A Royal wedding is usually considered an important affair of state, owing to the attention it attracts at both national and international levels. Royal weddings which are usually done in elaborate ceremonies have a way of attracting a lot of spectacle and fanfare. Dignitaries, heads of states, royal fathers and religious heads travel from far and wide to grace such occasions. The United Kingdom, which has as its Head of State a monarch, has a huge history of royal weddings particularly the ones concerning senior members of the royal family. We have witnessed a lot of royal weddings take place in the United Kingdom but one of such unions of note was the one between Prince Charles and Princess Diana Spencer.
Charles Philip Arthur George doubles as the Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the throne. He also serves as the Duke of Rothesay and Duke of Cornwall. He was born on November 14, 1948, in Buckingham Palace, London, United Kingdom. Lady Diana Frances Spencer as she was named at birth on July 1, 1961, also came from a prominent noble British family. Her father, John Spencer, was the 8th Earl Spencer. Diana was born and raised on her family-owned estate in Sandringham, Norfolk. Read on as we unravel the juicy details behind the engagement and marriage as well as the divorce between Prince Charles and Princess Diana
How Did Prince Charles Meet Princess Diana?
Charles first met Diana in November 1977 while visiting her family estate in Althorp. He was dating Sarah Spencer, Diana’s elder sister, at the time but soon had a change of heart and began considering Diana as his potential wife in July 1980. It was reported that she had provided him comfort after he lost his dear uncle, Lord Mountbatten. Their relationship took a new turn when Charles invited Diana to join him on a weekend sail trip to Cowes aboard the Britannia. Soon after that, Diana began accompanying Prince Charles on different visits including a visit to Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
The relationship between Lady Diana and Prince Charles attracted a lot of media attention. Charles’s father, Prince Philip, adviced him to quickly make up his mind about marrying the Earl’s daughter. Following his father’s counsel, Charles proposed to Diana in February 1981 and she accepted. Queen Elizabeth I gave Diana a diamond and sapphire brooch as an engagement gift.
Diana who was famous for keeping a very low profile came into the limelight following the announcement of her engagement to Charles. The wedding between Prince Charles and Princess Diana took place at the St Paul’s Cathedral in London on July 29, 1981, after which she became the Princess of Wales by virtue of being married to the Prince of Wales. The union produced two sons- Prince William and Prince Harry born in 1982 and 1984 respectively.
How Long Were They Married?
The widely celebrated union between Prince Charles and Princess Diana suffered a great deal especially because they were not compatible owing to their different lifestyles and value system. Many attributed the reason for their incompatibility to the wide age difference between the two of them; Charles was 13 years older than Diana.
It was also widely known at the time that both Charles and Diana were both guilty of engaging in extramarital affairs. Many news agencies and newspaper publications carried the news of the couple’s infidelity to each other. This went on until John Major, then British Prime Minister came out in Parliament and announced the official separation of the couple. Shortly after the announcement regarding the couple’s separation in 1992, more details about their failing marriage starting making news headlines.
The British press at one time published a transcript of a telephone conversation between Charles and his long-time lover Camilla Parker. Charles in an interview he granted to Jonathan Dimbleby, stated in his defense that he only began a relationship with Camilla after his relationship with Diana had broken down.
When the crisis could no longer be managed, the marriage was dissolved permanently on August 28, 1996- They were married for only 15 years. Up until their divorce, the couple lived at the Kensington Palace in London and were sometimes at the Highgrove House situated close to Tetbury. Princess Diana passed away on August 31, 1997, following a car crash in a Paris tunnel.