Most recently, much of the drama that has consumed the royal family has come from the younger generation. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently announced that they’d be stepping back from the royal family, and unleashed plenty of turmoil in their wake.
Harry and Meghan are hardly the first members of the royal family to cause drama, though. In fact, Prince Charles caused his fair share of controversy during his time in the spotlight, and he often leaned on his father in those years.
Prince Philip, who is now 98, often helped Charles through the scandals that plagued the young prince. Philip wasn’t always so supportive, though. As a child, Charles was introverted, and gravitated more toward the arts than towards sports. This reportedly disappointed Philip, who wanted his son to be overtly masculine.
Later in life, Philip also offered Charles advice ahead of his marriage to Princess Diana. Philip knew that Charles was still harboring feelings for Camilla Parker Bowles, and Philip told her that his marriage to Diana didn’t have to be permanent.
According to E Online, Philip actually told Charles he could return to Camilla if the feelings continued. “My father-in-law said to my husband, ‘If your marriage doesn’t work out, you can always go back to her after five years,’” Diana said. “Which is exactly—I mean, for real I knew that it had happened after five—I knew something was happening before that but the fifth year I had confirmation.”
Diana knew her husband was unfaithful for years, but she was urged to remain in the royal family for the sake of her children.
She stayed with Charles until 1992, at which time she separated from him. The two finalized their divorce in 1996, just a year before her death. Years later in 2005, Charles tied the knot with Camilla in a wedding ceremony that neither Prince Philip nor Queen Elizabeth attended. Apparently, it took some time for the Queen to get used to Camilla’s presence, but the two have grown closer in recent years, now that she and Charles seem to be a stable couple.
Now that Philip is nearing 100, it seems that he and Charles have reached a place of mutual understanding. Sons often have a tough time pleasing their fathers, and that pressure must only be increased when you’re the future King of England.
Charles caused the royal family plenty of strife as a result of his relationships with Diana and Camilla. After Diana’s tragic death, though, he seems to have been much more reluctant to take the spotlight, and that’s probably for the best.