Meghan Markle compared with Princess Diana by Tom Bower
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Diana’s comment was one of a number of barbs traded between the Prince and Princess of Wales during their very public battle amid the breakdown of their marriage, which ended in divorce. After the birth of William, now the Duke of Cambridge, tension between Diana and Charles, the heir to the throne, began to grow. Their second son, Prince Harry, was born two years after his brother, but in the years that followed Charles began having an affair with his former flame Camilla Parker Bowles, while Diana also began seeing other men.
The press latched onto rumours of a marriage in disarray and eventually the journalist Andrew Morton published his bombshell biography of the Princess of Wales, ‘Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words’.
In response to the book, Charles did an interview for ITV with Jonathan Dimbleby in which he admitted having an extramarital affair with Camilla.
Diana then did her own interview with Martin Bashir for the BBC’s ‘Panorama’ programme, which became iconic for the line: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
However, according to journalist and royal expert Robert Jobson, co-author of ‘Diana: Closely Guarded Secret’, this was not Diana’s most significant revelation.
Mr Jobson said during the 2011 Channel 4 documentary ‘How Diana’s Death Shaped William & Harry’ that it was what Diana said about Charles’ suitability as monarch, which was truly shocking.
He said: “She also admitted in the interview that there were ‘three of us in this marriage’ but we all sort of already knew that.
“I think more important was her rapier thrust at Charles in which she basically, effectively said he didn’t want the job and he wasn’t suitable for the job, it wouldn’t suit Charles to be King.
“She was declaring, ‘oh William should be the next king’, it was a huge moment, not only in television, but also for Prince William.”
Mr Jobson added that a lot of people “followed and supported” Diana’s view about her son, which he said was “an awful lot of pressure being placed upon the shoulders of a young boy.”
Diana was pushed by Mr Bashir during the interview to offer her view on Charles as king, which she said would be difficult for the prince.
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She said: “There was always conflict on that subject with him when we discussed it, and I understood that conflict, because it’s a very demanding role, being Prince of Wales, but it’s an equally more demanding role being king.
“And being Prince of Wales produces more freedom now, and being king would be a little bit more suffocating.
“And because I know the character I would think that the top job, as I call it, would bring enormous limitations to him, and I don’t know whether he could adapt to that.”
Mr Bashir’s chat with Diana hit the headlines again earlier this year after an inquiry found that he had lied to his BBC colleagues and acted in a “deceitful” way by using fake bank statements to obtain the interview.
The report, by Lord Dyson, found a previous BBC investigation into the matter to be “woefully ineffective” and said the broadcaster had fallen below its “high standards of integrity and transparency.”
Reacting to the inquiry, William said he was “most saddened” to learn that his mother, Diana, had been deceived.
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