How Prince Philip Really Felt About Princess Diana And Prince Charles' Divorce

For those who have watched the fourth season of "The Crown," you'll recall a scene in the final episode between Prince Philip and Princess Diana (via YouTube). Here, Philip tries to persuade Diana not to divorce his eldest son, Prince Charles, and leave the royal family. While it's unclear as to whether this meeting actually occurred, the matters raised during their conversation did take place through letters that the pair sent to one another.

In 2003, letters between Philip and Diana were uncovered which revealed that the Duke of Edinburgh was on his daughter-in-law's side (via the Express). "Charles was silly to risk everything with Camilla for a man in his position," Philip wrote, according to royal author Ingrid Seward's book "Prince Philip Revealed." He continued, "I cannot imagine anyone in their right minds leaving you for Camilla. The prospect never even entered our heads."

Philip reportedly wanted to do his "utmost to help" the couple, per the Daily Mail, but conceded that he had "no talent as a marriage counselor." In reply, Diana said she was "particularly touched" by the letter which proved to her that he cared, according to The Guardian. "You are very modest about your marriage guidance skills," she added, "and I disagree with you!"

However, there was a point prior to this that Philip reportedly blamed Diana for the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles.

Prince Philip reportedly blamed Princess Diana for his son's affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles

In an episode of the "You're Wrong About" podcast (via Happy Scribe), hosts Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall discussed how some letters between Prince Philip and Princess Diana were a bit more cruel. Essentially, Philip blamed Diana for destroying the marriage at the beginning.

In one of the opening lines of the letters, Philip reportedly wrote: "Can you honestly look into your heart and say that Charles, his relationship with Camilla, has nothing to do with your behavior towards him in your marriage?" Basically, Philip was misdirecting the blame of his son's affair with Camilla Parker Bowles to Diana. He also suggested that she was too "possessive" of their children, Prince William and Prince Harry (via Metro).

According to a confidante of Diana's, Simone Simmons, Diana was unsurprisingly "furious" about what Philip had implied, which made her "boil with anger" at the suggestion that the affair was her fault (via the Mirror). "Diana read one out to me because she was absolutely furious and she was actually imitating the voice of the Duke of Edinburgh," Simmons told the Mirror. This came from a letter shown during an inquest into Diana's death in 2008.

The jury at the inquest were shown these letters, and Simmons was asked whether the Duke of Edinburgh made "cruel and disparaging observations" by blaming Diana for the affair, to which Simmons agreed.

Princess Diana reportedly sent a strongly worded letter back to Prince Philip

Unsurprisingly, it's believed that Diana wrote a strongly worded letter back to the Duke of Edinburgh, with Hobbes summarizing that the princess said something along the lines of, "He's the one that decided to cheat on me. I'm sorry. I'm not going to take the blame for that."

Philip would reportedly acknowledge his behavior, leading to a much stronger relationship between the two that ended up with Philip supporting Diana and being on her side (via SW Londoner). However, the Mirror suggests that further letters dated nearer to their Charles and Diana's divorce were more disparaging, mainly due to Diana's revealing BBC Panorama interview in 1995. According to Metro, the duke was said to have gone "ballistic" at what she said during the interview, which included the famous line "there were three of us in the marriage" and a reference to Charles as a "loose cannon".

Royal biographer Ingrid Seward alleged that Prince Philip wanted nothing to do with Diana after the interview, and that whenever Diana appeared at Windsor Castle with William and Harry following the divorce, Philip "would make himself scarce" (via the Mail Online). According to a friend of Diana's, Teddy Forstmann, the feeling was mutual. "She hated Prince Philip," he told the Mail Online.

Queen Elizabeth reportedly sent a letter to Princess Diana too, demanding that she and Prince Charles divorce

And it wasn't just Prince Philip that sent letters to Diana with reported disdain regarding her divorce. According to the Express, Queen Elizabeth sent a letter to Diana demanding that she and Prince Charles separate following the BBC Panorama interview.

During an appearance on New Idea's "Royals" podcast (via the Express), royal commentator Angela Mollard alleged it was the Queen who insisted Diana and Charles divorced. "The Queen quickly sent a letter to Diana and said 'you need to divorce' and that was finalized in 1996," Mollard said. "There was obviously a confidentiality agreement that stopped them both from discussing the details of their divorce and married life," she added.

According to the Mirror, this letter read: "I have consulted with the Archbishop of Canterbury and with the Prime Minister and, of course, with Charles, and we have decided that the best course for you is divorce." Diana's former butler Paul Burrell alleged that Diana's reaction was priceless. "That's rich! They get to decided whether I divorce!" she reportedly said.

A few days later, Buckingham Palace issued a public statement saying that "after considering the present situation the Queen ... gave them their view, supported by the Duke of Edinburgh, that an early divorce is desirable."