Today it's common knowledge that the lives of the British Monarchy aren't as perfect as they may seem, especially following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's exit from royal life. However, a few decades ago, when it came to Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the world was still convinced their lives and relationship were straight out of a fairytale, but the truth was much darker. It's time to shed light on all the disturbing and intimate details behind the scenes of this troubled couple. Keep reading to see how Charles and Diana's love story was already doomed before it even started.
Charles Dated Diana's Sister First
Charles and Diana's love story doesn't begin with only them. Many assume they were destined for each other and came together in a sweet candid meeting. But instead, in a twisted turn of events, Charles actually dated Diana's older sister Lady Sarah Spencer. It's rumored that he broke it off with her after she exposed their relationship to the public. But shortly after, he had no issue pursuing her younger sister, Diana.
Little did Charles know that years later, after his own lengthy relationship with Diana, she would expose a lot more to the media than he could ever imagine.
Diana Was Underage When Charles and Her Began Flirting
Diana and Charle's relationship was heavily adored and even encouraged but did people ever stop to think how old Diana actually was? She was a young girl when Charles sought her out, making the start of their relationship much creepier than people care to admit. Charles was approaching his late twenties, and Diana was a teenager; in most cases today, this would be considered grooming. Yet somehow, people were smitten with this couple.
In hindsight, the start of this relationship was inappropriate and should've foreshadowed the dark journey they were about to embark on together.
Their Romance Started at a Funeral
Diana and Charle's timing was disturbing, to say the least. They were born over a decade apart, and despite meeting when she was sixteen, they did not seriously date until years later. They saw each other soon after Charles' great-uncle's funeral, and as Diana sympathized with him, he took advantage of the moment. Diana admitted that day Charles followed her around like a puppy and ultimately relied on her for emotional support, one of the rare moments he would do so.
Though she was flattered, and it was evident that Charles was interested in her, it was sudden and bizarre. Certainly not the kind of light atmosphere in which to kindle a relationship, and undoubtedly this would set the tone for their future.
Prince Charles' Courtship Was Awkward
Despite the bizarre start, their interest in each other only grew, and the courting period began. However, it's not as easy and romantic as you would assume from a prince. Diana described Charles as inconsistent and quite confusing. Even from the start of their love story, he was hesitant about Diana. He would phone her every day and then disappear for weeks, leaving her to wonder if his interest was as strong as he claimed.
Only time would tell that their courting period should have been a tell-tale sign of what the rest of Diana's experience with Charles would be like.
A Loveless Proposal
Despite the couple's uncertainty during their courting period, they continued to date, and eventually, Prince Charles proposed to Diana. Though Charles still seemed unsure in what was supposed to be a moment full of joy and love. During an interview announcing their engagement in which they were asked if they were in love, Charles responded with "Whatever 'in love' means." Not quite the enthusiastic response you'd like to hear from your future husband, and there's speculation as to why.
Though Diana was pleased and excited, Charles seemed apprehensive and quite awkward with the interviewer's questions. Everyone was ecstatic about the wedding, except possibly Charles himself.
The Engagement Interview Should've Been a Warning
While being interviewed about your engagement could be uncomfortable for any average person, this was expected for royalty. People wrote off Diana and Charles's awkwardness for nerves and even credited Diana's timid personality and young age. But it was somewhat difficult for Charles to come up with real reasons why he was in love with her and wanted to marry. That is not how you should react when committing to spending the rest of your life with someone.
Diana admitted this moment was traumatizing for her and took her by surprise. This suspicious response from Charles could only foretell the ill-fated relationship that was to come.
Charles Truly Only Proposed Because of His Age
During Prince Charles and Diana's engagement interview, they certainly did not look ready for the journey they were about to embark on together. Despite barely knowing each other, they chose to marry anyway. The truth is, Prince Charles probably was not choosing to do so because he quickly fell in love. There's good reason to believe he was most likely pressured to get married and move forward with Diana because he was over 30 years old.
For the royal family, it was not an excellent look for Charles to still be a bachelor. Diana also came from a noble family, making her a fine choice, so the external pressure was high.
Charles Made a Troubling Confession the Night Before Their Wedding
The night before a wedding should generally be filled with excitement for the soon-to-be couple, overfilled with love and joy. However, most of the public was unaware of Prince Charles' startling confession that same night. In many reports, Charles was said to have told Diana he didn't love her and, for the sake of his conscious, had to reveal it before they moved forward. Yet, in true brush-it-under-the-rug fashion, they proceeded with the wedding the very next day.
Diana was confused and devastated, so why didn't she walk away? Maybe in hopes, she could change his mind, as she was a mere young and naive 20 years old. But soon, she would see, nothing could change their dark fate.
Weeks Before the Wedding, Charles Was Sending Mysterious Gifts to Camilla
No one can honestly know the intimate and piercing words spoken between the two distant lovers the night before their wedding. However, one thing was for sure. Diana now had another thing to worry about, and her name was Camilla Parker Bowles. She naturally had her suspicions, but only weeks before their wedding, Prince Charles sent Camilla a gift, a bracelet with the initials of their nicknames for each other.
Before they even said their vows, her suspicions were confirmed, and the dodgy feeling in the air was heavy and unsettling. So why would they move forward if the love wasn't real?
It Was Too Late for Diana to Escape the Public Eye
The dark feeling clouded everything Diana did, even before the wedding or engagement. The public and paparazzi were immediately obsessed with her, following her everywhere. Even then, Diana found it hard to cope. Prince Charles and her had only met around a dozen times, and he was utterly ignorant of how Diana would react and handle the sudden attention—though he wasn't too concerned as his mind seemed preoccupied with someone else.
Even during their early days, the constant barrage of paparazzi was too much for Diana to handle, and Charles was distant rather than protective. These should've been the warning signs of what their future was bound to look like.
A Month After The Proposal, Diana Was Still Competing for His Love
Even before they tied the knot, people didn't realize Camilla's prevalence in Charles and Diana's lives. But what was kept hush for so long was just how early Diana was aware of their suspicious involvement. One month after Charles proposed, he had to leave for a five-week tour. Diana was saddened, wanting to spend every moment together before he left; instead, he spent time on the phone with Camilla. The twisted unconscious longing for Charles's love had already begun.
These two were painted as a beautiful and happy couple to the world, but before their nuptials, Diana was already competing for Charles's love and time. Though she would become his wife, it seemed to her she was already losing him.
Diana Overheard a Phone Conversation Meant to Be Hidden
As couples do when they get engaged and married, they usually move in together. Diana left her home naturally to move into Charles's royal residence. But she was quickly met with debilitating loneliness. Wasn't this supposed to be the honeymoon and infatuation phase of her relationship? Well, she wasn't lonely for no reason. Diana admitted that even during those early days, she overheard Charles on the phone confessing his undying love to Camilla.
While Charles didn't do very well at hiding his affection for Camilla from Diana, they kept it under wraps from the public. Though, their relationship was already starting on a dark and unreciprocated love.
Pestering Doubts Were Disguised as Wedding Day Bliss
Charles clearly had a relationship with Camilla which made Diana question marrying him in the first place. Yet the rest of the world was excited for them and anticipating what would be the wedding of the century. They felt it was too late to back out and proceeded with the big day, officially making Diana the Princess of Wales. The world thought the fairytale couple was in love, but their tale was already turning into an unbearable reality.
Even during this picture-perfect moment, they were already royally unhappy. Behind the scenes, their brand-new love affair was slowly unraveling before it officially began.
Diana Was Suspicious of Camilla
During Charles and Diana's wedding, another person was on both of their minds besides each other. It was no other than the infamous Camilla, once again making an appearance. Diana had developed animosity for her fiance's ex leading up to their wedding, which is no surprise. So how did Camilla still manage to make the guest list? It seems Charles couldn't have her but still wanted her to be close by, even on his wedding day.
The truth is Camilla's husband played a significant role in the wedding procession, guaranteeing their involvement in the wedding. But it seems more likely that Charles ensured it was that way for a reason.
While Pregnant, Diana Desperately Threw Herself Down a Staircase
Charles and Diana were a couple that the public eye put on a pedestal and looked up to, blissfully unaware of how toxic it was. Diana was desperate for her husband's attention and couldn't come to terms with the reality of their loveless marriage. While four months pregnant with their first child, she admitted to throwing herself down the stairs. Those around them were terrified by Diana's cry for help, but Prince Charles's reaction was bone-chilling.
Prince Charles was allegedly embarrassed by the incident and dismissive, leaving Diana to go horseback riding. The public had no idea this happened behind closed doors, officially positioning Diana as a total outsider within the royal family.
The First Royal Baby Arrived and so Did the Depression
Diana successfully carried her pregnancy despite throwing herself down the stairs while pregnant. She soon gave birth to William but was incredibly haunted by the realities of her uninterested husband and constricting royal lifestyle. She was painted as unstable and problematic, but Diana shared years later that she suffered from postpartum depression. According to royal traditions, speaking about mental health is taboo, so the Princess appalled the public with this revelation.
In the same disturbing destiny, Diana's second son Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, would experience the same thing later in life. Only they used Diana's pain as motivation to get help and change their fate.
Diana Couldn't Take the Pressure and Developed an Eating Disorder
In a disillusioned haze of what Diana thought her marriage and life would be like, she developed horrible health. While the public had no idea what was truly going on with her, once the heartbreaking discovery of her eating disorder came to light, it was startling. She admitted that the postpartum depression, constant public scrutiny, her failing marriage, and Prince Charles's comments on her weight all exacerbated her disorder, which took her a decade to overcome.
Diana's bulimia was a secret to the public, yet the princess was sure everyone in the palace knew her struggles. Including her husband, who acted as if she was faking her problems.
She Was Loved by All, but Still Not Enough for Charles
Despite the difficult feelings and struggles behind the palace gates, to the public, all was well, and Diana was lovely. Her first tour with Prince Charles to Australia and New Zealand was a massive test for the couple. Could they put their problems aside, or would they unravel in front of everyone? While media and photos would portray the couple as close and sharing meaningful moments, something much darker really happened.
This trip seemed their marriage wasn't all doom and secrets; a weak flame still flickered between them. But Prince Charles reacted strangely to all the attention Diana received and jokingly made an inappropriate joke about wishing he had two wives.
Charles Was Ridden With Jealousy
The more attention and praise Princess Diana received, Prince Charles's ego became bigger. In each moment they thought their marriage could be saved, something happened to remind them of their gruesome reality. During their travels in Australia and New Zealand, Prince Charles became jealous, and the royal family criticized her every move since she was now the star. Their marriage could've been saved as Diana hoped, but this only solidified one thing.
The Prince was so offended by being upstaged by his wife that he despised her. The trip that was supposed to bring them together only proved there was no saving this tumultuous relationship.
After the Birth of Harry, Charles Was Still Distant and Unimpressed
Anyone watching the couple in the media after they welcomed their second child would think they were the spitting image of a sweet happy family. Yet that moment was another low in their long-troubled marriage. Allegedly Rather than console his wife, who had just had an excruciating birth, he was immediately upset that their baby had red hair. However, their new baby was not the real problem in their marriage.
It was evident that nothing could save them from themselves and their fairytale life was all an illusion. They grew even more distant, and Diana marked this time as Charles's total immersion into his affair.
Diana Is Pregnant Again and Hoping This Will Bring Light to Her Marriage
Once again, the hard feelings between the two lovers were pushed away. They tried to live life normally and work on their marriage. When news of Diana's second pregnancy came, people were delighted. The couple had hoped this would even save their relationship. Diana shared in an interview that they were closer than ever for a few weeks until it all came crashing down. Just when it all seemed better, something terrible happened.
Charles was disappointed that the baby was a boy, not a girl, and quickly returned to his love affair with Camilla. Harry's birth once again triggered their marriage to fall to pieces.
The Constant Disappointment Caused Diana to Shut Down
The two seemed to never be on the same page. Princess Diana was deeply hurt and offended by Prince Charles's behavior and felt he was never supportive. Especially when it came to the birth of Prince Harry, Diana was particularly sensitive. Prince Charles continuously brought up how he was disappointed by Harry's birth, yet a shocking secret came to light that painted the situation even more jarring than people thought.
Before Diana's pregnancy with Harry, she suffered from a miscarriage. Despite this traumatic event, Charles still seemed ungrateful and unimpressed with the arrival of Harry.
Diana Was Always Seen as Less Than to the Royal Family
All along, it should've been expected that the marriage between Princess Diana and Prince Charles was doomed. Though she was born to an aristocratic family and familiar with royalty, she wasn't considered a true royal but more so a commoner, opposite to her soon-to-be lover, Charles. This small detail would haunt her adulthood and seep its way into her marriage. People may not have realized it at the time, but her upbringing played a role in her tumultuous love affair.
Though Diana was considered "very un-royal," she shook up the monarchy in ways that intimidated Charles. Just like her son Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, would follow suit and do.
Diana's Sneaky Affair With Her Riding Instructor
There was officially no coming back from the low point Charles and Diana reached in their marriage. Everything seemed to explode, and suddenly their troubles became so much more complicated. The People's Princess admitted to engaging in a shocking affair of her own. James Hewitt, who had been giving her riding lessons and even played many games with Prince Charles himself, had become involved with Diana, and people couldn't believe her actions.
It's even been rumored that James is the birth father of Prince Harry because of their shared ginger hair and freckles. But those rumors have been shot down.
Diana Finally Felt Loved and Protected
Princess Diana wasn't as innocent as she was portrayed in the media. She had a side to her that the public had never seen until recently. After years spent in a loveless marriage, she ventured into her affairs. In private tapes recorded with her voice coach, Peter Settelen, she talked about her love and involvement with her bodyguard Barry Mannakee. Now Charles was officially not the only one looking for love elsewhere.
This is exactly why Barry was suddenly assigned to other duties, so people wouldn't speculate about what was really happening on royal grounds.
Prince Philip Encouraged His Son's Cheating
Dishonesty seems to run in the family, as a shocking conversation was reported between Prince Phillip and his son Prince Charles that truly confused people once the news got out. Rather than encourage him to work on his marriage and prioritize his wife and kids, he made an inconsiderate suggestion to Charles that Diana said haunted her view of him. What more could've happened to ensure this marriage was doomed?
Prince Philip told Charles that with all the problems he was facing with Diana if his marriage didn’t work out after five years, he could just go back to Camilla.
Diana Was Scared but Ready to Confront Camilla
After years and years of dishonesty and secrets, Diana was more ready than ever for the truth to come out. But people don't know that Diana confronted Camilla about her affair. Diana admitted that she pulled Camilla aside and told her she knew everything happening between her and Charles. Only Camilla and Diana will genuinely know if Diana approached her in a threatening manner to back off or more of a calm conversation.
This event truly marked that the end was near for Charles and Diana, leaving everyone involved stunned and distressed.
Charles Chose Diana's Engagement Ring From a Catalogue
A tell-tale sign of how little Prince Charles cared for Diana was in a detail as little as the engagement ring he proposed to Diana with. Considering the royal tradition and never-ending wealth, it was common to use a family heirloom or something meaningful when proposing. However, rather than have something specially made for her, Prince Charles gave her several pre-made rings to choose from. Ultimately meaning her ring was something any common person could purchase.
Diana's ring was nicknamed the "commoner's ring" and added another dark element to the long list of why their marriage ultimately failed.
Camilla Was the Ghost That Haunted Their Marriage
Diana and Charles were bound to an unfortunate fate together, and before their love affair even began, Camilla was always right there. The one shocking detail to haunt Diana during her entire relationship with Charles was that she could never compare to Camilla. She desperately tried to get Charles's attention, yet he was always more vowed to Camilla than his own wife. Even after Diana dared to confront them, she was no match for his true love.
This tragedy will always be haunted by the fact that Charles preferred to be with another woman and took it out on young Diana.
Alleged Emotional Abuse Was Rampant but Not From Who You'd Expect
The duo's time together was nothing like the fairytale people had imagined it was. While the public absolutely adored Diana and sympathized with her for her hardships and struggles. She also had a dark side that only revealed itself to a few. It was revealed that Charles and Diana constantly fought, with Diana continually criticizing him and mocking how he would never become king. Despite the horrible things Charles did, Diana was no innocent bystander.
This doomed love story was more toxic as the years passed, but it's only now being brought to light that Diana was also to blame.
Diana's Solo Visit to the Taj Mahal Broke Everybody's Heart
By the end of the royal couple's disturbing love saga, their behavior around each other was as awkward as ever. It became evident even in public that they were uncomfortable next to each other yet still played the part of a happily married couple. Yet when Diana took a solo trip to the Taj Mahal, it appeared as if Charles left her on her own, making people feel bad for Diana.
However, royal experts revealed this was an intentional photo to garner public support for her and paint Charles in a bad light. This surely guaranteed there was no romance left between the duo.
They Intentionally Humiliated Each Other in Public
It seemed that in every public appearance the two had, there was a ton of symbolism to decode that pointed to their relationship status. On their trip to India, a picture of Charles awkwardly kissing Diana as she turned away immediately circulated the tabloids and only pointed towards one thing, the couple’s marriage was still strained. This particularly excruciating moment revealed a much more sinister look into their not so picture perfect lives.
Rumors were flying about their relationship, and this photo was humiliating for Charles. Diana admitted she intentionally didn't kiss Charles to embarrass him as he had done to her.
Diana's Secret Book Solidified the End of Her Marriage
Once the book Diana: Her True Story that felt forbidden was released, there was a whirlwind of commotion around the royal family. Diana admitted to working with Andrew Morton on the book but denied writing it herself. It covered absolutely scandalous topics and revealed details of her and Charles's relationship that no one knew. But what was the most shocking part of this? There was one colossal secret Diana kept all along.
She secretly recorded herself to give Andrew all the information he needed for the book, but this was only revealed after her death. This would ultimately break Prince Charles's trust in her and change the public's view of the British monarchy forever.
Their Gloomy Last Trip Together
Charles and Diana were now evidently unhappy together, even in front of cameras and the press. The book that revealed their affairs was out for some time, and the public heavily scrutinized them. In a last-ditch effort to save their relationship, or at least how it appeared to the public, they took a trip together to South Korea. However, when Charles jokingly commented about how his life would be easier with two wives, what happened next was heartbreaking.
Once again, Diana was struck by Charles's words and succumbed to depression, evident in the photos from that time. After this trip, they officially announced their divorce.
Charles Declared He Would No Longer Pay Diana’s Bills
By this point in time, it wasn't as surprising to hear of the divorce between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. However, it was still just as heartbreaking. But what most people don't know, which really set the tone for their ill-fated relationship, was what Charles declared after their separation. Despite their children together, he would no longer pay Diana's bills. Instead, Diana received a settlement and was sent on her way.
This wasn't a very heartfelt response for people who had spent so much time together, allegedly in love. It only confirmed the lack of love between them all along.
Their Cheating Confessions Was Proof Enough They Couldn't Make It Work
Diana and Charles both admitted wanting to save their marriage and work on their faults together. However, the truth was much grimmer. Both of their confessions about cheating on one another only painted a picture that said otherwise. How can you save a marriage or even then respect your ex-partner while publically interviewing and talking about how you betrayed them and were unfaithful? These tell-all confessions were bizarre and showed the cracks there all along.
The reputational damage was irreversible, and the entirety of their relationship was now rightfully questioned by all. They may have said they intended to work on things, but the reality of their situation revealed much darker intentions.
Diana Was Ready for Revenge
In 1995, Princess Diana’s BBC interview with Martin Bashir stunned the world. She spoke about raw and intimate details of her personal life that was unheard of for a member of the royal family to do. It was a final blow to her relationship with Charles as she spoke about his affair with Camilla. Now there was no denying it. Though the darker truth is that Diana did this more for revenge than for her reputation.
Diana would become infamous when asked if Camilla contributed to her failing marriage with Charles, and she answered, "Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."
Charles Finally Got What He Wanted All Along
After years of a tumultuous relationship, Diana and Charles were officially divorced in 1996. However, the scandals surrounding them would not stop there. Diana was stripped of her "Her Royal Highness" title, which left a bad taste in everyone's mouth. However, a few years later, Diana tragically passed away, shocking the world. But even after her passing, she was still betrayed. In a dark self-fulfilling prophecy, Charles went on to marry Camilla.
During all those years of Diana feeling crazy, her worst nightmare came to fruition. Charles finally got what he wanted, Diana couldn't guilt him, and his affair with Camilla could blossom into a full-fledged relationship.