London: Britain’s Prince Charles feared being shot dead during his ex-wife Diana’s funeral in 1997 because he had become ‘public enemy number one’ after her death, a royal biographer has claimed.
Ingrid Seward, a veteran royal correspondent, said that the 67-year-old heir to Britain’s throne was “fatalistic” about the possibility that a gunman would take a shot as he followed Princess Diana’s coffin to Westminster Abbey after she was killed in a car crash in Paris, ‘The Times’ reports.
“Prince Charles was extremely nervous because he was public enemy number one,” Seward told the audience yesterday during the Henley Literary Festival at Henley-on-Thames.
“He thought, ‘If someone takes a gun out and shoots me, that’s it’. The streets of London were very quiet. You could hear a pin drop. You could hear everything the crowd was saying. They were saying, ‘Look at him, look at him’. They were being quite nasty. The whole way round he could hear this abuse and he didn’t think he would make it the whole way round,” she said, without disclosing her sources.
Dickie Arbiter, press secretary to Queen Elizabeth II at the time, spoke alongside Seward and said the prince knew many people blamed him for the collapse of his marriage, but the real reasons were complex.
“No marriage is made in heaven. When lust and passion has worn off you’ve got to work at it,” he said.
Seward added that public scrutiny of royal behaviour was worse because of Twitter and camera phones today.
She suggested the relationship between Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas, which ended in 2014, was strained because of the exposure.
“I think it’s actually evil in a way. Cressie, the most gorgeous girl, said it was awful because every time she walked down the street she could hear people criticising her,” she said.