Over the years, Queen Elizabeth has been the ideal mentor to prepare Prince Charles to take the throne. However, her long reign over the throne reportedly put a brief strain on the monarch’s relationship with her son.

Although Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles appear to have a close bond nowadays, a scandalous rumor briefly led the monarch to believe her son chose to betray her.

In the book “William’s Princess,” Robert Jobson claimed that an unidentified source almost destroyed the Queen’s relationship with Charles. “In November 1998, a person never identified was responsible for a spectacularly misguided attempt to burnish Charles’ reputation and enforce his position as heir to the throne,” he wrote.

“[It] led instead to the Queen’s ire, necessitating an embarrassing climbdown on the part of her eldest son. The Queen was appalled to read that a St James’s Palace aide had asserted that Charles would be ‘privately delighted’ if his mother were to abdicate.

Although the alleged source “genuinely believed himself to be speaking in the Prince of Wales’ best interest,” Elizabeth was furious over the statement. “This was an act of treachery as far as the Queen was concerned. Livid, she telephoned Charles who was on an official visit to Bulgaria,” Jobson explained.

“He knew nothing about it but agreed with his mother that a joint statement should be issued, in which Charles would stress his ‘abiding admiration and affection for the Queen’. Prince Charles insisted that if any of his staff had been guilty, heads would roll.”

Although an investigation was launched to expose who leaked the statement from Buckingham Palace, the culprit was never identified.

Nonetheless, Prince Charles released a statement apologizing to his mother about the misunderstanding. “A statement was issued rubbishing the notion that Charles had any interest in his mother abdicating,” Jobson revealed.

“It was a joint statement from the monarch and heir, the subtext perhaps being that without the Queen’s clout, doubt might still remain. What it amounted to was a humiliating public apology from son to mother that the newspapers seized on enthusiastically,” the royal author added.

Despite the public scandal, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth were able to move past the incident and remained focused on their duties to the monarchy.

Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles pose with officers during an official visit to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment at Hyde Park Barracks on October 24, 2017 in London. Getty Images/Chris Jackson