Myths About Princess Diana And Prince Charles You Can Stop Believing
There’s no denying the fact that people are obsessed with the British royal family. Whether you live in England, Canada, or the United States, you probably know at least a little bit about the royals, their relationships, their children, and the drama that follows them everywhere. And one of the most interesting chapters of the royal family was the marriage between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The two had a rollercoaster of a relationship, but there was more to it than meets the eye.
There are certain myths about Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ marriage that you should probably stop believing. Because even though the British press and tabloids were all over them when they were a couple and after they separated, there were a ton of lies that circulated back then and even now. So, what’s the truth about the people’s princess and her husband? Well, it’s a lot sadder — and more interesting — than you probably ever realized.
Myth: Princess Diana had no prior connection to the royal family
For many people, the love story between Princess Diana and Prince Charles seems like a fairytale, like a Cinderella story of sorts, with the “commoner” Diana finding love with a handsome prince. Not only was the relationship not all sunshine and rainbows, but the way they met and how Diana was introduced to the royal family wasn’t a random meeting like something out of a Disney movie, either.
According to Reader’s Digest, Princess Diana kind of had an “in” with the royal family way before she and Prince Charles ever started their relationship. Specifically, the Queen Mother and Princess Diana’s grandmother Ruth Fermoy were very close friends. In fact, Fermoy was even one of the queen’s ladies-in-waiting and was basically the queen’s go-to woman who was with her a lot of the time. Additionally, Prince Charles actually dated Princess Diana’s sister, Sarah, before he and Diana got together. Sarah was the one to introduce the pair, as well. So, no, Diana wasn’t some random commoner that Prince Charles spotted on the street and decided to take to the ball.
Myth: Prince Charles chased after Princess Diana right away
As exciting as it might be to date a prince, it’s also not all that romantic… at least it wasn’t for Prince Charles and Princess Diana. If you were thinking that Charles chased after Diana in any way, you would be wrong. While there’s no telling just how infatuated the pair were when they met, they didn’t start dating right away, and Charles wasn’t exactly courting her after they met, either.
During an interview in 1981 (via Harper’s Bazaar), Prince Charles recalled his first meeting of Princess Diana. “I remember thinking what a very jolly and amusing and attractive 16-year-old she was,” he said. “I mean, great fun, and bouncy and full of life and everything.” But as positive as that first impression was, it didn’t automatically lead to him chasing after her. After all, Charles was still in a relationship with Diana’s sister, Sarah, and, according to Town & Country, was also in the middle of a complicated relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles. It wasn’t until 1980 that Prince Charles and Diana saw each other again, and he officially made his move. It wasn’t as though Charles had to have Diana; it just happened.
Myth: Princess Diana was instantly smitten with Prince Charles
Even though Prince Charles had a positive opinion of Diana when they first met, it’s a myth that it was love at first sight between the pair. In fact, Diana didn’t exactly return those warm and fuzzy feelings for Prince Charles for a while.
In the 1992 tell-all book “Diana: Her True Story – in Her Own Words,” Diana explained that she wasn’t exactly smitten with Charles when they first met, back when she was just a teenager. “The first impact was ‘God, what a sad man,'” she said (via Vulture). “He came with his Labrador,” Diana noted. But she conceded that, while she wasn’t interested in him, someone else certainly was. “My sister was all over him like a bad rash,” Diana said.
Clearly, it wasn’t instant infatuation for Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and it took some time for her to warm up to him in a romantic sense.
Myth: Their courtship was red hot
Just because Prince Charles and Princess Diana got married in a huge ceremony doesn’t mean their courtship and engagement was as romantic or intense as you might imagine. Obviously, the couple’s first meeting was a bit lackluster, but even once Charles and Diana started their romance, there didn’t seem to have been all that much spark.
According to the documentary “Diana: In Her Own Words,” Charles and Diana weren’t exactly inseparable. While Diana was invited to meet the royal family and spend time with them and Charles, she and Charles didn’t actually spend all that much quality time together before tying the knot. “We met 13 times and we got married,” Diana said in the documentary (via ABC News). According to Town & Country, the pair spent most of their courtship talking on the phone. Doesn’t sound like they had an intense romance, does it?
Myth: Their relationship was super romantic
Despite the fact that Princess Diana and Prince Charles had a huge romantic wedding and millions of people around the world thought they were desperately in love, their relationship never seemed to be actually all that romantic in nature.
In fact, in “Diana: Her True Story — in Her Own Words,” the princess explained that when Prince Charles proposed, it was kind of hard to take him too seriously. “He said: ‘Will you marry me?’ and I laughed,” Diana said (via Vulture). “I remember thinking: ‘This is a joke’, and I said: ‘Yeah, OK’, and laughed.” But that’s not all that made the engagement somewhat awkward. “I said: ‘I love you so much, I love you so much.’ He said: ‘Whatever love means.’ He said it then,” Diana explained.
So whatever feelings they had for each other, one thing is clear: There wasn’t a lot of the typical romance you’d picture for a young couple in love, especially for a young couple just getting engaged.
Myth: Diana and Charles were closely related
In centuries past, the idea of marrying or being romantically involved with someone you’re related wasn’t always inappropriate, and being with someone in your family wasn’t as frowned upon as it is now. Royal families all over the world have partaken in royal intermarriage for centuries, in order to keep the royal blood line pure. In fact, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were third cousins, as noted by Insider.
But any insinuation that Princess Diana and Prince Charles were closely related is most certainly a myth. While they were technically related, they were not as close as you might think, meaning it’s really not a big deal. According to Reader’s Digest, Diana and Charles were distantly related and were 16th cousins once removed, all because of King Henry VII. Sixteenth cousins would hardly even qualify as being related, so it’s not as if Prince Charles and Prince Diana were doing anything wrong when they got together. In fact, they probably had no clue about their relation for a while.
Myth: Diana and Charles were both thrilled to get married
For anyone who’s gotten married, planned a wedding, or just imagined tying the knot, you might have imagined the night before your wedding to be an exciting time. But for Princess Diana and Prince Charles, that couldn’t have been further from the truth.
In “Diana: Her True Story — in Her Own Words,” Princess Diana described the night before her wedding as a horrible time. She had struggled with bulimia since her engagement, but that night was particularly troubling for her. “I ate everything I could possibly find,” she said (via Vulture). “I was sick as a parrot that night. It was such an indication of what was going on … I felt I was a lamb to the slaughter. I knew it and couldn’t do anything about it.” Clearly, Diana wasn’t all that thrilled to marry Charles, and as he had reportedly cried the night before the wedding because he was still in love with Camilla Parker Bowles, we can’t blame her.
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Myth: Princess Diana didn't stress about Prince Charles' relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles
It’s known that Princess Diana was aware of Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, but she stayed with him for some time anyway. But her decision to stay with and marry Charles doesn’t mean she didn’t care about his infidelity.
The idea that Diana didn’t stress about Charles’ affair is nothing more than a myth. In fact, at one point, Diana overheard Charles talking to Camilla while he was in the bath, according to “Diana: Her True Story — in Her Own Words,” (via Reader’s Digest), and heard Charles tell Camilla, “Whatever happens, I will always love you.” Diana reportedly decided to confront Charles about it, and the pair “had a filthy row” afterwards. Additionally, Diana once saw a photo of Camilla fall out of Charles’ diary, causing her to stress even more, and that stress reportedly led to her eating disorder. So, while Diana might have stayed with Charles despite his affair, she wasn’t OK with it.
Myth: Diana and Charles at least had a romantic honeymoon
You might assume that one of the perks of marrying into the royal family would be the lavish vacations and trips around the world. But as far as Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ honeymoon was concerned, it wasn’t exactly the trip of a lifetime.
According to Princess Diana herself, her honeymoon was kind of ruined by her personal struggles. “By then, the bulimia was appalling, absolutely appalling,” Diana said in “Diana: Her True Story — in Her Own Words” (via The Washington Post), noting she’d be sick three or four times each day. “Anything I could find I would gobble up and be sick two minutes later.” Poor Diana. Her struggle with her eating disorder obviously impacted her day-to-day life, as well as her relationships, and the fact that she was so sick on her honeymoon couldn’t have been easy.
Myth: The royal family always supported Diana
As anyone who is married can tell you, dealing with in-laws is rarely ever easy. But when you factor in that Princess Diana’s in-laws were royal, it becomes even more complicated. And sadly, any rumors that the royal family was always very supportive of Diana are just that — rumors.
Princess Diana explained in “Diana: Her True Story — in Her Own Words” that she struggled with particularly bad morning sickness while pregnant with Prince William, and the palace officials and other members of the royal family weren’t very sympathetic towards her. “I was ‘a problem’ and they registered Diana as ‘a problem,'” she said (via Vulture). Despite her intense morning sickness, she noted, “There was only ever one cancellation when I was carrying William, and I was made to feel so guilty by my husband for that.” Obviously, having morning sickness wasn’t Diana’s fault, so it’s sad that she felt guilty about it and that the royal family didn’t support her more.
Myth: The queen didn't know about their struggles
It’s pretty obvious that Princess Diana and Prince Charles had anything but a perfect, happy marriage. In fact, many people were aware of their problems, including Charles’ own mother. So, to say that the queen didn’t know about their struggles would be a huge lie. In “Diana: Her True Story — in Her Own Words,” the princess made it clear that the queen was well aware of her and Charles’ issues in their relationship.
“So I threw myself down the stairs,” Diana said of an argument between her and Charles that had escalated (via the Daily Mail). “The Queen comes out, absolutely horrified, shaking — she was so frightened. I knew I wasn’t going to lose the baby (though I was) quite bruised around the stomach.” And while the queen knew that Diana and Charles were having marital problems, she reportedly didn’t really pity Diana or offer much help. Instead, Princess Diana explained that the queen suggested their struggles were because of her eating disorder. So to say that the queen was in the dark about her son’s relationship issues, then, is a complete fabrication.
Myth: Diana turned a blind eye to Charles' affair with Camilla
It’s obviously common knowledge these days that Prince Charles had an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles while he was married to Princess Diana. But many people just assume that Diana simply swept the affair under the rug in order to maintain appearances. However, she actually wasn’t afraid to face the issue head-on.
In audio tapes used for “Diana: Her True Story — in Her Own Words,” Diana explained that, at first, Camilla sort of brushed her off. “I said: ‘I know what’s going on between you and Charles, and I just want you to know that.’ And she said: ‘Oh, it’s not a cloak-and-dagger situation,'” Diana said (via Vulture). Diana, noting that she thought it was exactly that kind of situation, took things a bit further, making her stance clear. “I’m sorry I’m in the way, I obviously am in the way and it must be hell for both of you, but I do know what is going on. Don’t treat me like an idiot,” she recalled telling Camilla.
So no, Diana didn’t just ignore the affair between Charles and Camilla, although she couldn’t stop it either.
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