I know Princess Diana has been dead now for almost fifteen years. I know people think she was some kind of saint. Yes, she was very beautiful. Yes, she was very charismatic. Yes, she was much beloved by the world's people. I can't even imagine what it must have been like to be Diana. It was like people expected her to be superhuman and she just wasn't. Diana was a person, like everybody else. She was extraordinarily gifted in some ways, but she was a human being and made mistakes.
And I know some people look at Prince Charles and think he's a stodgy dickhead. Yes, he comes across as very reserved. Yes, he was a lot older than Diana was and, perhaps, should have had the wisdom not to marry her. Yes, he cheated with Camilla and was sometimes mean to Diana in public.
I can't even imagine what it must have been like to be Charles circa 1980. He was under extreme pressure to find a wife and produce an heir. He couldn't find just any wife, it had to be the right wife. She had to have the right breeding, the right look, and her virginity. Diana apparently ticked all the boxes for being the right kind of person to be a future Queen of England. But, from the standpoint of a successful marriage, she was absolutely the wrong woman for Charles. They had very little in common. She was much younger than he was and had vastly different interests than he did. They had different education levels and different tastes.
Moreover, it's well-documented that Diana had, among other things, borderline personality disorder and eating disorders. Borderline personality disorder is not something that just "shows up" one day. That was an issue that came from her youth, which it's well-documented, was very traumatic. People who have borderline personality disorder are very difficult to live with under the best of circumstances. They have extreme mood swings, fears of abandonment, stormy interpersonal relationships and can be very manipulative. The fact that Charles and Diana were married for as long as they were is actually very impressive. Many people with BPD have a long history of fleeting relationships. Certainly, the eating disorders might have been caused by the pressure to be thin for the media, but eating disorders are also a major part of BPD. No doubt, Diana was NOT easy to live with.
I understand that many people take sides when a couple has problems. When you are a couple in the public eye, like Charles and Diana were, that phenomenon becomes even more pronounced. What I don't understand is why so many people seem to want to give Diana a pass for her poor behavior. It seems like every time someone brings up Chuck and Di, we hear about what an asshole Charles was. But Diana had her indiscretions, too. She cheated on Charles. She was indiscreet with the press... indeed, she had a love/hate relationship with the paparazzi, alternately cursing them for chasing her and flirting with them. Diana loved the spotlight on her terms.
This morning, I was hanging out in one of my favorite online communities and the subject of Charles came up. It had nothing at all to do with Diana. It was about a ridiculous news story in which a musician presented Charles with a Book of Mormon. And yet, despite the fact that neither the thread nor the news story had a damn thing to do with Diana, someone had to "go there" and disdain Charles for cheating on Diana with another man's wife. Hello! While Charles's behavior during their marriage was hardly admirable, neither was Diana's. And even if Camilla hadn't been in the picture, it's highly unlikely that they would have had a happy or successful marriage. They were certainly not soul mates.
I wish that Charles and Diana could have had a successful do-over. It's too bad Charles wasn't allowed to marry the woman of his choosing instead of a woman who "fit the part". It's too bad Diana didn't listen to the little voice in her head warning her not to marry Charles. It's too bad she couldn't wait longer and live a little before jumping into the British monarchy. On the other hand, I'm glad to see that William has found someone who appears to be an appropriate mate in Catherine. I hope they have a long, successful marriage.