After just six months of courting, Charles and Diana announced their engagement on February 24, 1981. Yet, Charles refused to admit he loved her, instead stating: “Whatever ‘in love’ means.”
Although Diana believed she’d found Prince Charming, telling reporters at the time that he was “pretty amazing”.
Five months later came the moment the world had been waiting for. On July 29, 1981, 20-year-old Diana arrived at St Paul’s Cathedral in London in a glass carriage.
She stepped out, revealing her wedding dress for the first time.
Created by designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel, Diana’s silk taffeta dress – featuring an 8-metre train – instantly became one of the most famous wedding gowns of all time.
At the altar, Diana raised eyebrows when she had the traditional vows changed to omit the line where she promised to “obey” her husband – perhaps offering a glimpse into the new royal’s determination to be an independent princess.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds and 120 guests went to Buckingham Palace for a wedding breakfast. But the pinnacle moment everyone remembers of their wedding day was when Charles and Diana stepped out onto the balcony and finally kissed for the millions watching below.
Charles reportedly said to Diana: “They are trying to get us to kiss.” She replied: “Well, how about it?” And, after a moment of deliberation, Charles replied: “Why ever not?”
WATCH: Princess Diana breaks bottle over Prince Charles' head (story continues below)
It was certainly a fairytale wedding, but just a few years later, Charles and Diana’s marriage quickly became strained amid reports of jealousy, affairs and scandals.
The union produced two sons – Prince William in 1982 and Prince Harry in 1984. Two years later, rumours of a rift between the spouses emerged when Charles reportedly resumed his illicit affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. Meanwhile, it was alleged Diana’s infamous tryst with army captain, James Hewitt, started around a similar time.
The couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996, with Diana sensationally revealing how public scrutiny and Charles’ affair had ended their 11-year marriage.
“There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” she famously told interviewer Martin Bashir in 1995. She added of Charles: “It became increasingly difficult.”
For more, pick up a copy of New Idea. On sale now!
For a fairytale romance without the dramatic ending, sign up for eHarmony today!