Was Princess Diana’s Marriage to Prince Charles Doomed From the Start?

Princess Diana first met Prince Charles in 1977. Diana was just a child at the time and played with Charles’ brothers, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. They were 13 years apart in age, with Prince Charles being her senior. Their courtship, marriage, and subsequent divorce were widely publicized in a media frenzy that surrounded their lives. They were married in 1981 but some believe their lavish wedding and marriage was doomed from the very beginning.

Was Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles doomed?

The Royal Family
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales with Prince William | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

A royal expert and biographer, Penny Junor, provides evidence in the book The Duchess: The Untold Story, that the marriage between Diana and Charles was doomed from the start because of a fateful encounter Charles had already made before ever walking down the aisle.  

Prince Charles had already met Camilla, later the Duchess of Cornwall, and they fell in love instantly, according to their mutual friend, Lucia Santa Cruz. They met in 1971 and their lives would never be the same.

A friend introduced Prince Charles to Camilla

“Lucia decided her friend needed to meet the Prince of Wales, who had no satisfactory girlfriend, and so she contrived to introduce them to one another,” wrote Junor. “It happened on an evening in 1971 when Lucia and the Prince had arranged to go out together; she told him to come early, she had ‘just the girl’ for him and described Camilla as having ‘enormous sympathy, warmth, and natural character.’”

Prince Charles fell hard for Camilla

Prince Charles and Camilla
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

According to Junor, they each felt an immense attraction to one another. They met at Cruz’s apartment and Camilla proceeded to laugh at every amusing thing he said. “He loved the fact that she smiled with her eyes as well as her mouth, and laughed at the same silly things as he did,” Junor noted.

“He also liked that she was so natural and easy and friendly, not in any way overawed by him, not fawning or sycophantic,” she continued. “In short, he was very taken with her, and after that first meeting he began ringing her up.”

The two went their separate ways

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall | Rob Jefferies/Getty Images

As reported by The Telegraph, Charles wasn’t quite ready to settle down and they eventually split. Camilla went on to marry cavalry officer Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973 and would eventually divorce as well. Some may say that the two knew they were destined to be with one another, so their marriages to others didn’t work out.

Camilla talked to Prince Charles about royal affairs

Prince of Wales and Camilla
Clarence House official handout photo of the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall | Hugo Burnand/Pool/Getty Images

According to the documentary Royal Stories: Episode 5 – Camilla Parker Bowles, Camilla tantalized Prince Charles with stories of royal affairs. It would eventually lead to their extramarital relations while Prince Charles was still married to Princess Diana.

“Camilla apparently captivated Charles by talking about royal mistresses. Her great-grandmother, Alice Keppel, had had an affair with Charles’ great-great-grandfather, Edward VII, 73 years earlier. Edward was a serial womanizer with 11 mistresses,” the documentary’s narrator revealed.

Prince Charles and Camilla had an affair

Prince Charles and Camilla
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall | Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

During the failed marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Charles had an affair with Camilla that started in 1986. Princess Diana and Prince Charles divorced in 1996. Charles would eventually go on to marry Camilla in 2005 and they have been together ever since.

Many royal fans believe that the marriage between Princess Diana and Prince Charles was doomed from the beginning because of his fateful meeting with Camilla, who never seemed to truly leave his thoughts for long.