In a recent video posted to TikTok, user @icon_vintage shared a snippet of the royal’s 1969 interview with BBC-Independent Television. The conversation featured the now-king as a 20-year-old and took place days before he was officially crowned the Prince of Wales.
The video began with the young prince sharing his thoughts, at the time, about how difficult it was for him to choose a woman to marry.
“When you marry in my position you’re going to marry somebody who perhaps one day is going to become queen. And you’ve got to choose somebody very carefully,” he said.
The clip quickly switched to a famous 1995 interview with Princess Diana, whom the king married in 1981. During the conversation with BBC Panorama, she said that her marriage was “a bit crowded” since there were “three people” in it, referring to the prince’s ongoing relationship with Camilla, the now Queen Consort.
Before the King and his first wife split in 1996, they welcomed two children, now 40-year-old William and his now 38-year-old younger brother, Harry. The king married Camilla in 2005, years after Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.
As of 30 January, the video has more than 900,000 views, with TikTok users praising Diana and criticising the King for his relationship with Camilla.
“DIANA WILL ALWAYS BE QUEEN!!” one wrote, while another claimed: “She had such a beautiful soul. He didn’t deserve the dirt on the bottom of her shoe.”
A third added: “She is, was & always will be QUEEN.”
During his segment from 1969, the then-20-year-old royal said that he’d like to marry someone who’s English, as reported by The Times. He acknowledged that the one advantage of choosing a princess to marry “is that they do know what happens” as a member of a royal family.
He further emphasied how careful he had to be to when picking his wife, who “could fulfil [a] particular role” as Queen.
“Because people like you, perhaps, would expect quite a lot from somebody like that and it has got to be somebody pretty special,” he said.
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The King’s comments have resurfaced one month after Harry claimed that men in the royal family are tempted to marry women “who fit in the mould,” as opposed to picking someone based on love.
In the Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan, the Duke of Sussex spoke about his decision to marry Meghan Markle and compared himself to his mother, as she’s someone who made decisions with her “heart” instead of her “head”.
“For so many people in the family, especially obviously the men, there can be a temptation or urge to marry someone who fits in the mould, as opposed to somebody who you are perhaps destined to be with,” he said. “The difference between making decisions with your head, or your heart. And my mum [Diana] made most of her decisions, if not all of them, from her heart. And I am my mother’s son.”
However, he did not specify which men in the royal family he was referring to, when discussing people who have married someone who “fits” in the mould.