Princess Diana Allegedly Told Royal Expert “Charles Wasn’t Cut Out to Be King”

The conversation happened in 1996, not long after her divorce from the then Prince of Wales.

Princess Diana
(Image credit: Getty)

According to royal expert Jennie Bond—and per The Daily MailPrincess Diana said “Charles wasn’t cut out to be King” and felt he was “stuck in a rut” following their 1996 divorce. Diana died just 368 days after their divorce was finalized, perishing in a Parisian car accident on August 31, 1997.

Bond said Diana told her inside the walls of Diana’s Kensington Palace home that “The truth is that Charles would be much happier living in Tuscany, painting the landscape or studying architecture.” Diana then allegedly went on to say that Charles wasn’t cut out to be King, as he had “enough problems” as heir to the throne.

Diana also allegedly told Bond that Charles—who was then Prince Charles—needed to overhaul some of his patronages and royal engagements. By then, Charles had already been working as a royal for 30 years, and Diana allegedly said “He’s stuck in a rut. Just take a look at his program. He’s doing exactly the sort of things he was doing 10 years ago.”

Bond said the conversation with Diana happened in the drawing room of Diana’s Kensington Palace home, not long after Charles and Diana’s divorce was finalized on August 28, 1996. The year prior, Diana made similar comments in an interview on Panorama with Martin Bashir, saying that Charles may find it “suffocating” to be King.

Charles is currently seven months into his reign and will be crowned King at his Coronation ceremony on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.