"Had he loved Diana instead of his mistress, people argued in their anger, Diana would still be alive," said royal biographer Penny Junor wrote in her 2005 book.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana had a fairytale wedding. The couple attracted the attention of the public first for all the right reasons and later on for all the wrong ones. Just a few years into their marriage, Diana and Charles's relationship began to strain. Charles's affair with Camilla disturbed Diana, who tried hard to gain the attention of her husband. Soon, with no solutions for their already derailed marriage, the couple had to part ways.
By then, Charles's public image was heavily damaged due to his love for Camilla instead of his own wife. Charles remained the villain in their marriage even after the divorce. So, when Diana passed away in 1997, just a year after their split, Charles was shocked. Understandably, he thought he would be a subject of public backlash and scrutiny.
According to Express UK, royal biographer Penny Junor wrote in her 2005 book, The Firm that the Prince asked, "They’re all going to blame me, aren’t they?" when he was told about Diana's tragic demise.
He continued, "The world’s going to go completely mad, isn’t it? We’re going to see a reaction that we’ve never seen before. And it could destroy everything. It could destroy the monarchy."
Charles's private secretary Stephen Lamport responded to him saying, "Yes, sir, I think it could. It’s going to be very difficult for your mother, sir. She’s going to have to do things she may not want to do, or feel comfortable doing but if she doesn’t do them, then that’s the end of it."
Over the next few days, Charles saw his own prophecy coming true in front of his eyes. Diana was the People's Princess and her death broke the hearts of millions globally in its wake. People did not refrain from pointing fingers at her ex-husband and even the royal family.
In her book, Junor wrote, "And for most of that week, while the nation’s grief brought everyday life to a juddering halt, so much so that the death of Mother Teresa passed almost unnoticed, the Prince’s prophecy came within a whisker of coming true."
She continued, "His mother finally did some things she didn’t want to do, didn’t feel comfortable doing, and the crisis passed; the monarchy was not destroyed. But it was close; too close for comfort. What he did get absolutely right was the prediction that he would be blamed. Had he loved Diana instead of his mistress, people argued in their anger, Diana would still be alive," according to Express UK.
However, Charles was also pained by Diana's death. Though their marriage didn't work out, she was the mother of his two children. He was upset that his boys had to spend the rest of their lives without their mother.
"He wept bitterly at the sheer tragedy of it all, that their life together, which they had both so wanted to work, should have ended in such acrimony and anger, and he wept for William and Harry," wrote Junor.
She added, "And he wept for his failure to help Diana. He knew he had done his best – no guilt there – but she’d been beyond any help he was able to provide. It was a bruising and difficult time for him." Besides, Charles realized something that he failed to understand when he was married to the Princess.
"Charles only realized he loved her after she died. I don’t think he realized how much he loved Diana until she was gone. She was the first person who showed him real love," said healer and Princess Diana's friend, Simone Simmons, according to Express UK.
The heartbroken Prince was so distressed that he rang up his friends and Camilla for comfort. Prince Charles and Diana were able to develop a cordial and friendly relationship after the divorce. They were better off as friends than partners.
"After the divorce Charles got a very good friend in Diana because she understood him. Nobody is happy if their other half has affairs, but she loved Charles with all her heart," said healer and Princess Diana's friend, Simone Simmons to Express UK.