The complicated marriage between Prince Charles and Princess Diana was messy from the beginning, thanks to a very “archaic requirement of virginity” for a royal bride. That’s what Tina Brown, author of The Palace Papers, believes set their nuptials off on the wrong foot from the very start.
According to the author, in an excerpt obtained by SheKnows, trying to find a proper candidate who fits that requirement was like trying to find the “Loch Ness monster.” That meant the love of Charles’ life, Camilla, was completely out of the question.
“Camilla understood that the achingly archaic requirement of virginity in a royal bride was a deal-breaker in her relationship with Charles,” Brown writes. That meant the search was on for a bride for Prince Charles, which wasn’t an easy task in modern society.
“Finding an intact woman in her late twenties amongst his contemporaries might have seemed easy from the Queen Mother’s point of view, but in the freewheeling sexual mores of seventies London society, it was about as likely as a sighting of the Loch Ness monster,” the excerpt reads, “No wonder he wound up marrying the twenty-year-old ingénue Lady Diana Spencer.”
Brown also adds that the palace’s strict stipulations in choosing a virgin bride would “prove lethal to his future happiness” — he wanted to settle down with Camilla.
What’s astonishing is that one archaic rule for marriage set decades’ worth of trauma into motion for the entire royal family. It resulted in headlines that continue to taunt the palace, and as Camilla rises to Queen Consort in the future, it reminds everyone of what happened in the past.
Even as casual British royal family observers, there’s still so much we don’t know about what happens in the House of Windsor. 2022 is poised to be a memorable year for the royal family. But with historic highs come lows and pitfalls.
Royal biographer Tina Brown takes readers from the troubling years following Princess Diana’s death, to the rift between Princes William and Harry, the scandals of Prince Andrew, and Queen Elizabeth’s steady resolve through it all in The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil.