Prince Philip reconciliation attempts ‘ignored’ by Diana who ‘aired royal dirty linen’
Prince Philip was angered by Princess Diana, labelling her “possessive” and not a “caring wife” after his efforts to reconcile her royal marriage were ignored, it has been revealed.
Royal expert Ingrid Seward has lifted the lid on the relationship between Prince Philip and Princess Diana as her relationship with Prince Charles deteriorated, disclosing the former’s distaste for his daughter-in-law after she “aired her dirty linen”.
The author said: “First, Prince Philip tried to talk to Charles about his marital difficulties and the effect they were having on the royal institution. It was meant as fatherly advice, but because of the distant nature of their relationship, the conversations usually ended with Charles looking at his watch and making an excuse to leave the room.
“Philip then asked his wife to bring her considerable authority to bear on an increasingly senseless situation, but she refused to intervene. He also tried reaching out to his unhappy daughter-in-law by writing her dozens of letters.
“In one of these, he told her that he wished ‘to do my utmost to help you and Charles to the best of my ability. But I am quite ready to concede that I have no talent as a marriage counsellor!’
“His suggestions included trying to find things Diana could do together with Charles — and he listed common interests that they shared, which is a tried-and-tested method favoured by marriage guidance counsellors.
“To start with, the letters — which he signed ‘Pa’ — were very sympathetic. He said that he knew first-hand the difficulties of marrying into the Royal Family and seemed to place much of the blame for her marital problems on Charles.
“‘We do not approve of either of you having lovers. Charles was silly to risk everything with Camilla for a man in his position. We never dreamed he might feel like leaving you for her. I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind leaving you for Camilla. Such a prospect never even entered our heads.’
“But his efforts were to no avail. In June 1992, while the Queen and Philip were at Windsor Castle, the Sunday Times began to serialise Andrew Morton’s book Diana: Her True Story. They were stunned by what they read.
“Having based the whole of their royal lives on obligation, discretion and duty, they’d never thought for one moment that their unhappy daughter-in-law would resort to airing her dirty linen in such a public way.
Writing in the Daily Mail, the royal expert stated that as Prince Philip became increasingly aggressive with his daughter-in-law as she consistently threw his reconciliation efforts back in his face.
“As the second instalment of Morton’s revelations was rolling off the presses, Diana attended Royal Ascot with the rest of the family. Quite deliberately, Philip snubbed her in full view of all the top-hatted people in the Royal Enclosure.
“Finally, a summit meeting was held at Windsor for the Prince and Princess of Wales to discuss the state of their marriage with Elizabeth and Philip.
“Diana maintained that the only solution was a separation, but the Queen hoped a compromise would be possible for the sake of the children and the monarchy. When the Princess failed to show up at a planned second meeting, Philip decided to take matters into his own hands. In further letters to Diana — and occasionally face to face — he let her know exactly what he thought in language that was blunt and to the point, though not meant to be unkind.”
“Prince Philip expressed concern about Diana’s bulimia and acknowledged it could have been responsible for some of her behavioural patterns. But he also told her she hadn’t been a caring wife and that, while she was a good mother, she’d been too possessive with her sons.
“One of his fiercest comments was: ‘Can you honestly look into your heart and say that Charles’s relationship with Camilla had nothing to do with your behaviour towards him in your marriage?’
“Towards the end of Princess Diana’s marriage to Charles, just the mention of her name was enough to send her father-in-law into a tirade.
“If she’d had enough of the Royal Family, she could get out and stay out, raged Prince Philip.
“After Diana started appearing on front covers around the globe, she carved out an ever more prominent place for herself within the Royal Family. But Philip didn’t like it. Nor, in her milder way, did the Queen.
“It was some time between the births of William and Harry that the Queen became aware that her daughter-in-law was finding it increasingly difficult to adapt to the pressures of her royal role. Even so, she assumed Diana would eventually find her feet.
“That became rather more difficult when she learned that Charles had gone back to his old mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles.
“Still, the Queen’s response whenever a tearful Diana poured out her troubles to her was to counsel patience. ‘Just wait and see,’ said the Queen — her time-honoured refrain whenever her children had problems.”
Prince Philip also stated that his son had made a “considerable sacrifice” by ridding himself of ties with Camilla during his early years of marriage and stated that Diana had “not appreciated what he had done”.
His distrust of the Princess continued as the royal stated that being the heir to the throne “involved much more than simply being a hero with the British people”.
The author also detailed the actions of Princess Diana that led to an “incensed” Prince Philip as he increasingly came to believe that his daughter-in-law was attempting to upstage his wife.
Ms Seward added: “The separation did not go smoothly. On the 40th anniversary of her Coronation, the Queen awoke to find the newspapers dominated by reports of a speech Diana had given the night before, in which she’d talked of the ‘depression and loneliness’ felt by so many women as they battled against post-natal depression or faced violence at home.
“Philip was incensed at what he saw as a deliberate (and highly successful) attempt to upstage the Queen. It was happening too often, he argued. So, on his prompting, Elizabeth dispatched her private secretary to inform the Princess that her royal schedule was to be cut back.
“Diana responded to that rap across her knuckles by announcing her retirement from public life, thereby turning rebuke to advantage and securing another sheaf of headlines of the kind that Philip had been so anxious to avoid.
“Her relationship with her father-in-law degenerated rapidly. She told her friend Teddy Forstmann, an American billionaire, that she hated the Duke — and she said the same to me when I saw her at Kensington Palace shortly before her death.”
The apparent hatred between the two royals led to Princess Diana putting forward theories against Prince Philip, reportedly discussing plans to have her killed as well as investigating the possibility of him having illegitimate children.
Ms Seward went on: “Diana even confided to her friend Roberto Devorik, a fashion designer, that Prince Philip was plotting to have her killed. Another of her wild allegations was that he’d insisted on both William and Harry having DNA tests in the light of revelations about her affair with Army captain James Hewitt.
“What particularly angered her was Philip’s warning that her wayward behaviour was destroying the essence of everything that he and the Queen had dedicated their life to preserving, and that her actions were also damaging her children’s inheritance.
“At that point, she decided to take revenge by doing her utmost to discover all she could about her father-in-law’s alleged affairs.
“According to Diana, after much careful detective work, she came to believe Philip had illegitimate children whom he supported financially — though their identity, she said, was never going to be allowed to come to light. Needless to say, no shred of evidence has ever emerged to support any of these claims.”
Following a Panorama interview by Diana on November 20, 1995, Prince Philip put negotiating efforts to one side and urged his wife to put her hand to paper in a letter urging her and Prince Charles divorce.
The royal expert declared: “The Queen’s sympathy for her daughter-in-law’s position was tested to its limit by Diana’s Panorama interview on November 20, 1995 — which, significantly, was also the 48th anniversary of the monarch’s wedding.
“Watched by an audience of 15 million in Britain alone, Diana declared that there were three people in her marriage, spoke candidly about her former lover James Hewitt and inferred that her husband was unfit to be king.
“The Queen was horrified, but still capable of feeling concern for Diana. Despite Philip’s misgivings, she let the Princess know that an invitation to spend Christmas with the Royal Family still held firm.
“Diana wasn’t sure what to do and kept changing her mind. When she finally telephoned the Queen to say that she wouldn’t be coming after all, it was the final straw.
“This was the moment that Philip took charge. According to one eyewitness, he went ‘ballistic’.
“Aware that neither Diana nor Charles were discussing divorce, he told the Queen that she now had to use her authority. A divorce, he said firmly, was the only solution to this untenable mess. Unhappily, she had to agree.
“Philip almost had to guide his wife’s hand across the writing-paper, but at last it was done. On the morning of December 18, the Prince and Princess of Wales received her hand-written demand that they seek a divorce.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK
Tags: Princess Diana, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace, Royals, British Royal News