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."

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In 1996, the royal-watching world was shocked by Princess Diana and Prince Charles' (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), during his marriage (opens in new tab) to Diana. Diana confronted Camilla about the affair (opens in new tab) in 1989, the couple officially separated in 1992, and Charles publicly admitted to his infidelity (opens in new tab) in a 1994 interview.

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

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The whole situation was messy and no doubt uncomfortable for everyone in the royal family (opens in new tab). At least one member of the royal family reportedly took Diana's side in the split, however. While Princess Diana (opens in new tab) and Prince Philip (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab)), behind closed doors, it appears he was there for Diana (opens in new tab) during the difficult divorce—to a degree at least.

In 2003, former royal butler Paul Burrell leaked letters reported (opens in new tab) to have been exchanged between Prince Philip and Diana that show he supported her over Charles (opens in new tab) in the divorce. At the time, The Sunday Times (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) (signed "fondest love, Pa"), released originally to the Daily Mail, include:

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

And:

"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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab). (opens in new tab) In its recent report on the Philip letters, The Mirror (opens in new tab) 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.

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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.