16 years after their fairytale wedding at Westminster Abbey and only one year after their eventual divorce, Prince Charles was informed that his ex-wife Princess Diana had been killed in a horrific car crash in Paris, France. In her 2005 book The Firm, royal Author Penny Junor describes the Prince of Wales' reaction to the news of her sudden death.

Prince Charles: "They're all going to blame me"

Ms Junor writes: "'They're all going to blame me, aren't they?’ was the first question the Prince asked when he heard that she had been killed. Initial reports were that she had been badly injured, but was still alive. 'The world's going to go completely mad, isn't it? We're going to see a reaction that we've never seen before. And it could destroy everything. It could destroy the monarchy.'"

The Prince of Wales' private secretary Stephen Lamport agreed with Charles' assessment and - according to Junor - added the following: "It's going to be very difficult for your mother, sir. She’s going to have to do things she may not want to do, or feel comfortable doing but if she doesn't do them, then that's the end of it."

The monarchy was not destroyed, but it was very close, "too close for comfort", as Junor notes.

Prince Charles "wept for his failure to help Diana"

Ms Junor continues: "He wept bitterly at the sheer tragedy of it all, that their life together, which they had both so wanted to work, should have ended in such acrimony and anger, and he wept for William and Harry. And he wept for his failure to help Diana."

The author also adds that Prince Charles never turned to his mother for comfort - it was Camilla, who would one day become the Duchess of Cornwall, who consoled him over the phone on that fateful night...