The Truth About Princess Diana And Prince Charles' Marriage (2022)

The Truth About Princess Diana And Prince Charles' Marriage (1)

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ByBrittany Brolley/Updated: April 1, 2021 2:14 am EDT

In 1981, Prince Charles and Lady Diana announced their engagement after meeting some four years prior. Even at that time, the red flags were becoming innumerable. Still, Charles and Diana went through with their wedding — and what a wedding that was. Two children, Princes William and Harry, and 15 years later, the royal couple ultimately decided to part ways and officially divorced in 1996.

Just one year after they split, Princess Diana was killed in a tragic car accident. The secrets about her marriage to Charles, however, were not laid to rest with her. From the interviews conducted prior to the princess' passing to authorized biographies and documentaries, the truth behind the couple's often unstable and nearly-always tumultuous marriage started to come out. As it turns out, there are many details that the world never got a chance to know about Diana and Charles' relationship while the princess was still alive. Some of them might just surprise you.

The hidden truth in so many photos of the royal couple

The Truth About Princess Diana And Prince Charles' Marriage (2)

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You've likely seen countless photos of Charles and Diana together. It's also quite likely that, all the while, you've never realized one particular detail. On Twitter, sociologist Philip N. Cohen pointed out something amiss in the posed photos of the couple: the prince and princess were the same height, but Charles always photographed at least a foot taller than his wife. So, what's going on?

The royal family, including Charles, have never commented on this odd camera trick, but candid photos of the couple have confirmed the truth. Diana was, in fact, the same height as her husband. Perhaps the prince was sensitive about his height. Maybe it goes even deeper than that — was this his way of being domineering? One may never know for sure, but it is definitely an interesting facet of the couple's relationship and paints a new, if also unflattering, picture of their marriage — that Charles didn't want to accept at least one reality about it.

(Video) What The World Never Knew About Diana And Charles' Marriage

Charles forgot to kiss Diana at their wedding

The first kiss as husband and wife is always a big deal. Tracie Domino, a wedding planner and founder of Tracie Domino Events, told Brides that she even recommends practicing the ceremony smooch with your fiancé prior to the big day.This is important to avoid an awkward moment, she explained. However, even an awkward kiss would surely be better than nokiss at all, right?

According to History, Prince Charles forgot — forgot! — to kiss his new bride after they exchanged vows at the altar. Consequently, this is how thebalcony kiss tradition came to be. As a way to rectify the situation, Charles and Diana took to the balcony of Buckingham Palace to lock lips in front of cheering crowds. It must be a bit embarrassing for Charles that one of the sweetest royal wedding rituals — one that his own son recreated when marrying Kate Middleton — was born out of his forgetfulness. Oh, Charles.

Diana didn't vow to "obey" Charles

The Truth About Princess Diana And Prince Charles' Marriage (4)

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In 1981, The New York Times reported a way in which Diana was going against "royal precedent" when marrying Charles. Breaking tradition, Diana chose to follow a new ritual of the Church of England. Instead of vowing to "obey" her prince during the couple's ceremony, Diana vowed to "love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health."

This was quite a departure from what was custom for royalty at that time. Even Queen Elizabeth II vowed to obey Prince Philip — despite being of a much higher position. Although it could seem like omitting to "obey" Charles was a red flag in the couple's relationship, it was likely a way of modernizing tradition.

"Marriage is the kind of relationship where there should be two equal partners, and if there is going to be a dominant partner, it won't be settled by this oath” Dr. Edward Carpenter, the Dean of Westminster Abbey, told the newspaper. Surely, there were much greater issues at hand than these vows.

(Video) Charles & Diana: The Truth Behind Their Wedding - British Royal Documentary

The sex was "odd — very odd"

The Truth About Princess Diana And Prince Charles' Marriage (5)

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In tapes recorded by Diana at Kensington Palace in the early '90s, the princess spoke candidly to her speech tutor, Peter Settelen, about the intimate details of her marriage. By this time, the couple had been married for 12 years and, therefore, were about three years away from divorcing.

"Well there was [sex]. There was. There was. But it was odd, very odd," she said (via Express). Elaborating somewhat, Diana said, "Instinct told me, it was just so odd." Eek. Not exactly a ringing endorsement if you're Prince Charles, that's for sure. Diana went on, saying their intimacy all but "fizzled out" some seven years prior, shortly after Harry was born.

Although Diana didn't go into too much more detail about the couple's sex life, she'd already said more than enough to make it painfully obvious that her relationship with the prince was by no means thriving.

The not-so-secret affairs

The Truth About Princess Diana And Prince Charles' Marriage (6)

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Outside of their seemingly loveless marriage, both Charles and Diana were cultivating other relationships. "When I was 24 or 25 I was deeply in love with someone who worked in this environment [security]," she told her speech tutor (via Independent). Sadly, Diana said he was let go and, three weeks later, was killed in a motorcycle accident. Despite evidence supporting that his death was accidental, Diana felt he had been intentionally killed, or "bumped off," as she put it. Diana also admitted to Settleten, "He was the greatest friend I've ever had." Although she never named her "greatest friend" on the tapes, the details made it clear that she was referring to her bodyguard, Barry Mannakee.

In 1986, Charles started having an affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles. Diana knew about their affair and even approached Charles' mistress about it at the time, as a taped conversation with her biographer (via People) confirmed. In hindsight, it's no surprise the couple parted ways.

(Video) Diana & Charles: The Scandal Of The Century | The Life & Death Of Princess Diana | Timeline

Was Charles ever really in love with Diana?

The Truth About Princess Diana And Prince Charles' Marriage (7)

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If you were to just look at Charles and Diana's wedding, it would be easy to reason that they lived a fairy tale romance. This couldn't be further from the truth. In actuality, it's entirely possible that Charles never truly loved Diana. In theirfirst joint interview after becoming engaged, the interviewer asks the couple if they are in love. "Of course," Diana quickly replied. Charles chimed in, saying, "Whatever 'in love' means."

This moment is one that haunted Diana for years afterward. In a taped conversation with Peter Settelen (via Express), she admitted that she thought it was "a thick question" for the interviewer to ask, but replied nevertheless. Charles' reply, however, stunned her even more than the question. "That threw me completely," she told her tutor, "I thought what a strange question and answer. God. Absolutely traumatised me." Royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith toldPeople,"He saidshe was someone [he] could learn to love."We may never know if that moment ever came for Charles.

A time of eating disorders and self-harm

In the thick of Charles' affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles, Diana petitioned the Queen for relationship advice. According to Diana in the documentaryDiana: In Her Own Words(via Independent), the Queen told her, "I don't know what you should do, Charles is hopeless."

In her equally hopeless situation, Diana developed an eating disorder. "Everyone in the family knew about the bulimia, and everyone blamed the bulimia for the failure of the marriage," Diana explained. Sadly, she said that she felt her eating disorder would be the most "discreet" way to harm herself.

Diana also detailed on tape (via Express) other ways she was crying out for help. "When I was four months pregnant with William I threw myself downstairs, trying to get my husband's attention, for him to listen to me," she said. Detailing another event, she divulged, saying, "I picked up [Charles'] penknife off his dressing table and scratched myself heavily down my chest and both thighs. There was a lot of blood — and he hadn't made any reaction whatsoever." Unbeknownst to the world at that time, Charles and Diana's relationship had become more of a nightmare than a fairytale.

(Video) The Real Reason Prince Charles And Princess Diana Divorced

Charles became convinced Diana was trying to sabotage him

The Truth About Princess Diana And Prince Charles' Marriage (9)

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In a relationship so riddled with strife and extramarital affairs, trust was no doubt absent or, at least, in short supply. A year before the couple divorced, Diana was interviewed and expressed doubts about Charles being fit to rule as King of England. Charles began to think that Diana, along with Sarah Ferguson, Diana's best friend and the wife of Charles' brother, Prince Andrew, were coming up with ways to prevent him from future rulership.

InRebel Prince: The Power, Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles(via Express), royal biographer Tom Bower explained the prince's thought process. Upon the Queen's death or abdication, Charles thought Andrew would become Regent until William's eighteenth birthday, at which point he would become king, passing over Charles entirely. Can you imagine being married to someone you think is sabotaging you? Not only did he distrust his wife, butCharles also became convinced his own brother was in on the "plan." What a mess!

Surprisingly, neither Charles nor Diana initiated their divorce

The Truth About Princess Diana And Prince Charles' Marriage (10)

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Knowing what you now know, it's not surprising — at all — that Prince Charles and Princess Diana ended their marriage. What is surprising, however, is who got the ball rolling. With Charles thinking his wife was out to get him and Diana so hurt by her husband's ambivalence, you can probably picture both wanting a divorce.

Instead, the couple opted for a long-term separation. By 1996, Charles and Diana had been separated for about four years. Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, said that all changed when Diana received a letter from the Queen. According to theFiji Sun,Diana was essentially given an "order" to formally divorce. Burrell further said that Diana didn't want a divorce. Having grown up with divorced parents herself, she didn't like the idea of her sons growing up in a "broken home." Nevertheless, she felt the matter was "taken out of her hands" and, on August 28, 1996, the tumultuous royal marriage officially came to an end.

FAQs

Did Diana know Charles didnt love her? ›

Speaking on an ITV documentary called The Diana Interview: Revenge of a Princess, Diana's astrologer Penny Thornton says that Diana confessed this to her. “One of the most shocking things that Diana told me was that the night before the wedding, Charles told her that he didn't love her,” Thornton says.

What happened between Charles and Diana? ›

In 1980, the prince and Diana began dating and after just a few months of romance, Prince Charles proposed. Princess Diana wed Prince Charles on July 29, 1981, in the most lavish royal wedding of the century. Their marriage, however, wasn't built to last and the couple divorced in 1996 after years of infidelity.

Why did Charles married Diana? ›

Charles wanted to do the right thing for “this Country and for my family”. He proposed to Diana at Windsor Castle on 6 February 1981. She accepted without hesitation, although she had already suspected that Camilla Parker Bowles was more than Charles's best friend.

Did Charles give Diana the same pearls as Camilla? ›

In Spencer, Diana is horrified (though seemingly unsurprised) to discover her husband gave her the same pearl necklace he gave to his then-mistress, Camilla Parker-Bowles. There's no evidence to suggest this gift-giving snafu ever happened (or that she ate them at the dinner table).

Why didn't Diana call off the wedding? ›

Royal biographer Andrew Morton once revealed that Diana had told her sisters she wanted to back out of the wedding the day before it took place. However, her sisters didn't sympathize with her and felt it was too late for her to “chicken out,” according to Express.

Is Charles jealous of Diana? ›

Throughout their relationship, the public and the press adored Diana — but Charles became jealous of the attention she was receiving instead of him.

What were Diana's last words? ›

Before she was taken out of the car, he held her hand and comforted her. "My God, what's happened," Diana then asked him, in what proved to be her final words. "I massaged her heart and a few seconds later she started breathing again.

Why did Charles not marry Camilla before Diana? ›

According to Bedell Smith, right from the start Charles adored the then-Camilla Shand, who's close in age to Charles (Diana was 13 years younger) and has always treated him as an equal rather than as someone she idolized. However, the royal family wasn't interested in having Camilla as its princess.

Who chose Diana for Charles? ›

Charles had been pressured by his father, Prince Philip, to propose to Diana, despite that Charles already had serious misgivings. According to Jobson, the prince knew within just a handful of meetings that he and Diana were ill-suited for one another.

Who inherited Princess Diana's jewelry? ›

They've become one of Kate's signature earrings through the years. Perhaps the most famous piece of jewelry Kate inherited from Princess Diana is this sapphire engagement ring. The ring was created by British jeweler Garrard and chosen by Prince Charles for his proposal to Diana in 1981.

Did Diana take her sons KFC? ›

Though Princess Diana was a fan of grabbing fast food with her sons, Chef McGrady told Marie Claire she favored McDonald's. However, there's no evidence Diana took William and Harry for fast food after a Christmas holiday at Sandringham (though it's not out of the realm of possibility).

How much is Diana's pearl necklace worth? ›

A stunning diamond and pearl necklace worn by Princess Diana is now up for auction—and could fetch a whopping $12 million, Us Weekly (opens in new tab) reports.

Why did Diana wear the revenge dress? ›

It was worn for the first time at a 1994 dinner at the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. The garment has been interpreted as having been worn "in revenge" for the televised admission of adultery by her husband, Prince Charles (now Charles III).

What did Queen Elizabeth think of Diana? ›

"She was an exceptional and gifted human being. In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness," the Queen said of Diana. "I admired and respected her - for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys."

Who will be the next queen of England? ›

After an historic 70 years on the throne as Britain's longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96, at her home at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, on Sept. 8, 2022. Immediately upon her passing, her eldest son, Prince Charles, became the new king.

Why was Princess Diana's dress so wrinkled? ›

Paul's Cathedral, as the excessive amount of fabric made it difficult for her to fit in the coach. Folding the fabric over and over to fit Diana into the carriage was what caused the wrinkles on her dress, designer Elizabeth Emanuel told the Daily Mail.

What did Charles tell Diana the night before the wedding? ›

What Prince Charles Told Diana The Night Before Their Wedding

Did Charles and Diana ever love each other? ›

In fact, as early as their engagement announcement. When one journalist told the couple they looked very much in love after announcing their engagement, Diana was quick to say "of course" the couple were in love.

Why did Diana cry in Sydney? ›

In 1981, Charles left on a five-week royal tour, and the press all noticed Diana's heartbroken and teary farewell to the Prince. But as this newly discovered interview revealed, the tears weren't due to the Charles leaving at all, but instead due to Diana discovering the affair Charles was having with Camilla.

What did Princess Diana died from? ›

How old would Princess Diana be today? ›

She would have been 60 years old on July 1, 2021. Twenty-five years after her untimely death, Princess Diana remains a beloved figure. Diana married Prince Charles, the heir apparent to the British throne, in 1981.

How did the Queen feel about Diana's death? ›

The Queen was equally stunned and in shock. In spite of their issues, Seward said that the Queen still had some affection and sympathy for her troubled former daughter-in-law. She thought Diana showed great potential and saw her death as “a terrible waste.”

Is Princess Diana related to Queen Elizabeth? ›

Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8 had an uneasy relationship with daughter-in-law Princess Diana. According to the reports, the association had many ups and downs, primarily because of the Queen's son Prince Charles' alleged extramarital affairs.

What did Princess Diana say before she died? ›

Princess Diana's last words were recalled

Gourmelon, who was part a 10-man team that made it to the crash site just minutes after the impact, later told ITV's “Good Morning Britain,” that he'd tried to calm an “agitated” Diana, who'd said, “My God, what's happened?”

Will Camilla be queen? ›

Camilla is married to a King rather than reigning in her own right, so she is not Queen in the same way that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (opens in new tab) was. This means if anything were to happen to Charles whilst King, she would not take over as monarch - that honour will fall to Prince William.

What is the difference between a queen and a queen consort? ›

A queen consort is the female partner, spouse or companion to the King. The consort is not a formal role, and is symbolic of the support the person gives the monarch. It is different to the queen regnant, who is the ruler in their own right, like Queen Elizabeth II.

Why did the royal family not like Camilla? ›

According to several royal biographers and also The Crown, Charles wanted to marry Camilla but was steered away from her by the royal family, who didn't think she'd be a suitable wife largely thanks to the fact that she had a few ex-boyfriends and therefore was probably not a virgin.

How long were Diana and Charles together? ›

The couple would go on to share a tumultuous 15 years together, during which they welcomed two sons, Prince William in 1982 and Prince Harry in 1984. The union was one marred by jealousy: In 1995, Diana told the BBC that Charles resented the attention she received from the public.

What was the age difference between Charles and Diana? ›

The Princess of Wales was born on July 1, 1961, almost 13 years after Prince Charles' birthday on November 14, 1948. When they married, Diana was freshly 20 years old, while her husband was 32.

How old was Princess Diana when she died? ›

Who is the richest member of the royal family? ›

The newly-anointed King Charles III has an estimated net worth of $600 million, inheriting the nearly $28 billion in assets belonging to the Crown Estate plus Buckingham Palace, the Duchy of Lancaster, the Duchy of Cornwall, Kensington Palace and the Crown Estate Scotland after the death of his mother.

Who owns Diana's aquamarine ring? ›

Diana's actual sapphire engagement ring is now under the ownership of the Duchess of Cambridge. Kate was first spotted wearing the 12-carat oval ring surrounded by diamonds at her engagement photocall in 2010 and rarely takes it off.

Who owns the Spencer tiara now? ›

The tiara was most recently worn by Celia McCorquodale – niece of the 10th Earl Spencer Charles – at her wedding in 2018. It says that the Spencer Tiara is now set to be inherited by Princess Charlotte.

Did the Royals watch Spencer? ›

Although no member of the royal family has commented on Spencer, Prince William previously revealed that he did not watch the portrayal of his family on The Crown.

Is Spencer based on any truth? ›

Spencer is not based on the true story of Princess Diana directly, but was rather inspired by her life.

How much is true in Spencer? ›

While the film is inspired by real-life figures, longtime rumors and real events, it is still very much a work of fiction, anchored by Larraín's experimental direction, which includes, among other things, hallucinations and a visit from Anne Boleyn.

What was Princess Diana's favorite jewelry? ›

Princess Diana had a penchant for the aquamarine stone, which she had set in rings, bracelets, and earrings - like the fabulous diamond drop earrings she paired with a Catherine Walker gown here for a banquet in Munich in 1987.

Does the queen own her jewelry? ›

Queen Elizabeth II owned a historic collection of jewels – some as monarch and others as a private individual. They are separate from the gems and jewels and from the coronation and state regalia that make up the Crown Jewels.

What is Queen Elizabeth's most valuable piece of jewelry? ›

One of the most popular, and possibly the most expensive, is Queen Elizabeth's legendary brooch, called the “Queen's Chips” or “Granny's Chips.” It's reportedly worth more than $100 million and features two humongous diamonds.

Did Charles tell Diana he didn't love her before the wedding? ›

"One of the most shocking things that Diana told me was that the night before the wedding Charles told her that he didn't love her..." Diana's astrologer Penny Thornton claimed in the ITV documentary The Diana Interview: Revenge of a Princess.

Did Charles and Diana ever love each other? ›

In fact, as early as their engagement announcement. When one journalist told the couple they looked very much in love after announcing their engagement, Diana was quick to say "of course" the couple were in love.

What were Princess Diana's last words? ›

A firefighter who led the response team pulled Diana from the wreckage. He said that the princess asked him, "My God, what has happened?" It was only later that he found out the victim was Princess Diana, and that these would be her final words.

Why Charles did not marry Camilla in the first place? ›

According to Bedell Smith, right from the start Charles adored the then-Camilla Shand, who's close in age to Charles (Diana was 13 years younger) and has always treated him as an equal rather than as someone she idolized. However, the royal family wasn't interested in having Camilla as its princess.

What did Charles tell Diana the night before the wedding? ›

What Prince Charles Told Diana The Night Before Their Wedding

What is the relationship between Princess Diana and Camilla? ›

Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973, while Charles married Princess Diana in 1981. Throughout their separation, Charles and Camilla maintained a close relationship.

How long were Charles and Diana married? ›

August 1996: Charles and Diana officially filed for divorce after 15 years of marriage. Princess Diana received a generous divorce settlement, the right to continue using her title of "Princess of Wales," and retained her apartments at Kensington Palace.

What did queen Elizabeth think of Diana? ›

"She was an exceptional and gifted human being. In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness," the Queen said of Diana. "I admired and respected her - for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys."

Who will be the next queen of England? ›

After an historic 70 years on the throne as Britain's longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96, at her home at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, on Sept. 8, 2022. Immediately upon her passing, her eldest son, Prince Charles, became the new king.

Will Camilla be queen? ›

Camilla is married to a King rather than reigning in her own right, so she is not Queen in the same way that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (opens in new tab) was. This means if anything were to happen to Charles whilst King, she would not take over as monarch - that honour will fall to Prince William.

How did the Queen feel about Diana's death? ›

The Queen was equally stunned and in shock. In spite of their issues, Seward said that the Queen still had some affection and sympathy for her troubled former daughter-in-law. She thought Diana showed great potential and saw her death as “a terrible waste.”

What was Princess Diana's Revenge dress? ›

Princess Diana was known for her cheerful prints, but one of her most famous dresses of all time was black. Known as the “revenge dress”, the Christina Stambolian LBD Lady Di wore to the Serpentine Gallery's summer party in June 1994 was equal parts glamorous and daring.

Is Princess Diana related to Queen Elizabeth? ›

Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8 had an uneasy relationship with daughter-in-law Princess Diana. According to the reports, the association had many ups and downs, primarily because of the Queen's son Prince Charles' alleged extramarital affairs.

What happens if Charles dies before the Queen? ›

Prince William could have become king directly after Queen Elizabeth II only if Charles had died before her, according to Robert Hazell, a professor of government and the constitution at the University College London. If Prince William becomes king, then Kate Middleton will become the queen.

Why did the royal family not like Camilla? ›

According to several royal biographers and also The Crown, Charles wanted to marry Camilla but was steered away from her by the royal family, who didn't think she'd be a suitable wife largely thanks to the fact that she had a few ex-boyfriends and therefore was probably not a virgin.

What is the difference between queen and queen consort? ›

A queen consort is the female partner, spouse or companion to the King. The consort is not a formal role, and is symbolic of the support the person gives the monarch. It is different to the queen regnant, who is the ruler in their own right, like Queen Elizabeth II.

Videos

1. Reinventing The Royals: Princess Diana & Prince Charles | History Documentary | Reel Truth History
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2. What Really Happened Between Princess Diana & Prince Charles? | The Royal Family At War | Channel 5
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3. What Prince Charles Told Diana The Night Before Their Wedding
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4. The Real Reason Prince Charles Married Diana Instead Of Camilla
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