In Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, the couple revealed it was their 2018 trip Down Under which ultimately triggered the royal family to turn on the Duchess.
The duo spent 16-days in Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji in October, just months after their wedding.
“It really changed after the Australia tour,” Harry, 36, told the talk-show queen during the explosive sit-down earlier this year.
“It was the first time the family got to see how incredible she was at the job. And that brought back memories. To see how effortless it was for Meghan to come into the family and be able to connect with people.”
The memories the Prince was reffering to was those of his mother Princess Diana who had joined Prince Charles for a six-week tour of Australia and New Zealand back in 1983 with baby William in tow.
Just 21 at the time, Diana dazzled and delighted the crowds. It was her first overseas trip since marrying into the firm and while the public hailed the visit a victory, for Prince Charles it was anything but for he soon realised just how much the public preferred his beautiful young wife to him.
“The prince was embarrassed the crowds so clearly favored her over him,” wrote Sally Bedell Smith in her biography, Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life.
“For her part, Diana was upset by the disproportionate interest in her, especially when she realized that it was disturbing Charles. She collapsed under the strain, weeping to her lady-in-waiting and secretly succumbing to bulimia.
“In letters to friends, Charles described his anguish over the impact ‘all this obsessed and crazed attention was having on his wife.’”
Meanwhile, author Andrew Morton that the future king did not like the fact Diana was over shadowing him.
“While Diana looked to her husband for a lead and guidance, the way the press and public reacted to the royal couple merely served to drive a wedge between them. The crowds complained when Prince Charles went over to their side of the street during a walkabout.
In public, Charles accepted the revised status quo with good grace; in private he blamed Diana,” Andrew wrote in his biography Diana: Her True Story—In Her Own Words.
“As Diana told me: ‘He was jealous; I understood the jealousy but I couldn’t explain that I didn’t ask for it.’”
Reflecting on the hysteria of the royal tour, Project host Lisa Wilkinson who was editor of Dolly magazine at the time said that it was hard not to be mesmerised by the People’s Princess. Almost instantly, the entire country was under her spell.
“I don’t think there was any generation that wasn’t fascinated by this young girl who we later discovered had pretty much been thrown to the wolves,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2017.
Ruthie Farrar, an RAAF flight steward working on the VIP aircraft assigned to the royals at the time also told the publication that it was clear that a then young Diana was still learning the ropes. “Nobody seemed to have told her what to do or trained her,” Ruthie said.