Prince Charles only married Princess Diana because his father told him to, according to a new book that chronicles the life of the heir to the throne.
New York Times bestselling author Sally Bedell Smith, claims that Charles panicked after receiving a threatening note from Prince Philip that encouraged him to propose to the former kindergarten teacher because her "reputation was on the line."
At the time, the royal believed that his father was issuing him an order that said: “You’ve got to get engaged.”
According to friend of the family, Charles “wasn’t in love” with Diana but the pressure to get married was too intense for the then 30-year-old.
“He wasn’t ready,” Pamela Hicks says.
“Psychologically he assumed his father bullied him, so he read it as a bullying letter.”
In the biography, Bedell Smith explains that there were also restrictions imposed on who Charles could chose as his bride.
She writes that the Duke of Cornwall only went through with the marriage to Diana as his “real love” Camilla wasn’t deemed virginal enough for the royal family.
“In 1980 – more than a decade after the sexual revolution had started – he was hemmed in by the royal custom of marrying a virgin, or at least a woman who seemed virginal,” Bedell Smith says.
She also notes that the Charles and Diana were never a compatible match.
“He was forced, in effect to rob the cradle… the 12-year gap between Charles and Diana was essentially unbridgeable.”
“They had no intellectual connections, few mutual friends, no interests in common of the shared life experiences he would have had with a contemporary.”
“Although Camilla had the same limited upper-class education, she was on the same wavelength,” she continues.
“In a way Diana never could be.”
Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life will be released on April 4.
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