Photo of Princess Diana Alone at the Taj Mahal ‘Broke Everybody’s Hearts,’ and Made Prince Charles ‘Absolutely Crazy,’ Royal Expert Says

Prince Charles and Princess Diana had a very unhappy marriage. Anyone with two eyes could see it, from the way they awkwardly showed affection at the beginning to the brazen eyerolls towards the end. This royal couple was doomed from the start.

Finding someone to blame for their disastrous relationship is a bit complicated. Was it Charles’s fault for marrying Diana while in love with someone else? Maybe Diana shared some blame for marrying someone she barely knew? Or perhaps it was Queen Elizabeth forcing her son to pick a suitable virgin bride against his will? There’s no simple answer.

The public rightfully feels enormous compassion for Princess Diana, the wronged wife. But they may not know that there are some interesting tactics she may have used to help garner more sympathy along the way.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Diana didn’t always hate attention from the press

When Diana Spencer joined the royal family, no one could have predicted the celebrity she would eventually become. As a young, beautiful bride literally living out a fairy tale, the public couldn’t get enough of the Princess of Wales. She quickly eclipsed her husband in terms of popularity even though he was the future king.

Diana was undoubtedly overwhelmed by the attention but also enjoyed her secret power. At the time, she had no friends or allies in the royal circle, including her husband. But she did have the love of the press and often used it to her advantage whenever she could.

Diana took a solo trip to the Taj Majal in 1992

By early 1992, Charles was in a full-fledged affair with his former girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles and Diana knew all about it. The couple still wasn’t divorced or even separated at that point. But the writing was on the wall.

One royal expert recalled how Diana visited the Taj Mahal while she and Prince Charles were on a royal tour of India. Going there solo was a calculated move — being photographed alone in such a romantic place was guaranteed to paint Diana in a sympathetic light.

Diana at the Taj Mahal
Diana Princess of Wales at the Taj Mahal | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

“That picture of her as a lonely, neglected, beautiful girl who didn’t have anyone to love her back just broke everybody’s hearts. She knew what she was doing. And it made Charles absolutely crazy,” the expert explained on the CNN documentary, The Windsors: Inside the Royal Dynasty.

The image further painted Charles as the villain and Diana as the innocent victim. And Charles resented his wife for manipulating the press by intentionally posing for a photo like that.

That wasn’t the only awkward moment during the India tour

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Photos of Diana hanging out by the Taj Mahal alone weren’t the only problems in India. One royal photographer traveling with the pair asked royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter if he could get a shot of Charles and Diana kissing, and Arbiter replied with a laugh, “We’re not going to get anything like that.”

But Charles did at least try. However, Diana brushed him off by turning her head, resulting in a very awkward photo of him kissing the side of her neck. The picture immediately made the rounds through the tabloids as further proof of the couple’s strained marriage.

It came as no surprise when this royal couple formally separated later the same year.