The ‘soulmate’ Prince Charles nearly married instead of Princess Diana

Before Camilla and Diana, there was another woman who captured the attention of Prince Charles.

Well connected and extremely glamorous, she seemed like the perfect match for the future heir to the throne.

Read more: 10 times members of the Royal Family have lost their cool in public

But their relationship would eventually break down, reportedly leaving Charles heartbroken.

After his five-year affair with Camilla ended in 1976, Charles was determined to meet his self-imposed deadline and marry by 30.



The relationship between Prince Charles and Davina Sheffield eventually broke up
The relationship between Prince Charles and Davina Sheffield eventually broke up

He met a 24-year-old who a royal commentator described as “the soulmate he was searching for”.

Her name was blonde-haired and blue-eyed Davina Sheffield.

A persistent prince

Davina is the granddaughter of celebrated industrialist Lord McGown and a cousin of Samantha Sheffield, wife of former Prime Minister David Cameron.

Royal expert Penny Junor wrote a book in 2005 called The Firm, where she detailed the pair’s romance.

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Davina initially turned down an invite from the prince to attend a function as she was dating powerboat racer James Beard.

But Charles was persistent and eventually persuaded Davina, pushing the boyfriend out of the picture.

Unfortunately for the new couple, whom Junor described as being “very much in love”, the ex didn’t disappear completely.

A proposal was on the cards



Extremely glamorous Davina Sheffield took some convincing to go on a date with Charles
Extremely glamorous Davina Sheffield took some convincing to go on a date with Charles

Rumours began circulating that Charles was going to propose to Sheffield.

Boatman Beard instantly became a media target and was asked by a reporter to share intimate details of his relationship with Davina.

He shared that the pair had “lived in sin” together before she dated Charles.

The scoop brought Charles and Davina’s romance to an abrupt end; royal tradition followed at the time dictated any bride of a future King must be “intact”.

Junor wrote in her book that it “killed the relationship stone dead”, leaving Charles was devastated.

It was the second bad hit for him. It was the same reason used by courtiers for rejecting Camilla as a suitable bride.

Unlucky in love

The irony of women needing to be “intact” before marriage at this time, was quite opposite of what Charles was doing.

Between 1971 and 1981, when he married Diana, Princess of Wales, he was said to have dated 20 women.

These flames are said to have included Diana’s own sister Lady Sarah Spencer and actress Susan George.



Prince Charles with Diana's sister Lady Sarah Spencer
Prince Charles with Diana’s sister Lady Sarah Spencer

After he was forced to break things off with Davina, Charles resumed his search for a suitable bride.

In 1980, he proposed to Lady Amanda Ellingworth (nee Knatchbull), granddaughter of Earl Mountbatten; the Prince’s second cousin and long-time confidant.

But Charles was hit with another romantic loss. She turned him down, citing the glare of the royal spotlight.

Undeterred, later that year Charles proposed to Anna Oates, the daughter of a Scottish landowner.

Known as “Whiplash Wallace” for her fiery temper, she reportedly broke off their relationship during the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday party because Charles had ignored her all evening.

It was widely reported afterwards that she told him: “I have never been so badly treated in my life. You’ve left me alone all evening and now you will have to continue without me.”

Princess Diana and Camilla era

It later emerged that Camilla, still friends with Charles despite their breakup, was not keen on him marrying Anna and was pleased when the relationship ended.

Anna was not someone who would’ve taken kindly to Charles and Camilla resuming their affair, which was seemingly always on the cards.



Davina Sheffield is now 70. She married Jonathan Derek Morley in 1981, the same year Charles married Diana
Davina Sheffield is now 70. She married Jonathan Derek Morley in 1981, the same year Charles married Diana

She’d rather her true love pursue a relationship with his future wife 19-year-old Diana.

Charles subsequently proposed to Diana in February 1981 and married her in July the same year.

He resumed his affair with Camilla in 1986, following the births of William and Harry.

Davina Sheffield is now 70. She married Jonathan Derek Morley in 1981, the same year Charles married Diana.

They had three sons together and remain married.

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