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No matter what Prince Charles does or says, the legacy of his ex-wife will be right behind him.
Nearly 25 years after Princess Diana’s tragic death at age 36, her ex-husband is still remembered for their doomed marriage.
It took years for many in Britain to forgive the Prince of Wales, whose admitted infidelity and long-time left to Camilla Parker Bowles torpedoed his marriage to Diana, known as “the People’s Princess.” The eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II was considered the world’s most eligible bachelor when he married Lady Diana Spencer when she was just 20 years old in 1981. The wedding was seen by a global television audience of 750 million in 74 countries.
The glamorous mother of Princes William and Harry died in a car crash in 1997, five years after her messy, public split from Charles. In 2005, Charles married Camilla, who became Duchess of Cornwall. In January of this year, the queen expressed her sincere wish that Camilla, who was initially shunned by fans of Diana, to be known as Queen Consort when Charles takes the throne.
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Over the years, Charles has attempted to make his mark as first in line to the throne. However, some royal authors shared that Diana’s legacy continues to loom over his achievements.
“His tragedy is whatever he does, whatever he says, however he behaves, he will be remembered for one thing: the fact that his fairy-tale marriage ended,” Diana’s biographer Andrew Morton told People magazine in this week’s issue. “Just as [King] Henry VIII is remembered for his six wives, Prince Charles is remembered for his first wife. It will always haunt him. His life has been defined by his marriage.”
“The ghost of Diana really stalked him at every turn,” added royal biographer Ingrid Seward.
According to the outlet, the now-73-year-old does not speak publicly about Diana. In 2005, Charles did cooperate in an investigation concerning various conspiracy theories surrounding Diana’s death.
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The public mood surrounding Charles and Camilla has since softened.
Now known as the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, 75, has taken on roles at more than 100 charities, focusing on a wide range of issues including promoting literacy, supporting victims of domestic violence and helping the elderly.
With a down-to-earth style and sense of humor, she eventually won over many Britons. Her warmth softened Charles’ stuffy image and made him appear more relaxed, if not happier, as he visited houses of worship, unveiled plaques and waited for his chance to reign.
Charles, 73, has long made it clear that he wants Camilla to be known as queen when he ultimately succeeds his mother on the throne.
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Back in 2017, Morton told Fox News Digital that Diana relied on her sons for support during her collapsing marriage to Charles.
“As the boys got older and became like her counselors and friends as sons, she began to enjoy life a lot more,” said Morton at the time. “Diana was very protective of William and Harry. [If] you ever criticized the boys… she would be on you like a tigress. She was the only one who could criticize those two. Of course, she indulged them… She wanted to be a full hands-on parent herself.”
Morton said there is still plenty to discover and appreciate about Diana today.
“I think what I did realize was that she left an awful lot of her life in compartments,” he explained. “And you felt like you knew her, but you didn’t. You knew a bit of her… She was a mysterious woman as well as a compassionate woman.”
The Associated Press continued to this report.