Everything To Know About The Hammer Family’s Connection To The Royal Family

Armie Hammer’s great-grandfather Armand reportedly almost was Prince William’s godfather.

Why Are Princess Diana & Prince Charles In 'House of Hammer'? Armie Hammer's Great-Grandfather Knew ...
Steve Granitz/WireImage/Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

The allegations against Armie Hammer may be the most recent controversy explored in the new Discovery+ docuseries House of Hammer, but the family’s scandals go back much further — as do the Hammer family’s high-profile connections. In fact, you might be surprised to see that footage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles appears several times throughout the three-episode doc.

Why? It’s all because of Armie’s great-grandfather and namesake: Armand Hammer. The Occidental Petroleum magnate’s wealth put him in close contact with world leaders. Politically, this meant Armand being Senator Al Gore Sr.’s “close friend,” per Vanity Fair, and getting invited to presidential inaugurations for Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush, the last of whom pardoned him for making “illegal contributions” to Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign, reported The New York Times. Armand also has been photographed with the Kennedys. But as you can see in House of Hammer, Princess Diana and Prince Charles may have been the biggest names of all his connections.

READ NEXT: The Armie Hammer Family Tree, Explained

According to royal biographer Anthony Holden, Armand and Charles had a close relationship rooted in money and influence. “Charles ... succumbed to the blandishments of the late Armand Hammer in return for huge donations to his causes,” Holden wrote for The Guardian in 2003. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Armand donated more than $40 million to Charles’ favorite charities during the 1970s and ’80s. House Of Hammer notes that Prince Charles’ representatives have commented that “decisions to accept charitable donations are taken by the trustees of the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, which carries out its own due diligence.”

Armand Hammer and Prince Charles in the 1980s. Tim Graham/Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

However, Prince Charles and Armand’s friendship appears to be even more than these generous contributions. “Charles even wanted to make Hammer godfather to Prince William,” Holden added, though Princess Diana reportedly refused that idea.

Even though Armand never became William’s godfather, he did get to enjoy the perks of having royal friends, like when they attended a 1985 Palm Beach ball in his honor. “They started dancing and we were all so surprised they did so well,” Armand told The Sun-Sentinel at the time. “I think they easily could be ballroom dancers.”

Princess Diana attended a party thrown by Armand Hammer in 1985.Anwar Hussein/Getty Images Entertainment

Armand even saw them off at the airport, according to the newspaper. The friends were also photographed together at the Palm Beach Polo Club during their visit. Armie wasn’t even born yet as his birth would happen one year later in 1986. As of 2022, Armie has repeatedly denied the 2021 allegations against him. Bustle has reached out to Armie’s lawyer Andrew Brettler for comment about House of Hammer and the ongoing investigation into the allegations, but did not get a response yet.

Armand Hammer with Princess Diana in 1985. Tim Graham/Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Both families have had reckonings in recent years. Coincidentally, the Vanity Fair piece exposing the Hammers ran in the print edition of the magazine’s 2021 Dynasty Issue, whose cover features a black-and-white photo of Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry.

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