Princess Diana: The only thing Charles learned about love from his parents was 'shaking hands'

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Prince Charles And Princess Diana
Prince Charles And Princess Diana
Photo: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
  • Princess Diana believed Prince Charles' "emotional retentiveness" was a result of his childhood and upbringing.
  • According to royal biographer Ingrid Seward: "Diana reckoned that if Charles had been brought up in the normal fashion, he would have been better able to handle his and her emotions."
  • Instead, Diana said, the only thing he "learned about love [from his parents] was shaking hands".


During the final years of her life, Princess Diana got candid about her unhappy marriage with Prince Charles.

In her explosive Panorama interview in 1995, she famously spoke of her "crowded" marriage. Referring to Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles' affair she told BBC's Martin Bashir: "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."

READ MORE | A look at the first tell-all to shake the royals: Princess Diana's explosive Panorama interview

Now, with the serialisation in the Mail on Sunday of Ingrid Seward's new book Prince Philip Revealed, new details about Diana and Charles' marriage is being revealed, with the royal biographer saying Diana thought Charles' lack of love may have resulted from him witnessing his parents' not-so-affection marriage – the only thing he "learned about love [from them] was shaking hands".

Ingrid writes that Charles "couldn't be tactile with his own wife" as a result of his own upbringing and childhood as well and said his "emotional retentiveness" was because his own parents weren't always around to give him affection, as per Diana's account of what Charles told her.

"Diana reckoned that if Charles had been brought up in the normal fashion, he would have been better able to handle his and her emotions," Ingrid writes.

"Instead, she said, his feelings seemed to have been suffocated at birth. According to her, he never had any hands-on love from his parents. Only his nannies showed him affection but that, as Diana explained, was not the same as being kissed and cuddled by your parents, which Charles never was. When he met his parents, they didn't embrace: they shook hands."

Prince Philip Revealed will be released on 20 October.

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