Prince Charles: That’s how he met Diana

Prinz Charles
That’s how he met Diana

Prince Charles and Diana shortly after their wedding in 1981.

© imago/Photoshot/John Shelley Collection

Prince Charles met his future wife Diana through her sister. The heir to the throne also had a brief relationship with her.

Season four of “The Crown” is here and the Netflix series about the life of Queen Elizabeth II (played by Olivia Colman) and her family is growing: Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin) conquers the heart of Prince Charles (Josh O ‘Connor) and joins the Royals. This is how Prince Charles (72) and Diana (1961-1997) met in real life.

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer first saw each other in 1977 when he was 29 and she was just 16 years old. The future bride does not seem to have been very impressed by her prince. The heir to the throne attended a hunting festival in Althorp, the Spencer family seat, as a guest of Diana’s older sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale (65). Charles was in a relationship with Diana’s sister Sarah – when she went to the press with the romance, the royal is said to have left her.

“What a sad man”

For Diana, a relationship with the queen’s son seemed to have a distinct advantage. Author Tina Brown (66) schreibt laut “Town&Country” in “The Diana Chronicles”: Diana, herself a child of divorce, allegedly joked that she would one day marry Charles – he was “the only man on the planet who cannot divorce me”. Diana later revealed to her biographer Andrew Morton (67), author of “Diana: Your True Story in Her Own Words”, that when she first met the future king, she only thought: “God, what a sad man”.

Charles, on the other hand, raved in a 1981 interview, according to The Telegraph, at the first meeting he thought that Diana was funny, amusing and an attractive 16-year-old, “she was full of life”. It would take another three years before Diana was also convinced of him.

“Like a puppy”

In July 1980 Charles and Diana were invited to Philip de Pass in Sussex. As the TV documentary “Diana: In Her Own Words” revealed in 2017, she told her language trainer about this meeting in the early 1990s: “He broke up with his girlfriend and his boyfriend Mountbatten had just been killed. I thought it was nice to see him. ” Charles’ great uncle Louis Mountbatten died in an assassination attempt in 1979. He was considered a surrogate father for Charles.

In contrast to their first meeting, Charles was supposed to have a different effect on Diana this time: “I was sitting there and this man came in and I thought, well, I’m pretty impressed this time.” And that was mutual. On tapes that the documentary revealed, Diana said she had spoken to him about Mountbatten and how bad it must have been, according to media reports. She said to him that he needed someone by his side. “Then he almost jumped on me and started kissing me and I thought: Urgh, you don’t do that.” The rest of the evening he followed her “like a puppy”.

Engagement and wedding 1981

Diana soon realized how difficult it is to date a prince: he called her every day for a week and then didn’t speak to her for three weeks, she said loudly “The Sun” to her language trainer. “I thought, good. Well, he knows where I am when he wants me.” The thrill when he called again was always “very intense”. In September 1980, when Diana spent a weekend at Balmoral as a guest of Prince Charles, the romance caught the press. The couple is said to have mainly phoned each other. According to British reports, the two allegedly only met 13 times before Charles asked for Diana’s hand.

About six months after the relationship began, Buckingham Palace announced on February 24, 1981: “It is with great joy that the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh announce the wedding promise of their beloved son, the Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer, daughter of Baron Spencer and the Honorable Mrs. Shand Kydd. ” Charles had proposed to his chosen three weeks earlier. In an interview with BBC Radio, he said, according to the Guardian‘Diana had planned to go to Australia with her mother anyway and he wanted to give her the chance to think about it there. Diana is said to have said yes immediately.

“It traumatized me”

Apparently, things didn’t go really well for the couple from the start. The princess later told the TV documentary about a “terrible” interview about the engagement: “This ridiculous man asked: ‘Are you in love?’ I thought, What a sick question, so I said, ‘Yeah, of course we are,’ and Charles turned and said, ‘Whatever love is.’ And that totally blew me away. I thought: What a strange answer. It traumatized me. ”

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married on July 29, 1981 at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The wedding of the century was watched by 750 million people around the world. As is well known, the couple had two children, heir apparent Prince William (38) and Prince Harry (36). At the end of the 1980s, the relationship between Charles and Diana should already have cracked, in 1992 the couple separated, in 1996 they divorced.


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