Charles told Diana his husband duty ended when Harry was born: ex-butler

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Prince Charles and Camilla
Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, sit at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 21, 2014. Reuters/Mark Blinch

A new documentary has revealed that Princess Diana, on the night she gave birth to Prince Harry, cried herself to sleep after Prince Charles told her his duty as husband was over. Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell revealed he had seen cracks in the couple’s marriage getting wider.

“Diana confided in me that on the night Harry was born, she cried herself to sleep,” Burrell, who worked with Diana for ten years until her death, revealed in a Channel 4 documentary. She told him she knew it was the end of her marriage.

He added, “He’d provided the country with an heir and a spare and could now resume his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles.” A biography of Charles by royal family biographer and New York Times bestselling author Sally Bedell Smith details how Charles and Diana were a terrible match since their union in July 1981.

According to the book, Charles was not in love with Diana. The only reason he married her was because his real love Camilla, now his second wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was not virginal enough for royal custom. In 1980, more than a decade after the sexual revolution had begun, Charles was hemmed in by the royal custom of marrying a virgin or a woman who at least seemed virginal.

Charles and Camilla met in 1972. She was an upper-class girl.

Bedell Smith wrote that the prince adored how she “always listened to him.” He “found the warmth that he yearned for” in her. But Patricia Mountbatten, a family friend, said there were apparent problems with Charles’s love. The conventions called for a princess to be virginal, but Camilla “had a history.”

When Charles turned 30, the pressure to get married was intense. Diana, the daughter of John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, entered his life.

Diana, Bedell Smith wrote, was in the wrong place at the wrong time. And she married the wrong man.

Charles and Diana had no intellectual connections, no common interests and few mutual friends. The book added she was “tormented by feelings of emptiness” and she had difficulty in sustaining relationships.

Camilla was married to another man, Andrew Parker Bowles. But she continued to see Charles for much of his marriage to Diana.

Diana's suspicion over Camilla soon spilled over into obsession, Bedell Smith wrote. Speaking about Camilla, Diana told interviewer Martin Bashir there were three of them in her marriage, so it was a bit crowded.

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