Did Prince Charles Fat Shame Princess Diana During Their Engagement?

Princess Diana dealt with eating disorder throughout her marriage to Prince Charles. According to Diana, her bulimia was able to provide a “release of tension” whenever she felt stressed.

But one of the main factors that triggered the disorder sparked from a nasty comment by her husband during their engagement. What did he say exactly? Keep reading to find out.

Charles And Diana At Polo
Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales | Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Princess Diana did everything she could to please Prince Charles

Despite how messy and turbulent their marriage was, a part of Diana had fallen hopelessly in love with her husband. Meanwhile, Prince Charles was mostly dismissive of Diana.

Charles And Diana In Thailand
Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales | Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

In a desperate attempt to please her husband, the Princess of Wales tried her best to be his ideal wife. Yet it seemed as though no matter how hard she tried, Prince Charles was only ever interested in Camilla Parker Bowles (his mistress.) 

This caused her to feel insignificant. 

“Prince Charles ignores me everywhere,” Diana reveals in her biography, In Her Own Words. “Ignored everywhere and have been for a long time, but if people choose to see that now, they are a bit late in the day. He just dismisses me.”

Prince Charles fat-shamed Princess Diana during their engagement by calling her ‘chubby’

Charles And Diana
Charles And Diana | Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

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Upon meeting the Prince of Wales for the first time, Diana assumed he’d never be interested in her. She described herself as being a ‘fat, podgy, no make-up, unsmart lady.” 

Yet all her insecurities were only intensified to a shocking degree after her engagement to Prince Charles. Her weight dropped from 29 inches to 23 in a very short period of time. “I had shrunk into nothing from February to July,” she said in her biography.

“I knew the bulimia started the week after we got engaged,” Diana points out in her tell-all book. “My husband put his hand on my waistline and said: ‘Oh, a bit chubby here, aren’t we?’ and that triggered off something in me- and the Camilla thing, I was desperate, desperate.” 

Tragically, Diana would “make herself sick,” as she puts it, up to four times a day. According to her biography, “It was a profound release of tension and in some hazy way gave her a sense of control over herself and a means of releasing the anger she felt.” 

Princess Diana finally sought help for her eating disorder by meeting with a therapist

The Princess Of Wales
The Princess Of Wales | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

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After much convincing, the princess finally decided it was time to get help for her eating disorder. She met with a therapist and told him about all of her greatest insecurities.

“I hated myself so much,” she said. “I didn’t think I was good enough, I thought I wasn’t good enough for Charles, I wasn’t a good enough mother- I mean doubts as long as one’s leg.”

Diana went on, telling him that she felt like she was “a problem.”

Her therapist looked her dead in the eye and said, “There’s nothing wrong with you; it’s your husband.”

“When he said that,” Diana revealed, “I thought: ‘Maybe it’s not me.’” 

How to get help: In the U.S. call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline at 1-800-931-2237.