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There’s been speculation as to whether or not Prince Charles was a good father in Princess Diana’s eyes. It’s fair to say the opinion probably changed slightly as time went on. For Princess Diana’s part, she was a loving and caring mother who always put her children first.

Princess Diana was very involved with her children

Prince Charles and Princess Diana with Prince William
Prince Charles and Princess Diana with baby Prince William | Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Princess Diana was always present in Prince William and Prince Harry’s lives. There were many instances where Prince Charles seemed to opt for important engagements instead of putting in time with his family. One particularly famous incident came when Prince William suffered a fracture to his skull when he was just 8 years old. Princess Diana was there through it all, including when he had to have surgery.

Prince Charles took a different approach

Prince Charles, Prince Harry, and Princess Diana
Prince Charles, Prince Harry, and Princess Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Prince Charles suffered greatly in the press for his error of not being there after William’s injury. He instead opted for royal duty and went to a performance in which he was the host. At the same time, William was having his surgery, where Diana was there waiting anxiously to learn that her son was going to be alright.

Papers weren’t having it and called Prince Charles out for his behavior during such a time. In Andrew Morton’s royal biography of the Princess, Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words, it was revealed that Diana was in no way surprised by Charles’ behavior.

Princess Diana wasn’t surprised

The Prince And Princess Of Wales
The Prince And Princess Of Wales | Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

“His decision to put duty before family may have come as a shock to the general public but it was no surprise to his wife,” Morton wrote. “Indeed she accepted his decision to go to the opera as nothing out of the ordinary. For her it was another example in a continuing pattern rather than an aberration.”

Prince Charles was very aware of the way the public viewed his actions and he sought to change that by appearing in public with his sons more. James Gilbey, a one-time suitor and friend of the Princess said, “She thinks he is a bad father, a selfish father, the children have to tie in with what he’s doing. He will never delay, cancel or change anything which he has sorted out for their benefit.”

Princess Diana was actively more aware of the comings and goings of her children. She tried to be as involved as she possibly could while putting them first before everything, even her charity work.

Prince Charles is ‘focused on his work’

Princess Diana and Prince Charles with Princes Harry and Prince William
Princess Diana and Prince Charles with Princes Harry and Prince William | Mirrorpix/Getty Images

Penny Junor, a royal author, told the Daily Beast that Prince Charles is very driven with his work and “making a difference in the world.” He has other obligations as a member of the Royal Family and a duty to his country.

“It is a slightly tricky relationship, because Charles has always been quite a remote figure, he has always been consumed by work,” Junor revealed. “That’s not a product of a lack of love. It’s a product of the fact he is so focused on his work, and the need to make a difference in the world that, like many people who are seeking to make a difference in the world, he has sometimes overlooked friends and loved ones beside him.”

Princess Diana it seems might not have had the best outlook on Prince Charles’ role as a father. She did her best to not let that get in the way of being the best mother she could be to her children.