Despite his status, Prince Charles's quest for a wife was in no way a fairy tale adventure.

The future king struggled so much in his search for a royal bride he reportedly came close to giving up, and it's been revealed he reconsidered his sexuality along the way.

In a new documentary about the Queen's four children, it's claimed Charles joked to a friend, asking "shall I go gay?" as he found himself disappointed with a string of relationships with women.

All The Queen's Children is released this week in the UK. In it, British TV presenter Jeremy Paxman is filmed speaking to friends of the four heirs: Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

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According to The Mirror, a close friend of Charles, Broderick Munro-Wilson, shares that before Diana came along, the prince made a comment about "going gay".

During Charles's courting days, a hot topic for tabloids was to choose suitable contenders to marry the first in line to the British throne. Broderick Munro-Wilson tells Paxman: "I thought the only possibility was Caroline of Monaco," referring to one of the articles he'd read.

Charles' friend thought Caroline of Monaco would be the best suitor for the Prince. Photo / Getty Images
Charles' friend thought Caroline of Monaco would be the best suitor for the Prince. Photo / Getty Images

However, as the potential matches never seemed to take Charles's fancy and he suggested he "goes gay", Munro-Wilson shares: "We all roared with laughter and moved on … They had a lot of fun."

In a 1969 interview, Charles discussed his bad luck in love: "You've got to remember when you marry, in my position, you're going to marry someone who perhaps one day will become Queen."

The next year Charles began dating Camilla. But he left her in 1973 to serve in the Royal Navy for eight months. On his return he found she was engaged to Andrew Parker Bowles, an army cavalry officer who had previously dated Charles's sister, Princess Anne.

Apparently Charles was "absolutely heartbroken" and wrote to his uncle, Lord Mountbatten, saying he supposed he'd get over it one day.

The next decade saw him coupled with at least 10 different women.

Finally, in 1981, he married Diana. But their union failed when Charles began an affair with Camilla, details of which are told in Tom Bower's unauthorised biography about Prince Charles, "The Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion, and Defiance of Prince Charles".

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In 1996 Charles and Diana divorced and the prince eventually married Camilla in a civil service, 35 years after they met.

In 2005, Charles and Camilla announced their engagement, 35 years after they met. Photo / Getty Images
In 2005, Charles and Camilla announced their engagement, 35 years after they met. Photo / Getty Images