Princess Diana Spoke About Prince Charles' Jealousy Over Her Public Popularity

Princess Diana confirmed her husband envied her popularity in her 1995 interview with the BBC, explaining, "With the media attention came a lot of jealousy."

Season four of The Crown—specifically, the episode "Terra Nullius"—depicts Princess Diana and Prince Charles' royal tour of Australia in 1983, which dramatically boosted Diana's public popularity while doing little, in comparison, for Charles. As People reports, Emma Corrin's Diana pulls a face as Josh O'Connor's Charles speaks publicly about how lucky he is to have a wife like the Princess of Wales, causing Charles to retort, "That's the thing about ladies: you never quite know what they get up to when your back's turned." Later, the couple fight: "This was supposed to be my tour! My tour as Prince of Wales to shore up a key country in the Commonwealth at a very delicate moment politically," O'Connor’s Charles shouts, adding, "Thanks to you, people are laughing in my face."

Well, the real-life Diana confirmed that Charles envied the public's devotion to his wife, in her explosive 1995 interview with the BBC's Martin Bashir. "The pressure on us both as a couple with the media was phenomenal, and misunderstood by a great many people," she said. "We'd be going round Australia, for instance, and all you could hear was, 'Oh, she's on the other side.'" Diana subsequently clarified that the waiting crowds were expressing their disappointment that Charles was closer to them, rather than Diana, explaining, "They weren't on the right side to wave at me or to touch me."

yandina april 12 diana princess of wales and prince charles visit yandina ginger factory on april 12, 1983 in queensland, australia during the royal tour of australia photo by david levensongetty images

(Image credit: David Levenson)

"Now, if you're a man like my husband, a proud man, you mind about that if you hear it every day for four weeks. And you feel low about it, instead of feeling happy and sharing it," Diana continued. When Bashir asked, "So they were expressing a preference even then for you rather than your husband?" she responded, "Yes—which I felt very uncomfortable with, and I felt it was unfair, because I wanted to share."

Diana confirmed Charles' jealousy when Bashir asked if she was "flattered" by the media attention she received. "No, not particularly," Diana replied, "because with the media attention came a lot of jealousy; a great deal of complicated situations arose because of that."

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Emily Dixon
Morning Editor

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.