The new book claims have been confirmed by neither Prince Charles nor Earl Spencer.
In the 15 years that Prince Charles and Princess Diana were together, a majority of that time was marked by instances of infidelity, heartbreak, and traumas.
In a shocking turn of events, Diana died in a tragic car accident in 1997 after she split from Prince Charles. According to The Telegraph, after the 36-year-old left Ritz Hotel in Paris around half an hour past midnight, the high-speed vehicle, Mercedes S-280, crashed into a pillar under the Alma bridge. Her then-boyfriend Dodi Fayed, 41, had also accompanied the Princess. He too died in the crash.
In a flash of a moment, not only did the world lose their favorite royal but the two young Princes lost their loving mother as well. All of a sudden, the chaos was felt by all the members of the royal family. But the friction between Diana and Prince Charles didn't seem to end even after her death.
Royal historian and biographer Robert Lacey recently revealed that Diana's brother Earl Charles Spencer wasn't happy with something Prince Charles said about his sister during the time her funeral arrangements were being made, back in 1997.
According to People, in his new book, Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult, Lacey said that Prince Charles said something "offensive" about the late Princess that angered Spencer.
In the early excerpt that was published, Lacey revealed that Spencer had been engaged in a heated discussion with the palace officials about his nephews, Princes William and Harry, who were 15 and 12 respectively at the time, walking behind Diana's coffin in the procession to Westminster Abbey.
He wrote, "Spencer felt quite sure that Diana would have been horrified at the idea of her sons having to endure such an ordeal." Disclosing that Spencer had already spoken to Prince Charles about the matter, Lacey continued, "He had already told Charles as much.” He then added that one call specifically "had ended with the earl slamming down the phone on his brother-in-law after Charles had made a particularly offensive comment about Diana."
Even though Lacey didn't mention the offensive comment in the book, he did elaborate on the conversation that led to the two men having an argument. He penned, "Prince Charles had no doubt that he should walk the long route with both his sons beside him. But Uncle Charles Spencer did not agree."
"He was already angry on his family’s behalf that his sister’s funeral had been hijacked into a royal occasion, and he was particularly opposed to the idea that his young nephews should have to walk the best part of a mile behind their mother’s coffin through the streets,” Lacey added.
However, neither Prince Charles nor Earl Charles Spencer has confirmed the book's claims. Even though there was a disagreement about the Princes joining the grim procession, in the end, they did join their father and uncle, along with Prince Philip.
Back in 2017, Spencer claimed that he was "lied to" about the boys' decision to walk behind their mother's coffin. He said, "Eventually I was lied to and told they wanted to do it, which of course they didn't but I realize that."
The Earl described the walk as the "worst part of the day by a considerable margin" and so he could understand how his nephews felt as well, reported Independent UK.
He said, "It was really harrowing and I still have nightmares about it now. So there was the inner turmoil of thinking, 'My God this is ghastly', but then the point of thinking these two boys are doing this and it must be a million times worse for them. It was truly horrifying, actually."
Just as Spencer predicted, the traumatizing walk did have an adverse effect on the boys. In an interview with Newsweek Magazine (2017), Prince Harry opened up about his experience. He said, "My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television. I don't think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances."
He added, "I don't think it would happen today."