Former Aide Details King Charles' 'Systematic' Smear Campaign Against Princess Diana

After he ascended to the throne after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III made it clear during his first speech that he would be relying on the support of his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, as he adjusts to his new role. 

Before Elizabeth gave her blessing, Charles reportedly lobbied for years for Camilla to receive the title of queen — much to the dismay of his sons, Prince William, Prince of Wales, and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. "Privately I discovered both brothers are absolutely sick to the back teeth of Charles trying to negotiate full queen status for Camilla," royal historian Robert Lacey told Newsweek in 2021.

The biggest obstacle for Charles and Camilla was the public's enduring love for the king's first wife, the late Princess of Wales. During Diana's interview with Martin Bashir, she spoke about the demise of her marriage to Charles, specifically pointing to his affair with Camilla. "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," Diana explained, per History.

After Charles' divorce from Diana, his public image took a hit, while Camilla was dubbed "the most hated woman in Britain," per Express. But the royal wasn't willing to take the criticism lying down. In fact, a former royal aide claims that Charles went on a "systematic" smear campaign against the People's Princess.

King Charles' staff painted Princess Diana as being 'a bit crazy'

As the public sided with Princess Diana during her divorce from Prince Charles (now King Charles III), the former Prince of Wales reportedly went on a "systematic campaign" to paint his ex-wife as an unstable woman with mental health issues.

"If you ask people close to the current royal establishment ... then I think that is the answer you would get; that it was a tragic story and that she was essentially troubled mentally, and the implication being that she was not entirely up the job, which essentially then she failed at," said Patrick Jephson, Diana's former chief of staff, on "The Scandal Mongers" podcast, per Page Six.

Jephson countered the claim, explaining that Diana "wasn't just sane, she had a kind of ability to restore sanity to crazy situations." He added that she was "very, very good at her job" and that the rumors were spread "by and large, by men, about a woman in a marriage with the intention to help another man."

While Charles might have tried to tarnish Diana's image, she is still revered around the world. "His tragedy is whatever he does, whatever he says, however he behaves, he will be remembered for one thing: the fact that his fairy-tale marriage ended," royal author Andrew Morton told People. "It will always haunt him. His life has been defined by his marriage."