It’s no secret that Prince Charles and Princess Diana had a tumultuous royal marriage. But a new book takes things to the next level and claims that Charles “desperately” wanted to get out of marrying Diana before their July 1981 nuptials even took place.

In his new book, Charles at 70: Thoughts, Hopes, and Dreams, author Robert Jobson revealed a then 32-year-old Charles felt pressured to propose to Diana, then 19, by his father, Prince Philip, before they tied the knot. Jobson also alleged that because the pair only went on a few dates before getting engaged, Charles quickly realized they might not be compatible but it was too late to turn back.

Book Prince Charles Wanted Out Marrying Princess Diana
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“He would try to talk to her about his work commitments and what kind of day he’d just had — and Diana would stare back at him blankly,” Jobson wrote in the book, according to an excerpt recently obtained by the Daily Mail. Once Charles proposed, he reportedly told friends, “To have withdrawn, as you can no doubt imagine, would have been cataclysmic. Hence I was permanently between the devil and the deep blue sea.”

“I desperately wanted to get out of the wedding in 1981, when during the engagement I discovered just how awful the prospects were, having had no chance to get to know Diana beforehand,” the Prince of Wales, now 69, also told pals after he married Diana, who later tragically passed away in an August 1997 car crash at age 36. “In truth, neither of them was actually in love with the other,” Jobson wrote in his book.

Book Prince Charles Wanted Out Marrying Princess Diana
Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

In 2017, a never-before-heard series of interview tapes were released to the public 20 years after Diana’s death and, in the recordings, the People’s Princess admitted her wedding day to Charles was the “worst day” of her life. “[My wedding was the] worst day of my life. If I could write my own script, I would have my husband go away with his woman and never come back,” Diana said, referring to Charles’ infamous affair with longtime love Camilla Parker Bowles during both their courtship and marriage.

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