This was the original wedding of the century. It was the wedding that had the entire world tuning in and would kickstart the world’s obsession with Princess Diana.
With nearly 750 million people watching Prince Charles and Princess Diana tie the knot, Charles did something the night before his big day. Royal biographer Penny Juror has revealed exactly what happened on that fateful occasion all the way back in 1981.
He’s Always Been Used To Being In The Spotlight
Ever since his birth on November 14, 1948, Charles Philip Arthur George has been in the international spotlight. He the oldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. The Queen has reigned since her son was just three years old.
He is the longest-serving Prince of Wales, having held that title since 1958. Now, many years later, Charles still stands first in order of succession to the British throne.
Charles Had Several Girlfriends Before He Chose To Wed
There are quite a few eligible ladies that the Prince has been involved with over the years. Some of Charles’ love interests have included Lady Jane Wellesley, the eighth Duke of Wellington’s daughter, and Georgia Russell, the British Ambassador to Spain’s daughter.
Interestingly enough, he would go on to date Princess Diana’s oldest sister, Lady Sarah Spencer. None of these relationships seemed destined to turn into anything terribly serious, however.
Then, In 1970, Charles Met Camilla Shand
Charles would meet Camilla Shand through an introduction by their mutual friend, Lucia Santa Cruz. At the time, Camilla Shand was already in a relationship with a British Army officer named Andrew Parker Bowles who had played polo on the same team as Charles when they were younger.
Andrew Parker Bowles would also go out with Charles’ younger sister, Princess Anne. Despite this, shortly after meeting, Charles and Camilla became a couple.
Charles’ Great-Uncle Lord Mountbatten Didn’t Think Much Of Camilla
His great-uncle was quite invested in Charles’ choice of women, even giving the Prince this advice once. “In a case like yours, the man should sow his wild oats and have as many affairs as he can before settling down, but for a wife he should choose a suitable, attractive, and sweet-charactered girl before she has met anyone else she might fall for.”
Lord Mountbatten went so far as to say he didn’t believe Camilla was aristocratic enough to be the Prince of Wales’ wife. Eventually, the relationship between Charles and Camilla would come to an end as she reconciled with her ex. Camilla Andrew Parker Bowles would get married that same year in 1973.
Following The Breakup, Lord Mountbatten Attempted To Get Charles To Marry Someone Else
Concerned, Mountbatten attempted to get Charles to consider marrying the Lord’s granddaughter, Amanda Knatchbull. And so, Charles would propose to Amanda after the IRA killed his great-uncle. However, her grandfather, grandmother, and younger brother Nicholas had all died in the bombing as well.
It’s understandable that Amanda then declined to become a member of the royal family. She feared losing more loved ones if she became a member of such a high-profile family.
After Meeting Lady Diana Spencer, Charles Viewed Her As A Suitable Bride
Finally, in 1977, it appeared as if Charles had finally met his match in Lady Diana Spencer. They met when Diana was just 16, and Charles had dated her older sister, Lady Sarah.
As soon as the pair started going out, their relationship received a ton of media recognition. After four years of dating, Charles asked Diana to marry him in February 1981. They would wed the following year at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Nearly 600,000 People Lined The Streets Of London For The Wedding
Hundreds of thousands of fans lined up in the streets with the hopes of viewing the newlyweds firsthand, and 750 million people worldwide watched the event on TV.
Some consider the wedding as one of the most memorable moments in the history of the British royal family. Behind closed doors, however, the marriage between Charles and Diana was nowhere near the happily-ever-after fairy tale that everyone thought it appeared to be from the outside.
In Diana: Her True Story, She Revealed Something About Charles
According to a book written by the UK journalist Andrew Morton, called Diana: Her True Story, Charles had been having an affair with Camilla for quite some time. Later on, the Prince would confirm the bombshell news.
In 1992, the couple announced that they would be separating. After years of a media frenzy and much public scrutiny, their divorce was finalized on August 28, 1996. Diana lost the official title “Her Royal Highness” and was instead called Diana, Princess of Wales.
Diana Tragically Died In A Car Crash, And Charles Remarried Years Later
The world was stunned when on August 31, 1997, Diana was fatally injured in a car accident in Paris. The vehicle she was in had been fleeing the paparazzi when the accident happened.
In 2005, Charles married once again, this time to his old flame, Camilla. In the years since, one claim has emerged about the Prince of Wales. Before he exchanged his vows to Diana all those years earlier, it’s been said, he was already having second thoughts about marrying her after all.
Penny Junor Made The Assertion In The Duchess: The Untold Story
Penny Junor (pictured) has penned numerous books about the royal family. She made the surprising assertation about Charles in her 2017 book, which is a biography about Camilla.
After spending a year trailing the Duchess and speaking to her friends, Junor went ahead to reveal what allegedly went down before Charles’ first wedding. This event, if true, is one that both parties involved likely would have preferred kept a secret from the world.
Charles Broke Down The Night Before The Wedding
According to Junor, the Prince of Wales broke down the night before tying the knot with Diana. The explosive book even alleged that he had been witnessing the large and eager crowds gathering along The Mall as he watched from a window at Buckingham Palace.
Junor would state that the Prince and a nearby lady-in-waiting to the Queen both began to weep as he realized the importance of what he was doing.
Diana Also Revealed How She Felt
“The night before the wedding, I was very, very calm, deathly calm.” This are the words that Diana told Andrew Morton and were revealed in his tell-all book Diana: Her True Story.
Diana added more to her comment, saying, “I felt I was a lamb to the slaughter. I knew it and couldn’t do anything about it.” Despite this, the lavish royal wedding would go on. It simply had to.
Junor Additionally Claimed That Charles Had Pleaded With Camilla Not To Marry Her First Husband
According to Penny Junor, Prince Charles was so in love with Camilla that he went so far as writing her a letter begging her not to marry Andrew Parker Bowels. He stated that it was a shame “such a blissful, peaceful, and mutually happy relationship” like the one he and Camilla shared should have to come to an end.
Despite Charles imploring Camilla to call off the wedding, she still went ahead with it.
Junor Alleged That Parker Bowles Wasn’t That Faithful Either
While Charles and Camilla’s affair was widely reported, Andrew Parker Bowles was allegedly unfaithful to his bride. Supposedly, Charles acted as a confidante to the Duchess of Cornwall during that time by sending his former girlfriend letters and chatting over the phone.
Camilla and Andrew Parker Bowles would go on to separate in 1995. Over the course of their marriage, they had two children together, a son and a daughter.
Both Charles And Diana Commented On The Affair
In a quote that is now famous, Lady Di once commented to interviewer Martin Bashir about how it felt to know her husband was having an affair: “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.” Charles was much more nonchalant about his actions.
According to a 1994 report from the Daily Mail, Charles said, “Do you seriously expect me to be the first Prince of Wales in history to have a mistress?”
Charles And Camilla’s Relationship Faced Much Scrutiny
Despite the fact that Diana was deceased and that Camilla had divorced from her first husband, the British public was not that satisfied with Charles and his new wife when they tied the knot in 2005.
Camilla opened up and discussed how tough the time had been on her. After all, the intense scrutiny of everyone involved in the royal family, by the public and the media alike, is well-documented.
Camilla Has Discussed How Difficult She Found The Media To Be
After the intense media storm that surrounded her after the affair was out in the open, Camilla said this to Mail on Sunday in September 2017. “It was horrid. It was a deeply unpleasant time and I wouldn’t want to put my worst enemy through it.”
She added, “I couldn’t have survived it without my family.” Fortunately for Camilla, her children and other close friends were supportive of her new marriage to Charles.
Junor’s Book Reveals Three Stages Of Charles and Camilla’s Romance Over Several Decades
The stages include the period before either got married. The next phase was after Camilla welcomed her second child and ahead of Charles and Diana’s engagement. And finally, the third phase described by Junor was after Charles and Diana’s marriage problems had begun.
The biography offers an inside look at the unconventional love story, but not everyone believed it was so innocently romantic. In fact, when the Daily Mail published an excerpt of the book, there were some commenters who didn’t offer much sympathy for Camilla.
Some Negative Comments From The Public
Junot has stated that she believes Camilla was “not a natural adulteress,” but simply fell in love with Charles and truly didn’t mean to hurt anyone else in the process.
Not everyone agreed with this assessment of Camilla’s situation. “Please do not try and pass her off as hard done by,” wrote one person after reading the book excerpt. “[Camilla] knew exactly what she was doing while Charles was married to Diana.”
Another Scathing Comment
“All Diana wanted was her fairytale wedding to her Prince Charming. Probably every young girl’s dream,” another person wrote. “For this, she paid the ultimate price.”
Essentially, this royal-watcher was commenting on the fact that Diana merely wanted to live her childhood dream. Instead, she suffered through an ugly reality and heartache that nobody ever could have seen coming while Camilla ended up with the love of her life, Prince Charles.