Prince Charles under fire over ‘biting’ Princess Diana quip ‘Not so royal, not very kind’

Prince Charles criticised by host for 'idiot' comment from 1985

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Prince Charles has been criticised by two royal commentators for making a comment in 1985 which referred to Princess Diana as an “idiot” following her dance with John Travolta at the White House. His abrupt response to the question from a journalist reportedly showed his “jealousy seeping out”, as the future king struggled with his wife’s popularity throughout their marriage. 

The Prince and Princess of Wales visited Washington DC as part of their four-day tour in 1985, where they were hosted by President Ronald Reagan. 

During an evening reception, Diana took to the dance floor with Grease star John Travolta, where they danced a medley of songs performed by a jazz band.

The following day during a visit to the National Gallery of Art, Prince Charles was asked if his wife had enjoyed her dance with the Hollywood celebrity. 

He responded: “Well I’m not a glove puppet so I can’t answer for that I’m afraid. But I think you enjoyed it didn’t you – be an idiot if she didn’t enjoy dancing with John Travolta wouldn’t she?”

Speaking of the interaction, Royally Obsessed host Rachel Bowie said: “I just feel like it’s so biting to hear him say the word idiot, and she looks very uncomfortable as well.

“It’s not very royal to say that!”

Her co-host Roberta Fiorito continued: “It just feels like there’s jealousy seeping out of every word he utters

“It’s not very kind either, the royals are known for having a stiff upper lip and not letting things like that affect them, but it really shows in that moment for sure.”

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During a special documentary ‘In Their Own Words: Diana, Princess of Wales’, John Travolta reflected on his iconic dance with the late princess, describing it as a “storybook moment”. 

He also revealed that First Lady Nancy Reagan had orchestrated the dance, after she approached him and claimed it was Diana’s “fantasy” to share a dance with him. 

He recalled: “My heart starts to race, you know, and I tap her on the shoulder and she turns around and looks at me, and she had that kind of bashful dip [of her chin] that she did, and she looked up at me, and I said, ‘Would you care to dance with me?’ and she said ‘Yes.’

“I took her and the whole room cleared. We danced for what felt like 15 minutes.”


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Charles and Diana announced their separation in 1992 and subsequently divorced in 1995 at the request of the Queen. 

Their marriage had been plagued with difficulties due to their 12-year age difference, their opposing interests, and their extra-marital affairs. 

During her controversial interview with BBC journalist Martin Bashir in 1995, Diana revealed that her husband had struggled with her popularity. She explained that “with the media attention came a lot of jealousy; a great deal of complicated situations arose because of that”, and Charles was reportedly reluctant to share in her success. 

After their divorce, Diana continued with her humanitarian work and by the time of her death, she was the most photographed woman in the world. 

She died in a car accident in Paris at the age of 36 in 1997. Her death sparked unprecedented mourning across the globe, with over 1 million bouquets of flowers brought to her home at Kensington Palace. 

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