Princess Diana ‘Looking Miserable’ in Taj Mahal Photo and Other Pictures Told Public Her Marriage to Prince Charles Was Over, Experts Say

Before Princess Diana and Prince Charles shared that they were divorcing, there was one clear moment where the world could have seen it coming. A photo of Princess Diana — alone and “looking miserable” — at the Taj Mahal signaled that their marriage was in shambles.

Princess Diana sits in front of the Taj Mahal during a visit to India
Princess Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

The famous photo of Diana was very revealing

It was evident that there was tension between Diana and Charles when they were photographed in South Korea and India in 1992, but it was a photo of Diana by herself outside the Taj Mahal that seemed to indicate things were over between them. The couple had been on a royal tour of India and she went to see the Taj Mahal on her own while her husband attended a business meeting.

In the 2013 documentary Royalty Close Up: The Photography of Kent Gavin, royal biographer Anthony Holden explained the significance of the picture.

“Towards the end, during what we called the War of the Waleses, she certainly knowingly consciously used the press photographers, particularly that famous picture of her alone and looking miserable outside the Taj Mahal,” Holden explained.

He added, “It was kind of a postcard home to the general public to say ‘I’m not happy in this marriage, there are three people.’” That was the phrase Diana used in a 1995 interview with Martin Bashir when she spoke of Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” she told Bashir.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles kiss during a prize giving ceremony at a polo match in Jaipur during a visit to India
Princess Diana and Prince Charles | Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

The photo signaled it was over

That very simple photo, it seemed, shared a huge message with the world. Diana looked tiny compared to the giant monument, not another person in sight, and so lonely.

The photo was no accident — and the picture making its way into the press said so much about their marriage. “The marriage was completely apart, it was hopeless, it had broken down, it was ‘no speaking’ on a major scale,” broadcaster and journalist Anne Robinson explained.

She added, “And the minx of Diana went and photographed herself sitting alone on this bench; it really marks the point at which the public became aware she had no deal within that family any longer.”

Diana thwarted Charles’ PDA

If that image of Diana at the Taj Mahal didn’t get the message across, another photo from that trip certainly shouted it. A photo was captured of Diana ignoring Charles’ kiss when they attended a polo match later during that same trip.

Royal photographer Kent Gavin explained how he had asked royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter at the time, “Is there any chance Charles will give Diana a kiss?” Arbiter, who was clued in to the couple’s tension, told him, “We’re not going to get anything like that.”

“Anyway the message got to Diana and it got to Charles,” Gavin shared. “Charles tried to kiss her and she turned her back on him and he’s kissing the back of her neck.”

Prince Charles and Princess Diana during their tour of South Korea in 1992
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | Anwar Hussein/WireImage

They were nicknamed ‘The Glums’

When they went on their final tour together that year in South Korea, the cameras again captured the reality of their fractured relationship. They even were dubbed “The Glums” because of their body language and facial expressions.

One photo showed them disinterested in each other, bored, unhappy, and looking in different directions. “The picture that summed up everything about the break up was the trip to South Korea,” Gavin noted. “They were called The Glums. They were not happy.”

“Even when they were standing together, they were looking at each other like that — she was bored, he was bored,” he added. “We ran the picture of the two of them looking in opposite directions. The whole trip was simply not right.”