Prince Charles loved Diana though their marriage didn't work.
Prince Charles and Diana's marriage was tumultuous. Though many did not realize the problems in their relationship, the cracks began to be visible soon after the wedding. And when the news of Charles' affair with Camilla Parker Bowles broke, the speculations were confirmed—Charles and Diana's fairytale marriage was at stake. Soon, fingers were pointed at Prince Charles for being disloyal and hurting the Princess with his extramarital affair. While the majority sided with Diana, Charles felt he had done his part in trying to make their marriage successful.
According to CheatSheet, Charles did not feel he was wrong in having an affair with Camilla. "Charles didn’t feel guilty in any way, either about Diana’s death or about his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles," wrote royal author Penny Junor. He added, "He knew that he had done everything in his power to make his marriage work, but he had failed, and the failure was what hurt – and it still hurts him to this day.”
Meanwhile, Charles hinted that he had done the best he could in his marriage with Diana in a TV Documentary after his separation from Diana. When asked if he had been "faithful and honorable" to Diana, Prince Charles said yes. But, after a slight pause, Charles remarked, "Until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried," according to the New York Times.
According to the royal author, though Charles' marriage with Diana was a failure, he still loved her. So, when the news of her death came out, Charles was hurt. He could not believe she was no more. “Deep down Charles loved Diana – she was the mother of his sons after all – and he was overwhelmed by the tragedy of both her life and death," wrote Junor, according to Cheat Sheet. While their marriage did not have a lot of blissful moments, Charles and Diana managed to have a better relationship after their separation.
Meanwhile, even before he married Diana, Charles had reserved his heart for Camilla. But soon enough, she came to know of their romantic link. Though she made him aware of her fears, Charles assured her that he would not have anyone in is life than her.
Even weeks before their wedding, Diana saw her husband still maintained a special connection with Camilla. While Diana did suspect that the two had something going on before, she didn't think he would be close with her even after their marriage. Speaking to Mirror, she said, "I was still too immature to understand all the messages coming my way. And then someone in his office told me that my husband has had a bracelet made for her," according to Cosmopolitan.
She added, "I walked into this man's office one day and I said, 'Ooh, what's in that parcel?' And he said 'Oh, you shouldn't look at that'. So I opened it and there was the bracelet," recalled Diana. "I was devastated, and I said 'Well, he's going to give it to her tonight'. So rage, rage, rage. You know, 'Why can't you be honest with me?'," continued Diana. "But no, absolutely cut me dead." Though there were many red flags and Charles himself was not sure of his decision to marry Diana, the wedding happened.
Apparently, Prince Philip had a hand in Charles's marriage. He told Charles that he had to marry Diana if he was not intending to leave her. According to Prince Philip, Diana's visit to Balmoral castle was compromising her and the royal family's reputation. Author Jonathan Dimbleby revealed that Charles was in a "confused and anxious state of mind," when he married Diana, according to New Yorker. Besides his father's pressure, Charles also thought pursuing Diana was the right thing to do as a responsible member of the royal family. But, the years that followed proved that they were never meant to be. However, irrespective of their unstable marriage, Diana went on to become the People's Princess.