Princess Diana tragically passed away at the age of 36, and while she was taken way too soon, she had already spent close to half her life in the spotlight thanks to her tumultuous relationship with Prince Charles.
While their relationship was not what one thinks of when being courted by a prince, it was certainly extravagant. From how they met to their eventual divorce, find out more about this once-great celebrity romance.
How Did Princess Diana and Prince Charles Meet?
The pair met when Charles was actually dating her sister, Lady Sarah Spencer, back in 1977. Sarah and Charles dated on-and-off for a couple of years before eventually calling it quits. Diana attended the future King of England’s birthday in 1978, but the couple did not start dating officially until 1980.
Charles proposed to Diana on February 6, 1981, while having dinner with her in Buckingham Palace. He gave her a stunning 12-carat oval sapphire ring surrounded with 14 solitaire diamonds. The jeweler, Garrard, was apparently inspired by a sapphire brooch made for Prince Albert in 1840. The couple announced their engagement to the world on February 24, 1981.
That Royal Wedding
Just a few months after getting engaged, the couple was married on July 29, 1981, in a spectacular royal wedding that was simulcast around the world, with an estimated 750 million people watching. The ceremony was held inside St. Paul’s Cathedral and Diana wore a gorgeous gown with a 25-foot train.
Starting a Family
One year after getting married, the royal couple welcomed their first son, Prince William, in 1982. Second son, Prince Harry, followed in 1984. It was revealed at the time that Diana had suffered a miscarriage prior to giving birth to Harry.
Diana and Charles’s love story may have looked like a fairytale romance from the outside, but it was anything but that. Charles reportedly began having an affair with former love Camilla Parker Bowles in 1986, while Diana had an affair with James Hewitt, the family’s riding instructor.
It was clear the couple was miserable, but they were forced to keep up appearances — until the situation became unbearable. They officially separated in December 1992 and their divorce was finalized by August 1996.
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