Princess Diana‘s friend Stewart Pearce wrote the new book Diana, The Voice of Change, out now, and the author gave some insight into the people who surrounded Diana before her death in 1997. Pearce told Us exclusively that his comments are “just simply categoric observations about how perhaps [some royals’] behavior [were] not always as emotionally intelligent as it could be.”
He continued by calling out Diana’s ex-husband, Charles, 72. “For example, Prince Charles is a very, very shy man, a very sensitive and delicate man, but we see his public personality, but in private, he’s immensely sensitive,” Pearce explained.
The voice coach noted that “when we’re sensitive, if we’re dealing with very strong, combustible emotion on the outside of us,” people tend to go with a fight or flight response. When Diana accused Charles of having an affair with Duchess Camilla, his response was clear.
“So, what he did was to shrink back and as a result of that became an aloof,” Pearce said. “Well, that doesn’t heal the challenge that’s taking place.”
The expert, whose father worked for the late Prince Philip, explained that Charles’ personality rings true in all of 36-year-old Harry’s recent public statements about the royal family, including when he revealed his father hadn’t spoken to him in a while.
“That’s what Charles does. … He can’t deal with it because of his sensitivity, so he hides,” Pearce said. “And what Harry’s trying to do is to heal that. Not out of umbrage, not out of anger or revenge or criticism or accusation. … I felt that he was just somebody saying, ‘This is the way that it is, and this is why we want to make change.'”
In Harry’s AppleTV+ series, The Me You Can’t See, he examines mental health and opens up about how his royal upbringing contributed to his anxiety and depression, commenting on his father’s approach to the subject.
“My father used to say to me when I was younger, he used to say to [Prince] William and I, ‘Well, it was like that for me, so it’s gonna be like that for you.’ That doesn’t make sense,” the former military pilot said in one episode. “Just because you suffered, it doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer. In fact, quite the opposite. If you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever experiences, negative experiences that you had, you can make it right for your kids.”
A royal source told Us that the series made the Prince of Wales livid. “Charles is boiling with anger and feels tortured by Harry with his constant digs. He wishes he’d just let it drop,” the insider explained in May. “The general consensus within the royal family is to ignore Harry’s behavior, to avoid fanning the flames, but Charles is finding it hard to hold back. He really wants to defend himself.”
The Me You Can’t See premiered in May, two months after Harry and wife Meghan Markle‘s CBS tell-all.
In the March special, Harry said Charles “stopped taking” his calls after the Duke of Sussex detailed his and 39-year-old Markle’s exit plan from their senior duties with the royal family. “I feel really let down, because he’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson,” he said at the time. “I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened. And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.”
The public airing of grievances infuriated the heir apparent. “Charles does not agree with Harry trashing his whole family in public,” a source exclusively told Us days after the conversation was broadcast to millions of viewers. “Charles thinks these matters could have easily been addressed in private.”