Prince William having a sister seems unthinkable now, but a recently rediscovered interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, alleges that Prince Harry’s arrival initially disappointed his father because he wanted a girl.
During a meeting with royal biographer Andrew Morton, the princess spoke freely about the bittersweet implications of her second pregnancy. The author included transcripts of their unfiltered conversation in the recent re-release of Diana: Her True Story — In Her Own Words.
According to the royal, Harry’s birth on 15 September, 1984, signalled the start of a downward spiral. “Charles and I 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,” she remembered. “Then, suddenly, as Harry was born, it just went bang, our marriage. The whole thing went down the drain.”
Diana says that she saw the baby’s sex beforehand, but didn’t tell Prince Charles since he had “always” hoped for a daughter (in 2015, Charles admitted he was hoping his second grandchild would be girl). “He wanted two children and he wanted a girl,” she explained. By keeping the knowledge a secret until the delivery, Harry’s arrival came as a complete surprise. She alleges her husband’s initial reaction was, “Oh God, it’s a boy,” followed by, “and he’s even got red hair.”
(Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, with a newborn Prince Harry on September 17, 1984)
Luckily, the couple already agreed on his name. In the event of two boys, they had decided to go with William and Henry. “The alternative was Arthur and Albert,” Diana explained.”No, thank you. There weren’t fights over it. It was just a fait accompli.”
While the princess says that Charles “loved the nursery life,” the birth still marked a turning point in their marriage. She told Morton that after Harry’s arrival, “something inside me closed off,” especially since her husband continued his affair. “By then, I knew Charles had gone back to his lady,” Diana said of Camilla.
While a new baby brings its own joys and challenges, the princess later attributed the couple’s problems to the extramarital affair, not their second son. “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” she famously said in her 1995 BBC interview. The two separated in 1992 before divorcing in 1996.