A new report claims that Prince Charles risked his life walking in the funeral procession to honor his late ex-wife, Princess Diana, in 1997, per The Daily Express. The news outlet reported that the heir to the British throne received death threats in the wake of his wife’s tragic death in a car crash in Paris, and that many blamed him for her passing.
This revelation came via a Netflix documentary series titled The Royals, where the series of six episodes dove into the royal family by looking further into their weddings, funerals, the royals as teens, their most high-profile scandals, their pets and the happiness of welcoming new children to the family lineage.
Ingrid Seward, the editor of Majesty, revealed that Prince Charles was being held accountable for what happened to his ex-wife by the public, who were grieving over the unexpected and tragic death of their beloved princess. She remarked in the documentary, “Charles received some kind of death threats because everyone blamed him for Diana’s death.”
For the public funeral — which was set for September 6, 1997 — there were legitimate fears that the prince could be targeted over the late princess’ death, after revelations came out in the British press and a book written by Andrew Morton, reportedly in conjunction with Princess Diana, about the reasons for the deterioration of the couple’s marriage and the end to one of Britain’s biggest fairy-tale marriages.
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Morton said in an interview, which aired as part of The Royals, “During the arrangements for the funeral, there were conversations between Downing Street and Buckingham Palace and at one of these meetings, they said ‘Well, look if William and Harry decided not to follow the funeral cortege, Princes Charles cannot do that on his own.'”
There were initial discussions that the young men, age 15 and 12 at the time, were too young to endure the painful walk behind their mother’s funeral carriage alongside Prince Charles, Prince Phillip and Diana’s brother, Earl Charles Spencer.
In fact, Prince William initially refused to participate in the procession unless his grandfather, who reportedly had a love-hate relationship with the late princess, walked with him. Ingrid Seward said, “William agreed to take part, but only on the condition that his grandfather walked beside him,” reported The Sun
Princess Diana’s death was never formally attributed to Prince Charles. Fans of the princess felt strongly that if the couple’s marriage had never irreparably fallen apart due to Charles’ long-term affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, Princess Diana would still be alive today, said a report by The Latin Times.
Prince William said in the documentary Diana, 7 Days that walking behind his late mother’s coffin was one of the hardest things he has ever done. Prince Harry said to Newsweek Magazine that the trauma of the walk in front of millions of people on television was “scarring,” and that no child should have been asked to put on such a public display during a time of grief.
Princess Diana died on August 31, 1997.