Princess Diana's Death Forever Changed Prince Charles' Role In the Royal Family

"How you deal with that, I don't know."

In the new documentary The Queen and Prince Charles: Mother and Son, royal commentator Lady Julie Montagu explains that after the tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997, Prince Charles had to take a new approach to raise his sons. According to Montagu, Princess Diana did most of the hands-on parenting when it came to Prince William and Prince Harry. "We can see that in the hugging, the laughing, the cuddling that she did. After her death, it changes completely," she said.

When the princess died suddenly in 1997, Prince Charles had to step into the role. "He really stepped up in that parenting role when he needed to," Montagu said.

Growing up, though, Prince Charles wasn't used to having his mother and father around—if you've seen The Crown, you'll already know this—because they frequently traveled on royal trips. However, while their parents were gone, Charles and his sister Princess Anne became accustomed to the affectionate, hands-on approach of The Queen Mother and King George VI ("For me, she meant everything," Charles said of the Queen Mother after her death).

wales family highgrove

(Image credit: Tim Graham)

According to the Daily Express, it may be that Prince Charles modeled his parenting approach from what he experienced growing up with his grandparents to help be that support system where Princess Diana once stood. Either way, it's safe to say the effort that Prince Charles put into becoming a hands-on father figure to the boys did not go unnoticed. "One of the hardest things for a parent to have to do is to tell your children that your other parent has died," Prince Harry said in Diana, 7 Days ."How you deal with that, I don't know."

He continued," [Our dad] was there for us—he was the one out of two left, and he tried to do his best and to make sure that we were protected and looked after." Harry added: "But he was going through the same grieving process as well."


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Bianca Rodriguez
Bianca Rodriguez

Bianca Rodriguez is the Commerce Editor/Writer at Hearst Magazines Digital Media, where she covers fashion, beauty, home, and more. She likes long walks through shopping malls, a good book, and thinks a closet without platform sneakers is a travesty.