Why I Feel Bad for Prince Charles

I need to get something off my chest: I feel bad for Prince Charles and Camilla. I believe they went through all kinds of hell they never truly deserved.

And while I realize this isn’t exactly a timely article, someone mentioned Princess Diana being her hero in a discussion group yesterday, yet again, which brought everything about those scandals right back.

It’s easy to love Diana. She was a beautiful, naive princess who married into an intimidating royal family and was cheated on by her stuffy, uncharismatic husband. Then she died tragically young.

camilla-vs-di.jpg
But Diana’s good because so pretty, right?

I can still remember the media witch hunt that crucified her husband and his lover. “HOW,” everyone wanted to know, “Could Prince Charles possibly betray his young, beautiful wife with a nasty old hag like Camilla!?”

I’m not saying Diana wasn’t a victim. She naively married into a family that was only looking for an acceptable breeder to carry on the royal line. She was devastated by finding out her prince had never actually been in love with her in the first place.

But I have lots of sympathy for Charles too.

You see, I think he was also a victim of circumstance. He was love in Camilla Parker Bowles. She understood him. They’re both members of the Old Guard with similar temperaments and common interests, like tradition and fancy ponies.

But he wouldn’t have been allowed to marry her back in the 1970-80’s.  She was divorced and unsuitable, yet the royal family kept pressuring the Prince of Wales to find a wife.

And yes, it would’ve been much more heroic for him to defy them, to say, “I’m going to marry the woman I love, regardless of how you feel about it!”

But he was caught in a centuries-old system that was much bigger than him. He’d been brainwashed, since birth, to put royal duties above personal feelings: to marry a woman his family approved of to make suitable heirs for the royal line. Maybe he could discretely follow his heart on the side, as his forefathers had done, but it was critical to keep his official relationship within certain guidelines.

So he married a young, naive woman with whom he had absolutely nothing in common.

And shockingly enough, it didn’t work out. Maybe that’s because the social rules have changed and now even members of the royal family are supposed to be in love with their spouses. But that’s hardly how things had been done up to this point.

Still, the media tore him and his lover to pieces while holding up his wronged wife as a blameless martyr.

What I find especially ironic about all this was how angry people are/were about a man throwing over a younger, prettier woman for a less attractive one.

Isn’t it usually the reverse? We usually tear apart the men who replace their aging partners with younger, prettier models. Don’t we generally consider it incredibly superficial to care more about looks than compatibility?

So, why the international outrage when things worked out in reverse? Charles has loved Camilla for well over thirty years and stuck by her even when the powers-that-be threw a wide-eyed virgin straight into his lap.

In truth, I think it was the outdated royal system of valuing status above all else that tragically failed Diana.

And Charles too.

 

 

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Why I Feel Bad for Prince Charles

  1. I agree that he was a victim of the social system, but Charles cheated on Diana with Camilla. If he made the choice to marry someone else, he should have been faithful and kept his vows. I don’t find Camilla unattractive, the behavior of them cheating with each other is unattractive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you in theory, but wonder if Charles wasn’t sort of brought up to marry the “right” woman while cheating on the side. It’s what the real family did for ages.

      But I agree that he would’ve been more sympathetic if he took a stand against his family and stood by the woman he loved. I think the old system is over now, though, because William obviously married for love.

      True, I don’t think Camilla is ugly either but the media had a field day talking about how ugly she is and comparing her to a horse. It was the popular opinion at the time…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, media can be cruel, but cheating doesn’t make me feel sorry for him. Even if he followed what his family said, he shouldn’t have cheated . Your character is all you truly have in the end.

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  2. Yeah, I agree with that–I mean, I liked Diana, and how she was trying to use her position to help people instead of play dress-up (thank you stupid Princess Diary movies and Disney for trying to turn back the clock). Of course, it was probably because of the cheating that she had to put her efforts somewhere instead of sitting in a corner.

    But yeah, I had thought a lot about the situation they were in–I remember seeing bits of the first interviews with Charles and Diana and how painful looking it all was, and the wedding that was supposed to patch the holes for the public view. It sucks because he had someone he genuinely loved and he couldn’t be with her. That was lousy, and though it was wrong to cheat, they should’ve tried to change the laws so he could be with the one he loved if he was supposed to be heir-apparent and all. It wasn’t fair to them at all–any of them, really. I agree with you 100% about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! I have no beef with Diana and feel bad for her too. I get the feeling she was idealistic and had no clue what was really going on. The media also scrutinized her weight and she suffered from eating disorders.

      I just wonder if Charles was made to feel like he had to put his feelings aside for the sake of the country, but try as he might, couldn’t get along with a woman who had nothing in common with him.

      I wish he stood up to the system instead of playing along, but then I don’t know what it’s like to have these expectations shoved down your throat since birth. He had to have been under enormous pressure.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Diana was certainly not the saint she is portrayed to be in the media. She herself broke up several marriages but we conveniently forget that. Media likes to be everything in black or white. She was also the person in modern historia Who did most harm to the Royal family. Charles and Camilla carry on with things in a dignified manner and should be given credit for that

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! While I have lots of sympathy for Diana, the situation was more complicated than the media portrayed (‘black and white,’ as you said).

      It must be difficult for one’s every move to be made so public, at any rate, but you’d think she would be aware of that dynamic.

      Like

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