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Prince Charles ‘used Princess Diana’s love of fashion against her’

Princess Diana‘s enthusiasm for fashion was used by Prince Charles to undermine her, according to claims made in a new book about the royal family‘s most stylish members.

The Prince of Wales, 72, exploited his first wife’s interest to make her seem ‘shallow or frivolous’, according to Elizabeth Holmes’ book HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style, which was published on Tuesday.

She told People that the attention Princess Diana received from the public upon entering the Firm surprised its members before becoming a source of resentment.

Princess Diana's enthusiasm for fashion was used by Prince Charles to undermine her, according to claims made in a new book about the royal family's most stylish members. Pictured, the couple together in New Zealand in April 1983

Princess Diana’s enthusiasm for fashion was used by Prince Charles to undermine her, according to claims made in a new book about the royal family’s most stylish members. Pictured, the couple together in New Zealand in April 1983

‘For Charles, you can tell in his public remarks, fashion is one of the things he sought to use against her,’ she added. ‘[He used Diana’s] interest in fashion, and the interest in her fashion, to paint her as shallow or frivolous.

‘What an outdated and unfortunate line of critique, especially because these women use their clothing so savvily,’ she continued.

Ms Holmes spent over 10 years as a business and fashion journalist for the Wall Street Journal and has amassed more than 142,000 followers for her Instagram account So Many Thoughts, in which she discusses royal fashion.

Ms Holmes told People that the attention Princess Diana (pictured in 1987) received from the public upon entering the Firm surprised its members before becoming a source of resentment

Ms Holmes told People that the attention Princess Diana (pictured in 1987) received from the public upon entering the Firm surprised its members before becoming a source of resentment

For her book, which charts the fashion journeys of the Queen, Princess Diana, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, she interviewed numerous fashion experts and designers, some of whom have worked within the royal household. 

After looking at Princess Diana’s style, Ms Holmes said the royal seemed to be delighted in fashion and used her style to demonstrate her emotions.

Princess Diana, then 20, and Prince Charles, then 32, married in 1981 but right from the start their relationship seemed to be fraught with tension.

The couple, who shared sons Prince William, now 38, and Prince Harry, now 36, separated in 1991, while their divorce was finalized in August 1996.

Sadly, Princess Diana died just a year later when her car crashed in a tunnel in Paris.

Throughout her appearances as a royal, the princess’ clothing choices were always noticed, which seemed to be an annoyance to Prince Charles.

The Prince of Wales, 72, exploited his first wife's interest to make her seem 'shallow or frivolous', according to Elizabeth Holmes' book HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style (pictured)

The Prince of Wales, 72, exploited his first wife’s interest to make her seem ‘shallow or frivolous’, according to Elizabeth Holmes’ book HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style (pictured)

The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown noted that during an engagement to the Gulf States in 1989, Prince Charles insulted Princess Diana in front of their royal hosts.

The mother-of-two was asked what she had arranged throughout her visit – with the royal planning to tour a centre for children with mental disabilities.

But the Prince of Wales quickly answered for her, replying: ‘Shopping, isn’t it, darling?’, according to Ms Brown’s book.

‘The words dropped into the marble stillness like bricks into plate glass,’ said Diana’s private secretary Patrick Jephson in The Diana Chronicles. ‘[Diana] colored, mumbled something inaudible, and lapsed into silence.’

But while Prince Charles appeared to dislike the attention his young wife received, Princess Diana only wanted to please him.

Designer Jasper Conrad, who had worked with the royal, told Ms Holmes that Princess Diana would always ask if her husband would like what she was wearing.

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