How much do you really know about Princess Diana's marriage to Prince Charles? The two had one of the most famous — and tumultuous — royal marriages in history, so we're breaking down every detail of Diana and Charles' 15-year union. Scroll down for more!
Who was Princess Diana married to?
Diana married Charles at London's St Paul's Cathedral on July 29, 1981. At the time, Diana was just 20 years old and her groom, Charles, was 32, making their age difference 12 years. The People's Princess' marriage to Charles was her only union before she tragically died at age 36 in an August 1997 car crash.
How did Diana meet Prince Charles?
Diana first met Charles when she was 16 years old at November 1977. At the time, the prince was dating Diana's older sister, Lady Sarah. During the summer of 1980, Diana watched Charles play in a polo match at which time he reportedly began thinking of her as a potential bride. In November 1980, Diana was invited to meet Charles' family. After subsequently courting in London, Charles proposed to Diana in February 1981 with a now-famous 12-carat sapphire and diamond engagement ring.
Diana and Charles at their 1981 wedding. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Why did they get divorced?
According to multiple news outlets, Diana and Charles' near 13-year age difference began to weigh heavily on their marriage around five years after they tied the knot. Charles' on-again, off-again romantic relationship with his now-wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, additionally put a significant strain on his relationship with Diana.
In a new book about the royal family, author Penny Junor suggested Charles never should have tied the knot with Diana in the first place. "He made a huge mistake. You can sympathize with Diana — oh God, yes. Put that way, he was the architect of the disaster," Junor wrote in The Duchess: The Untold Story, according to an excerpt obtained by the Daily Mail.
In another book, author Sally Bedell Smith claimed the prince wept the night before his wedding to Diana because he was still in love with Camilla. Despite his trepidations, Charles felt "pressured" to settle down so he went through with the marriage. "[He] wasn’t in love, he wasn’t ready," Bedell Smith wrote in Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life. During their marriage, both Charles and Diana were accused of cheating. Eight years after Diana's 1997 death, Charles and Camilla married.
Who else did Diana date?
After Charles and Diana finalized their divorce in August 1996, Prince William and Prince Harry's mother began dating British-Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan. Though Diana and Hasnat's relationship lasted nearly two years, the couple was immensely private about their romance and Diana repeatedly denied to the press that she was dating the doctor. The mother-of-two is thought to have ended their relationship in July 1997. Less than one month after her split from Hasnat, Diana began seeing Dodi Fayed. Diana, Dodi, and their driver, Henri Paul, were later all killed in a fatal, August 1997 car crash in Paris.
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