Princess Diana’s death affected many people, including her ex-husband Prince Charles. The two remained friends after the separation, but many people wonder what might have happened to them if their circumstances were different. A friend of Diana revealed that Charles realized his love for Diana after her demise, a crushing revelation after a relationship fraught with heartbreak.
The Story of Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ Relationship
Princess Diana and Prince Charles first met at Althorp House, Diana’s 1,500-acre family estate in England in November 1977. Although he was dating her older sister, Sarah, at the time, Diana left an impression on him. But several months later, Sarah allegedly spoke to a journalist that she wouldn’t marry Charles “if he were the dustman or the King of England.” Their relationship ended, but Sarah and Diana remained in his social circle.
In September 1980, Diana and Charles’ relationship became officially public knowledge. Prince Charles proposed to Princess Diana at Windsor Castle and she said yes. At that point, people theorized that they had only gone out a dozen or so times. In the meantime, the paparazzi was unrelenting to nineteen-year-old Diana, who struggled with all of the press. They formally announced their engagement on February 24
Despite the betrothal, Charles remained in touch with Camilla Parker-Bowles, with who he later had an affair. Diana even found out that Charles had a bracelet made for Camilla just before their wedding. But in July 1981, Prince Charles and Princess Diana get married at their fairy-tale-like wedding, where 750 million people watched worldwide. 
In 1982, the couple bore their first child, Prince William. After the delivery, Diana suffered from postpartum depression. She explained it to BBC in 1995, saying, “You’d wake up in the morning feeling you didn’t want to get out of bed, you felt misunderstood, and just very, very low in yourself.” And in 1984, they had their second child, Prince Harry.
“How awful incompatibility is”
By 1986, the couple was in an unhappy marriage where both had extramarital affairs. Charles resumed his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. Allegedly, Princess Diana began her affair with army captain James Hewitt around the same time. In a letter to an unknown correspondent, Charles wrote about his marriage.
“How awful incompatibility is, and how dreadfully destructive it can be for the players in this extraordinary drama. It has all the ingredients of a Greek tragedy…I never thought it would end up like this.”
At this point, the media was all over this fractured relationship. But in December 1992, Prime Minister John Major announced that Princes Charles and Princess Diana were separating. “This decision has been reached amicably and they will both continue to participate fully in the upbringing of their children,” he reads from a Buckingham Palace statement. In a 1995 statement, Diana said, she felt a “deep, deep, profound sadness” about their separation. “We had struggled to keep it going, but obviously we’d both run out of steam.”
The divorce was finalized in August 1996. However, Princess Diana died in a fatal car crash in Paris one year later. Her death was a painful shock to everyone, especially Charles. Despite their fraught relationship, they still cared for each other. In fact, in that year after the divorce, they became good friends. 
If Things Were Different…
After her death, healer and Princess Diana’s friend, Simone Simmons, spoke to the press.
“Charles only realized he loved her after she died. I don’t think he realized how much he loved Diana until she was gone. She was the first person who showed him real love.”
Although Diana is gone, she’s definitely not forgotten. Prince Charles eventually married Camilla in 2005. But Simmons claims that Diana and Charles may have worked out if the circumstances were different. After all, they had a similar sense of humor and many common interests.
“After the divorce Charles got a very good friend in Diana because she understood him,” Simmons said. “Nobody is happy if their other half has affairs, but she loved Charles with all her heart. If they had left it ten years and then got married, I believe they would still be together today. They would have had their differences, but I think they may have got back together. I had a weird feeling they would have ended up married again.” 
- “Princess Diana and Prince Charles: A Complete Timeline of Their Relationship.” Biography. Sara Kettler. November 12, 2020
- “A timeline of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s tumultuous, tragic relationship.” Vogue. Elise Taylor. October 18, 2020
- “Prince Charles only realized he loved Princess Diana after her death: report.” Geo News. November 26, 2020