Did Prince Charles Regret Proposing to Princess Diana so Soon?

Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s love story is one of the most enduring stories in royal family history. While it seemed to the public and press as though they were very much in love at the beginning of their relationship, their bitter divorce and Princess Diana’s subsequent tragic death have left a bad taste in the mouth of everyone involved.

Recently, reports have surfaced that indicate Prince Charles was uncertain about their relationship from the beginning.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
The Prince and Princess of Wales | Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

How did Prince Charles and Princess Diana first meet?

Prince Charles is the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip. In the seventies, Prince Charles was earning a reputation as a ladies man and dating quite often.

Even though he had fallen hard for a woman named Camilla Parker Bowles, she wasn’t considered to be a suitable match for a prince. In 1977, he briefly dated Sarah Spencer, Princess Diana’s sister.

Even though Princess Diana was quite young at the time she first met Prince Charles, the shy socialite made quite an impression on the prince.

Three years later, the two reconnected and started dating. Princess Diana was considered to be the perfect candidate for Prince Charles’ wife – she was high-born, part of the aristocratic Spencer family, young, and of course, very beautiful.

While it is probable that Prince Charles was quite fond of his girlfriend, and she was certainly smitten with him, it seems that their relationship progressed as it did mainly due to the pressure that Prince Charles was receiving from his family.

In fact, many claim that Prince Charles was “pushed” into marrying Princess Diana. 

When did Prince Charles and Princess Diana get married?

The royal couple’s relationship moved fast and in 1981, they got engaged. Their engagement interview alone should have signaled trouble ahead – when the reporter asked the couple if they were in love, Princess Diana quickly answered yes, while Prince Charles said, “whatever love means.”

It certainly seems that their union was doomed from the beginning, and recent revelations from Prince Charles’ biography seem to confirm that even before their wedding, the prince was experiencing deep regret about the decisions he had made.

Prince Charles had some regrets about their marriage

A recent report claims that Prince Charles felt trapped into proposing to Princess Diana, caught between the weight of his royal responsibilities and his very real love for Camilla Parker Bowles.

The story goes on to describe how Prince Charles knew from the outset, even before their marriage, that they were incompatible, but that he couldn’t possibly break off the wedding plans and risk disappointing their families – including the queen.

According to these sources, at age 32, Prince Charles was already expected to be married and have a family – therefore when he met Princess Diana, who seemed an ideal candidate according to royal standards, there was no legitimate reason to delay matters, in spite of the fact that they had only really had twelve dates.

Princess Diana, barely in her 20s, was probably too young to really voice any concerns that she might have had about the hastiness of their engagement and marriage.

Needless to say, they experienced problems from the very beginning. While Prince Charles felt duty-bound to marry Princess Diana, he never quite ended his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles – their affair was one of the reasons Princess Diana cited for their eventual divorce.

However, in spite of all the sadness and missed signals, their relationship wasn’t all bad. Their two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, brought them both great joy, and continue to carry on the best parts of their legacies.