An audio tape belonging to the late Princess Diana has revealed King Charles III’s reaction to Prince Harry’s birth. The former Princess of Wales recorded audio tapes in the 1980s to be given to Andrew Morton, who used the recordings to write her biography. In one of the tapes, then-Prince Charles can reportedly be heard heard saying after the birth of Prince Harry: “Oh, God.“It’s a boy. And he even has red hair!”
The previously unheard tapes detail the relationship between Diana and her ex-husband, Prince Charles. The King author Christopher Andersen admitted to Fox News on Tuesday (5 September) that he “heard many hours” of these recordings over the decades, and revealed even more secrets Diana had recorded. Andersen called the tapes “a haunting reminder” of her struggles as she was married to Charles.
“Diana was in tremendous emotional pain,” Andersen said. “She was up against a thousand-year-old institution that was determined to thwart her every move, and the distress she felt can really be heard in her voice.” However, Andersen also said that the pair was more civil during Diana’s second pregnancy with Prince Harry because Charles had assumed they were having a girl. The royal couple already had an heir to the throne with their first son, Prince William.
“Their marriage was famously stormy from the start,” Andersen explained. “Diana acknowledged that it was a wonder that she became pregnant at all given her marital battles with Charles. ‘Harry appeared as if by a miracle,’ Diana later said.” He continued: “She admitted that she even began to convince herself that Charles did in fact love her. ‘We were blissfully happy,’ she said of that brief time in the royal marriage. ‘Charles was overjoyed about the new baby, very tender and caring. I didn’t want it to end.’”
According to the author, the only reason for Charles being “blissfully happy” was because of how his certainty that Diana was pregnant with a girl. “He wanted a girl to round out the family,” Andersen said. “He was so convinced Diana was pregnant with a girl that he refused to look at any sonograms. Diana did look, however. ‘I knew it was a boy,’ she later said,” Andersen told Fox News. “‘And I didn’t tell him.’ Diana would recall that time in their marriage, ‘We were very, very close to each other the six weeks before Harry was born. The closest we’ve ever, ever been and ever will be.’”
But after his birth, Charles blurted out to the doctors and nurses: “Oh, God.” This wasn’t the only time Charles had pointed out the red colour of his youngest son’s hair. “The future king complained not once but several times that Harry was not only ‘another boy’ but also that his hair was ‘rusty,’” Andersen said. According to the author, Diana was “devastated” by the reaction. “It just went bang, our marriage. The whole thing went down the drain. Something inside me closed off,” she said on the tapes.
Andersen explained how the moment reminded Diana of her own childhood, and how her parents were disappointed over her being a girl. “Diana hated the whole gender preference thing,” he said. “After having two daughters, Diana’s parents were so convinced she would be a boy that they didn’t even bother picking out a girl’s name in advance. It was a full week before they named her Diana Frances.”
He continued: “She grew up knowing that her parents were bitterly disappointed in her, all of which made Diana feel ‘unwanted and unloved’ from the beginning.”