Princess Diana says Charles was 'jealous' in classic interview
According to The List’s narrator Christine-Marie Liwag Dixon, the Duke of Cambridge was left in tears when he watched his mother, Princess Diana, admit on national television she had had an affair with the army officer. Citing Robert Lacey’s latest book, she said: “His mother confessing an affair with James Hewitt, an army officer, was especially hard on William.
“Historian Robert Lacey wrote in Battle of Brothers that Prince William watched the interview at school.
“His mother’s candid admission tipped the teenager over the edge leaving him feeling betrayed.
“Prince Charles had opened up on television the previous year about his own affair.
“And for his mother to then come out and speak about her infidelity left William in tears.”
She added: “He was so angered by the interview that when his mother called him after it aired, he refused to speak to her.”
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The Duke of Cambridge was known to be exceptionally close to Diana and was only 15 when she died in 1997. The Princess of Wales was also incredibly affectionate with her children and was determined to steer clear of the stiff upper lip nature of the Royal Family.
However, some accounts have since suggested Diana was almost too emotional towards William and his younger brother Prince Harry, and would cry on their shoulders as her marriage to Prince Charles crumbled.
William even allegedly resorted to pushing tissue under the bathroom door once when he could hear his mother sobbing.
Former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond claimed that William used to say: “It’ll be alright mummy, it’ll be alright, I’ll look after you.
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“It was all the wrong way round for William.
“He was having to comfort his mother when she should have been looking after him — he was just a little boy.”
Yet, writing in his biography, ‘Charles — The Man Who Will Be King’, Howard Hodgson explained that Diana’s own upbringing was traumatic for similar reasons.
Her parents, Earl John Spencer and Frances Roche, had a bitter divorce in 1969 after Frances decided to leave her family for her lover, Peter Shand Kydd.
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A tumultuous custody battle ensued, which Earl Spencer eventually won after Frances’ own mother gave evidence against her.
School holidays and weekends were divided between the two parents’ homes.
Mr Hodgson explained that Frances would “speak to the children on the telephone daily and saw them most weekends”.
However, this could create a “negative effect”.
Mr Hodgson explained: “On occasion, she would sometimes burst into tears and spend time pouring out her problems to them.
“This had the effect of giving out unpredictable doses of love or stress, and it clearly made an impression on the dramatic side of Diana’s character: Diana was to put Prince William through the same experience at an equally young age.”
She subsequently became a “semi-detached mother”, according to Mr Hodgson.
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