June 5, 2023

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Diana Spencer, from the “princess of hearts” to a princess with a broken heart. The tumultuous marriage to Prince Charles

Diana Spencer’s life was not without difficulties and obstacles. Becoming the Princess of Wales after her marriage to Prince Charles, Diana managed to make a strong mark on the British royalty.

Marriage to Charles

Although Charles had known Diana for several years, it was only in 1980, when the prince was already 32 years old and had gone through several failed relationships, that the relationship between the two grew stronger.

Prince Charles was being pressured by external factors to marry. The criteria that his future wife had to fulfill are the following: not to be Roman Catholic, to come from a royal or aristocratic background and to be a virgin. Diana met all the criteria and seemed like a perfect future wife.

After only a few dates and public appearances, the prince proposed to Diana on February 6, 1981.

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The two were married on July 29, 1981, at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Named “wedding of the century” the marriage of Lady Diana and Prince Charles was a true TV phenomenon. Broadcast around the world, the wedding was watched by 750 million people in 74 countries.

The royal wedding put Diana Spencer, now Princess of Wales, in the tabloid spotlight.

Rather a “Princess of the People” rather than a classic royal princess, Diana stood out and set herself apart from the rest of the royal family for her connection with people.

Diana and Charles were unhappy

With Diana now part of the royal machinery, in the 1980s, Charles and his wife became the most watched couple in the world, and Princess Diana was a true benchmark for the entire world map. Although they seemed happy, the relationship was different. Almost from the beginning, the relationship of the two began to falter.

Diana would later confess that during her relationship with Charles she suffered from depression and bulimia. Queen Elizabeth suggested that these problems with Diana brought the two to the point of separation.

Princess Diana, to Andrew Morton: “She told me that the reason our marriage was falling apart was because Prince Charles was having a hard time with my bulimia. She considered it the source of our problems, not a symptom.”

Diana, more loved by the press than Charles

Diana constantly struggled with media attention, a reality she faced in 1981 during a tour of Wales. The princess burst into tears and refused to get out of the car. When asked if the journalists would soon disappear, the Palace press secretary replied: “I’m sorry, but no, and they won’t ever go away”a fact that was confirmed until the day Diana died

Already in the mid-80s, the princess was attracting crowds wherever she appeared.

“On their tour in Australia, someone counted her and his photos. She took up about 92% of the photos, while he was somewhere on the sidelines.” said Dr. Piers Brendon, historian.

The attention Diana received from the media represented another problem in their relationship as a couple.

Princess Diana, to Andrew Morton: “He was envious. I understood his envy, but I couldn’t explain the fact that I wasn’t the one asking for attention.”

Extramarital affairs

Added to all this are the extramarital affairs that the two have had over the years. So, at the beginning of the 90s, Diana’s marriage with Charles was going to fall apart. Both the Prince and Princess of Wales spoke to the media through friends, blaming each other for the failure of their marriage.

After the divorce, Charles resumed his old relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles.

When asked what role Camilla played in the failure of her marriage, Diana said in a 1995 BBC interview: “Well, there were three people in our marriage, so it was a little cramped.”

Also then, Diana confirmed that she had a relationship with her riding instructor, James Hewitt.

Charles had also admitted having an extramarital affair a year earlier in a television interview with Jonathan Dimbleby.

The end of Diana

Princess Diana died 25 years ago, in a tragic car accident, being followed by the press.

Being in Paris with her lover, Dodi al Fayed, Diana had dinner on the evening of August 30, 1997 at the Ritz hotel restaurant. Towards the end of the meal, Dodi told the personal driver to drive away in an attempt to distract the photographers who were following Diana.

The couple’s new driver was to be Henri Paul, bodyguard at the Ritz Hotel. He had gotten behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and anti-depressants.

On August 31, 1997, Diana died in a terrible car accident in the tunnel “Pont de l’Alma” from Paris. The ex-wife of Prince Charles died at just 36 years old.

Their car, a black 1994 Mercedes-Benz, was followed by paparazzi before the tragedy. The driver tried to escape the photographers by speeding up. He was driving at a speed of 200 km/h in the tunnel, lost control of the car and ricocheted into a wall.

Diana arrived at the hospital in serious condition but alive, but died shortly after of cardiac arrest.

Diana’s funeral took place on September 6, 1997 and was watched by approximately 2.5 billion people worldwide.

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