Princess Diana’s Body Language in Engagement Photos With Charles Suggests She’s Uncomfortable: ‘She’s Protecting’

Princess Diana and King Charles were married from 1981 to 1996. The couple was engaged after dating for a short time. The former couple’s engagement photos give away some very telling details, according to body language experts. Here’s what they had to say.

Princess Diana and King Charles’ tumultuous relationship

Princess Diana and King Charles during their 1981 engagement photo.
Princess Diana and King Charles | Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Diana and Charles had a rough relationship. The late Princess of Wales once famously told journalist Martin Bashir there were three people in her relationship with Charles. “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” she told Bashir during her BBC interview. Diana was referring to Camilla Parker Bowles and the alleged affair she was having with Charles.

The relationship between Diana and Charles was reportedly rocky even before they tied the knot. It is reported that Princess Diana almost called off the wedding. It has been many years since this interview, but the drama surrounding Diana and Charles’ marriage was revisited during The Crown Season 5. An event King Charles and Queen Camilla likely want to forget, “tampongate,” was featured in an episode.

Princess Diana appears to be ‘protecting’ herself says body language expert

Princess Diana and King Charles pose during their 1981 engagement photos.
Princess Diana and King Charles | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

This February 1981 engagement picture shows that Princess Diana is uncomfortable in the spotlight, according to body language expert Traci Brown. Diana isn’t used to being in the public eye, so she crosses one arm over the other, in an attempt to shield herself, says Brown.

“Charles is looking down and through the tops of his eyes,” Brown tells Today. “Diana’s not reaching for him. She’s not 100 percent comfortable with being in the limelight because her one arm is straight and the other arm is crossed – she’s protecting. It’s not an elegant look. We would never see this from her in her later years. This is all new to her, it’s brand new.”

Body language expert Patti Wood agrees that Diana doesn’t seem comfortable. Although King Charles (then Prince Charles) has his hands on her shoulders, she doesn’t appear comfortable.

“[Charles has] this big smile on his face,” Wood tells Today. “She is leaning her head in his direction and towards him. She’s got a smile on her face, but you see her doing a ‘locked cross,’ meaning her arm is wrapped all around her body and she’s grabbing it on the other side. That creates a locked wall of ‘I don’t want you to enter here.’

Princess Diana had a challenging time as a member of the royal family

Royal life was challenging for Princess Diana. She was often followed by photographers and frequently made headlines. Although she didn’t like the spotlight, she couldn’t avoid it as the Princess of Wales. Cameras were a constant presence, and she had to learn to live with the incessant lightbulb flash.

Years later, Prince Harry said he often thought about his mother and how paparazzi were always chasing her. Harry believes this behavior is partly to blame for his mother’s fatal car crash in 1997.

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