Prince Charles Reportedly Said after Princess Diana’s Death: 'They Are All Going to Blame Me'
Princess Diana died as she lived, surrounded by the flashing lights of the paparazzi, and the first words of Prince Charles fit what every grieving father and ex-husband would say to his teenage sons.
In 1961, Lady Diana Frances Spencer came into the world, and at the time of her birth, no one knew that she would go on to become the Princess of Wales or get tagged the People's Princess for her philanthropy and selflessness.
Diana on The Steps Of Her Home At Highgrove, Gloucestershire on July 18, 1986 | Photo: Getty Images
PRINCESS DIANA MARRIED PRINCE CHARLES THE SAME YEAR THEY GOT ENGAGED
Diana Spencer grew up on the grounds of the Queen's Sandringham Estate, where her family lived, but it was not until 1980 that she began a close friendship with Prince Charles, which soon became a love relationship. In February '81, the two announced their engagement and got married in July that same year.
The wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles in 1981 | Photo: Getty Images
Charles and Diana welcomed their sons, Princes William and Harry, within the first three years of their marriage, and things started to unravel after that. Accusations of infidelity trailed the Royal union, with Camila Bowles in the middle of it all. By '92, the Prince and Princess of Wales's marriage had irretrievably broken down that they had to get separated.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana pose for a photo on the banks of the river Dee in the grounds of Balmoral Castle during their honeymoon on August 19, 1981, in Balmoral, Scotland. | Source: Getty Images.
It took three years for the details of the divorce to get ironed out, and in '95, Diana and Prince Charles became officially divorced. With the end of the marriage, the Princess of Wales threw herself into her charity work until '97, when she seemingly started dating Dodi Fayed.
Prince Charles and Diana at the start of a Tour of Canada on October 25, 1991, in Toronto, Canada. | Source: Getty Images.
DIANA'S DEATH WAS PREVENTABLE
Fayed was the billionaire heir of Mohammed Fayed, a business mogul who owned the Harrod Department Stores in London. The deceased and the mom-of-two spent the summer of '97 together, and on August 30th, they checked into the Ritz Hotel, Paris, France. That same day, at about midnight, the two left the hotel and got into a waiting Mercedes car, driven by Henri Paul.
Princess Diana, the late Princess of Wales | Photo: Getty Images
What led to the death of Princess Diana occurred a few minutes after. As Paul drove the vehicle, the group of four, including the deceased's bodyguard and only survivor, Trevor Rees-Jones, crashed into a pole under the Paris bridge, Pont de L'Alma. The People's Princess died a few hours later on August 31st at Salpetriere Hospital.
In 2019, Britain's top forensic scientist, Dr. Richard Shepherd, noted in his book "Unnatural Causes," that Princess Diana Cause of Death was a thin small tear to a lung vein, which could have been prevented if she had worn a seatbelt. The death of the royal threw the world into mourning, as many lamented the loss of a truly giving and selfless human being.
Princess Diana with Prince Charles, William and Harry at a function | Photo: Getty Images
WHAT PRINCE CHARLES SAID AFTER DIANA'S DEATH
While there is no record of Charles making a public statement at the time, Penny Junor wrote in her 2005 book, "The Firm" that the dad-of-two's first words were to his private secretary, Stephen Lambert. He said,
"They are all going to blame me, aren't they… the world is 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."
Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing a sapphire diamond and pearl necklace, attends a banquet on April 16, 1986, in Vienna, Austria. | Source: Getty Images.
Thankfully, the monarchy didn't get destroyed, and a news report at the time stated that Prince Charles broke the news of the death of the woman whose 36 years on earth left a tremendous impact to his sons, the next morning.
The Princes were vacationing at the time, at Balmoral Palace with the Queen, and their father. It took the Royal family five days to react to the deceased's passing publicly, but the rest of the world reacted immediately.
The British PM at the time, Tony Blair, described Diana as a beautiful, compassionate human being who would get mourned by everyone in Britain as a friend.
Princess Diana with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry attend the Heads of State VE Remembrance Service in Hyde Park on May 7, 1995, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images.
Hollywood celebs were not left out, as George Clooney, Tom Cruise, and Madonna lent their voice in paying tributes to the late princess and criticizing the paparazzi treatment of the Royal.
When the Queen finally spoke, she acknowledged the Royal family tragedy and described Diana as someone exceptional and gifted, who never lost her ability to smile in the good and bad times.
Princess Diana with young Prince Williams and Prince Harry | Photo: Getty Images
THE WORLD MOURNED COLLECTIVELY
Where the Princes of Wales wedding to Charles had 750 million viewers from around the world, Princess Diana's funeral had 2.5 billion people watching. One thing they would all remember is seeing a somber-looking William and Harry as they walked beside their father following the pallbearers.
The deceased's longtime friend, Elton John, performed a revised version of his '73 hit song, "Candle in the Wind," and some of the changed lyrics described Diana as a grace that placed herself in the lives that were torn apart, and as England's rose.
Princess Diana with Prince Charles, William and Harry | Photo: Getty Images
Diana's most significant legacy is the lives she touched, and the sons she left behind. She gave without asking for anything in return, loved without holding back, and inspired everyone around her to be better. For over two decades since her death, the People's Princess continues to touch lives beyond the grave, and that is the true definition of immortality.