The five words Prince Charles said that broke Princess Diana's heart
We live in a world where romance is idealized. For generations, people have grown up with Jane Austen novels, Disney movies, and fairy tales which portray the fantasy that finding "the one" is a simple process, and once you've overcome one or two hurdles - like a wicked witch - you live happily ever after. But as every adult knows, real life just doesn't work like that.
Even for adults, however, there is one institution where even the most jaded and bitter of people like to think that the fairy tales we grew up with are a reality: the British Royal Family. But it doesn't take much snooping behind the gilded gold curtains of Buckingham Palace to realize that this isn't the case. Even Prince Charles, the future king, was prevented from marrying his first love, Camilla Parker Bowles, because of Royal Protocol, and settled for the virginal Diana Spencer instead.
While their union might not have been the second in line to the throne's first choice, in the early days of their marriage, they were a picture-perfect couple, and Diana seamlessly fitted into not only the Royal Family, but the heart's of the British public - who instantly adored her because she was the first commoner to marry into the "Firm" for 300 years.
After the birth of the couple's second son, Prince Harry, the bubble surrounding their fairytale romance very much burst in 1984. Charles then began to see Camilla again in 1986, despite the fact that both of them were married with children.
Prior to this, Charles had a number of other rumored lovers, and the knowledge that her husband was unfaithful put a terrible strain on Diana's mental health, eventually causing the young princess to develop bulimia and self-harm.
While the breakdown of a relationship can never be attributed to any one factor, news has now emerged that the first nail in their union's coffin came in 1982 after the birth of Prince Harry when Charles said a certain five words to Diana.
Diana's biographer, Andrew Morton, wrote in his book Diana: Her True Story, that the first thing Charles said to her after Harry's birth was, "Oh God, it's a boy." Naturally, the young princess was devastated by his reaction to their new son.
Because William was also a boy, Charles had his heir, and as a result, was hoping that his second born child would be a daughter.
While the future king insisted that he was "joking" when he said these words, a then 23-year-old Diana took them very seriously.
According to The Sun, Morton, with Diana's help, painted a picture of a woman with a secret that she could not tell her husband. This was because Diana had realized that her second born child was a son during a scan, but she refrained from telling Charles because he was longing for a daughter and knew that he would be disappointed when he found out the baby's gender.
In Morton's book, as reported once again by The Sun, Charles allegedly complained to his mother-in-law Frances Shand Kydd at Harry's christening that he was "so disappointed, we thought it would be a girl."
The future king was reportedly reprimanded for his comment by Kydd, who said that he was "lucky" to have a healthy child.
Morton revealed that Diana was, quite understandably, hurt by Charles' opinion of their son, and she reportedly said "something inside me closed off" when it came to her opinion of and her relationship with her husband.
The Sun reported that the late princess described Harry as "miracle" and "a complete joy", but perhaps more tellingly, she also referred to her second born as a light which helped her to see through "total darkness".
Charles and Diana eventually divorced in 1995. Vanity Fair reported that it took a mere three minutes to legally dissolve what had once been described as "the marriage of the century" that a whopping 750 million people had turned in to watch.
While Morton might have claimed that these five words were a nail in the coffin in Diana's mind, for Charles, it allegedly came much, much earlier during a trip to Wales with his then-new bride when he realized that she was "upstaging" him.
In an interview with People magazine, Lady Elizabeth Anson, party planner and a cousin to the Queen, said, "[Diana] sort of metamorphosed into a very, very elegant blonde beauty. They did a visit to Wales which was the beginning of, for Prince Charles, realizing, 'They've come out to see my wife, they haven't come out to see me.'"
Diana's popularity was so great that in 1983 when she and Charles visited New Zealand, crowds gathered in record numbers.
The late princess, however, is not the only woman that Charles is alleged to have felt threatened by. He also took umbrage with Kate Middleton, and Robert Higdon, the chief executive of Charles' charity foundation in America, told Bower that "Charles saw Kate and William as the new stars and feared he'd be in trouble."
While there is no way of knowing for sure that five words marked the beginning of the end for Charles and Diana, it's a poignant reminder that sometimes it's the little things which can have the biggest effect in the breakdown of a relationship.