two rekindled their romance while Camilla was still married.
But by 1980, Charles began dating Diana, and was receiving pressure from his family to settle down. The book claims that while Prince Charles wasn’t emotionally ready for marriage, a letter from his father Prince Philip which urged his son to commit – saying he needed to make a decision about the future of their relationship because it was putting Diana’s reputation in jeopardy – eventually convinced him to marry her.
Bedell Smith writes in the book that Charles “wasn’t in love, he wasn’t ready”, but explains that the letter was a reminder that “Charles should either propose to her or release her. In either event, he should make a decision shortly.”
As we well know, Charles made the decision to stay with Diana, and proposed to her in February of 1981 to be married in July of that year.
But evidently Charles’ former relationship with Camilla was still playing on his mind, and right up until the day before their wedding, if Bedell Smith’s sequence of events is correct, he was worried about going through with it.
Charles and Diana famously went on to have two sons, William and Harry, but the cracks in their relationship eventually became too great to ignore. The couple split in August 1996, a year before Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris.