Prince Philip Reportedly Took Princess Diana's Side in Her Divorce from Prince Charles

"I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind leaving you for Camilla."

Event, Adaptation, Suit, Portrait,
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In 1996, the royal-watching world was shocked by Princess Diana and Prince Charles' divorce.

A royal divorce is scandalous enough, but the details surrounding Charles and Diana's split were especially salacious, given Charles' years-long affair with his current wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, during his marriage to Diana. Diana confronted Camilla about the affair in 1989, the couple officially separated in 1992, and Charles publicly admitted to his infidelity in a 1994 interview.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The whole situation was messy and no doubt uncomfortable for everyone in the royal family. At least one member of the royal family reportedly took Diana's side in the split, however. While Princess Diana and Prince Philip were not reported to have gotten along well (during her marriage to Philip, there were reports that he was "unkind" to her, according to CNN), behind closed doors, it appears he was there for Diana during the difficult divorce—to a degree at least.

In 2003, former royal butler Paul Burrell leaked letters reported to have been exchanged between Prince Philip and Diana that show he supported her over Charles in the divorce. At the time, The Sunday Times reported that Philip was attempting to block publication of the letters, suggesting they're authentic.

Charles and Diana at a polo match in Windsor, United Kingdom on July 26th , 1987.

(Image credit: Eric BOUVET)

Highlights from Philip's alleged letters to Diana (signed "fondest love, Pa"), released originally to the Daily Mail, include:

"I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind leaving you for Camilla."


"Charles was silly to risk everything with Camilla for a man in his position. We never dreamed he might feel like leaving you for her. Such a prospect never even entered our heads."

Of course, not everything revealed in the supposed letters was positive. At one point, Philip allegedly wrote Diana asking, "Can you honestly look into your heart and say that Charles's relationship with Camilla had nothing to do with your behaviour towards him in your marriage?” In other words: "Isn't it kind of your fault he cheated on you?" Ugh.

The letters are enjoying a renewed bout of interest thanks to a piece published by RSVP Live. In its recent report on the Philip letters, The Mirror included scans of multiple letters from Diana to her father-in-law, in which she asks for his guidance and thanks him for his replies.

Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.