Prince Charles & Lady Diana’s Marriage Was Doomed from the Start — and We Know Why
When Prince Charles married Princess Diana in a lavish royal wedding watched by a whopping 750 million people across the world in 1981, everybody saw their relationship as a modern-day fairytale. However, the same people who admired the couple soon found out that there was so much more than just what meets the eye.
Although the couple seemed to be well-matched considering Princess Diana’s aristocratic background and her classic English rose image, some saw the potential problems that their union would later deal with. For starters, the bride was much younger than her prince groom at the time of their courtship and marriage.
Lady Diana Spencer, as she was known at the time, was just 19 years old and just barely 20 when she walked down the aisle. In contrast, Prince Charles was already 32 years old and has already experienced more of life. He was also reportedly still pining for ex-girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles.
Another factor working against them is their short courtship. In fact, the couple reportedly only met each other 13 times before jumping to make a lifetime commitment with another. And unlike what happens in fairy tales, their first meeting didn’t end in love at first sight.
Princess Diana even admitted that she wasn’t that impressed by the prince when they met saying how sad she thought he was. It also didn’t help that Prince Charles actually dated her older sister, Lady Sarah, before setting his sights on her.
Meanwhile, the future king seemed to have a much better impression of her. He described Princess Diana as an ‘amusing and attractive 16-year-old’.
Looking back on their engagement after their eventual divorce, the late Princess of Wales recounted how one reporter asked them whether they were in love. While she answered yes, she recalled how Prince Charles turned around to exclaim ‘whatever love means’ and thinking how strange his reply was.
Princess Diana realized what the answer meant soon enough. As royal biographer, Penny Junor observed, the couple was ‘desperately unhappy’ with the princess being particularly disappointed with how their marriage turned out.
Junor described the situation as a ‘car crash from the very beginning’. After about 15 years of marriage, the royal pair’s divorce was finalized in 1996. Unfortunately, Princess Diana didn’t get to enjoy her new freedom for long as she dies in a car crash just a year later at the age of 36. Meanwhile, Prince Charles finally got to marry Parker Bowles in 2005.
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