The way Prince Charles proposed to Diana says a lot about their relationship
Prince Charles and Princess Diana may not have been the perfect couple and the way Charles decided to ask her hand in marriage makes us believe that somewhere, Diana knew it wasn't going to be a fairytale marriage.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana may have looked like a perfect couple from the outside but things were pretty different on the inside. The signs were evident from the beginning itself and one could even categorize it as 'odd'. The first time Charles and Diana met was when he was dating Diana's older sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale.
Even though back then Charles and Diana did not show any interest in each other, things changed pretty quickly when in the summer of 1980 Charles started showing interest in Diana. By then, Charles had already called it quits with Sarah.
Later, the two crossed each others path when they met a polo match. Diana and Charles were both surrounded by friends but it was in this moment that the two became closer as they sat down to talk. Even though the two seemed to have kindled their romance, their love story wasn't perfect as Charles was still hung up on his ex and now wife, Camilla Parker Bowles.
It is believed that Camilla and Charles were set to get married but fate took a different turn when Camilla's father forced her to marry someone else instead of Charles. Feeling betrayed and brokenhearted, Charles decided to stay with Diana.
During this period, there was also pressure from the royal family for Charles to get married. They believed that the 31-year-old had come of age and it was time for him to start thinking about starting a family. Feeling pressurized by the family, Charles decided to ask Diana's hand in marriage.
After going on only 12 dates, Charles is said to have believed that as time passes by, he would learn how to love Diana. Charles is said to have looked at the arranged courtship of his grandparents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth as an example of taking the decision of marrying someone he was not already in love with.
One can say, that the way Charles decided to ask Diana for marriage, says a lot about how their relationship would end up turning out. While being interviewed for her infamous biography Diana: Her True Story, the princess opened up to Andrew Morton about the non-romantic way Charles decided to pop the big question.
[Charles] said, 'Will you marry me?' and I laughed," Diana said. "I remember thinking, 'This is a joke,' and I said, 'Yeah, OK,' and laughed. He was deadly serious. He said, 'You do realize that one day you will be queen?' And a voice said to me inside, 'You won't be queen, but you will have a tough role...' 'Yes,' I said, 'I love you so much, I love you so much.' He said, 'Whatever love means.' . . . and so he ran upstairs and rang his mother."
Soon after that, the two announced to the world that they have decided to get married and while everyone was happy to welcome the new princess, Charles may not have been that eager, after all. After the news was announced, Charles and Diana gave their first interview as a couple.
It is during the interview that a reporter asked the couple if they were in love, to which Diana replied "Of course!", but Charles said, "Whatever 'in love' means." After hearing what Charles had to say, many people started questioning the relationship and without any doubt, Diana was hurt to hear those words.
In an interview with People, Sally Bedell Smith, the author of the biography, Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life said that she was surprised to note that the two decided to spend their entire life together shortly after going on few dates.
“I was stunned when I combed over the chronology they had only been together 12 times [before their engagement],” she said. “After they got engaged, he went away for six weeks. He was dutifully plunging ahead with his schedule and she wanted him to be around and available and support her."
“There she was in Buckingham Palace, which is more like a big office building than anything and forbidding for a 19-year-old," she continued. According to Sally, Diana would have been better off if she hadn't become a princess. Becoming the face of media at a very young age might have been one of the biggest reasons for Diana's stress.
However, by late 1992, Princess Charles and Diana's 11 years marriage was soon turning out to be a disaster and the royal family was finding it hard to make it look like it wasn't. Soon after, on December 20, 1995, Buckingham Palace announced that the queen had written separate letters to the couple ordering them to divorce and on August 28, 1996, they legally separated.
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