Charles (left) and Diana (right). (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
When Diana first gained the public’s attention at the tender age of 19 when she began dating Prince Charles, she was branded “Shy Di” by the press. However, according to Charles, that nickname couldn’t have been more inaccurate.
“First of all, none of us ever called her ‘Di’ at home. In fact, there are so many myths from our childhood that are just so ridiculous. That’s one of them,” he told People. “I just think she was never shy, but she was canny about people and she was reserved to start with. And she would take a judgment of somebody before reacting to them. So, that’s not shy… that’s actually quite clever.”
Charles and Diana in 1968. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Charles — who described Diana as an “incredibly brave” young girl — reflected on their upbringing in the UK and recalled a particularly fond memory from a family fishing trip to Scotland. “We pulled up [a pot] and there was a really massive conger eel,” he said. “It was black and it had teeth was very long and it was flapping around the boat. And Diana just got a pen knife out and just dealt with it. It was hand-to-hand and she just got stuck in. This thing was really a creature from the deep. And she just dealt with it.”
During his chat with People, Charles also spoke about Diana’s charitable spirit and her dedication to those who suffered from HIV/AIDS. “She could connect with anyone,” he said of his sister’s special relationship with those who were affected by the life-threatening illness. “She could make any person, whether they were the grandest or the most humble, totally at ease. It’s an incredible gift.”
Charles will share more touching personal memories of Diana — who tragically died at age 36 in 1997 after a fatal Paris car crash — in ABC’s The Story of Diana, a two-part television event, premiering on Wednesday, Aug. 9 and Thursday, Aug. 10 at 9 p.m. EST.
Check out the gallery to see more fascinating facts about Diana!