Meghan and Harry’s royal fallout compared to ‘War of Waleses’ – What was historic rift?

Prince Harry ‘wanted to leave way before Meghan’ says Judi Love

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Meghan Markle, 39, and Prince Harry, 36, rocked the Palace with their decision to give a tell-all interview to chat show star Oprah Winfrey without informing the Queen first. Tensions between the Sussexes and the Royal Household have ramped up in recent days after CBS released a string of explosive teaser clips to promote the special which airs on Sunday.

Meghan and Harry’s decision to quit royal life was in many ways unprecedented but the subsequent fallout has seen their situation compared to the historic War of the Waleses rift between Prince Charles, 72, and the late Princess Diana.

Royal fans can’t wait to watch the Sussexes interview with Oprah in which they are expected to lift the lid on their decision to step away from royal life for the first time.

The Palace came under fire from Meghan in a new teaser clip of the Oprah interview that was released on Thursday.

In the 30-second trailer, Meghan is asked by Oprah: “How do you feel about the Palace hearing you speak your truth today?”

To which she replies: “I don’t know how they could expect that, after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.

“And, if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean, I … there is a lot that has been lost already.”

One royal commentator branded the breakdown in relations between the Sussexes and the Palace “a mess” and compared it to the unravelling of Prince Charles’s marriage to his first wife Diana.

Reacting to recent events royal biographer Penny Junor told PA: “It’s just such a mess.

“I don’t think there are going to be any winners in it.”

She told the PA news agency: “In a way it is another War of the Waleses.

“It is another example of this fractured family.

“They do seem to have a history of falling out.

“The War of the Waleses was obviously a marriage, but again it’s a member of the family feeling aggrieved and going public.”

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What was The War of the Waleses?

The War of the Waleses was the term used to describe the breakdown of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage in the 1990s.

The unravelling of their relationship led to one of the most fraught periods in recent royal history.

While Charles and Diana’s royal wedding in 1981 appeared to be every bit the fairytale, cracks in their relationship soon began to show.

Diana struggled to adapt to royal life and found Palace courtiers unapproachable.

A royal superstar, she was overwhelmed by the huge amount of media attention she received and struggled with bulimia.

Charles was at a loss as to how to comfort his new wife and had an affair with his former girlfriend, Camilla Parker Bowles, now the Duchess of Cornwall, while Diana had an affair with cavalry officer James Hewitt.

War of the Waleses key milestones


Andrew Morton’s book Diana: Her True Story – with which the princess secretly collaborated – was published, alleging she was deeply unhappy and trapped in a loveless marriage.

At the time Buckingham Palace insisted Diana had not collaborated with the biography but it later emerged she had been Morton’s source.

That summer the “Squidgygate” or “Dianagate” conversation was leaked, featuring Diana’s close friend James Gilbey allegedly calling her by the pet name Squidgy and telling her repeatedly: “I love you.”

The unhappy prince and princess carried out a disastrous tour of Korea in November 1992.

They were nicknamed The Glums and a month later it was announced their official separation.


The Camillagate tape was leaked in which Charles was heard speaking intimately to Camilla.


Charles took part in Jonathan Dimbleby’s documentary Charles: The Private Man, The Public Role.

The programme was meant to show the human side of the future king but he shocked the establishment by admitting to adultery during his marriage on national TV.

He revealed he was unfaithful after his marriage had “irretrievably” broken down.


Diana took part in her explosive television appearance on BBC One’s Panorama in November 1995.

The princess opened up about her post-natal depression and bulimia as well as sharing her desire to become a “Queen of people’s hearts”.

The bombshell interview was seen as an attack on Charles and the royals, with Diana speaking about the prince’s affair with Camilla, her own adultery and questioning Charles’s suitability as King.


The Panorama interview was the nail in the coffin for Charles and Diana’s marriage as it prompted the Queen to ask them to divorce – they finally did in 1996.

Following their divorce, Diana was stripped of her HRH style.


Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31 1997. Prince William and Harry were just 15 and 12 at the time.

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