Princess Diana Spent Royal Engagements ‘Laughing and Smiling More’ to Reportedly Annoy Prince Charles

Princess Diana laughed and smiled during official engagements with Prince Charles. But the reason for it supposedly goes beyond her being a generally friendly, bubbly, or engaging person.

Reports say she became more animated on public outings with Charles to annoy him. Keep reading to find out what sad incident on a royal tour with Charles came before the shift in Diana’s behavior.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles married in 1981

Princess Diana and Prince Charles ride in a carriage after their 1981 royal wedding
Princess Diana and Prince Charles at their royal wedding | Anwar Hussein/WireImage

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After approximately 12 dates, Charles proposed to Diana, then known as Lady Diana Spencer. Despite both wanting to call off the royal wedding, they went through with the ceremony. 

On July 29, 1981, Diana became an official member of the British royal family when she and Charles married. Their wedding took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral in front of notable guests while millions watched on TV from all over the world.

The bride called the groom by the wrong name while reciting her vows and they didn’t kiss after the ceremony. The mishap led to Charles and Diana’s kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, which remains a royal wedding tradition even today. 

Princess Diana was more animated at royal engagements to annoy Prince Charles

Patrick Jephson, former press secretary to Diana, opened up during ITV’s Inside the Crown: Secrets of the Royals, according to the Daily Mail, about why the late mother of two behaved the way she did during official engagements with Charles. 

Princess Diana and Prince Charles visit Cornwall
Princess Diana and Prince Charles visit Cornwall | Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

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According to Jephson, Diana smiled and laughed more than she normally might, to annoy Charles.

“Diana enjoyed upstaging her husband and if she was laughing and smiling more it wasn’t that she was having more fun but that she knew it got on his nerves,” he said. 

Jephson also shared Diana and Charles were “unbeatable” in the royal family when it came to presenting themselves publicly.

“As professional royal performers they were unbeatable, but behind the scenes it was quite different,” he said. “They didn’t talk to each other, there was minimal eye contact, they were short-tempered with each other.

Princess Diana cried during Australia royal tour

In 1983, when the couple visited Australia on a royal tour, the veneer of their happy marriage started to crack. Charles and Diana were good about presenting themselves to the world as the image of a happy couple but that changed when Diana broke down crying outside the Sydney Opera House. 

Surrounded by crowds and press who captured the moment, Diana started crying. She wept for a few minutes while Charles sat beside her not acknowledging her tears. 

Princess Diana and Prince Charles in a car outside the Sydney Opera House
Princess Diana and Prince Charles visit the Sydney Opera House in 1983 | Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

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Ken Lennox, a royal photographer who witnessed the moment, spoke with ITV about what he saw. 

“Diana burst into tears and wept for a couple of minutes,” he said. “I don’t think Charles noticed. If he had it was typical of him to look the other way.”

“That was the first sign something was wrong and we then began to see other things happening,” he added. 

Charles and Diana never have a very happy marriage and it only got worse with time. By the end of 1992, the couple announced their separation and in 1996 they officially divorced.

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