Princess Diana Once Revealed It Took Her ‘6 Years’ To Feel Comfortable In the Royal Family: ‘It Was Too Much’

Princess Diana’s life wasn’t the fairytale that everyone had imagined upon watching her walk down the aisle with Prince Charles. The princess often struggled with spotlight, admitting that it took her years to feel comfortable within the royal family.

Diana’s recordings, which she sent to royal biographer Andrew Morton in the 1990s, revealed what it was really like for her to adapt to such a high-profile family.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles
Princess Diana and Prince Charles | Tim Graham/Getty Images

Princess Diana struggled with the spotlight

When Diana and Charles began dating, she suddenly went from a commoner, unknown to the public, to one of the highest-profile women in the world. Diana and Charles only went on 12 dates before he proposed, so Diana’s transition to royalty happened quickly. Diana later sent recordings to Andrew Morton, detailing what life as a royal was truly like behind closed doors.

The princess often struggled with depression in the royal family, mentioning that the royals tried to get her to take medication, but she refused. Her marriage to Charles was crumbling before it even got off the ground, and she once threw herself down the stairs in an effort to get his attention, which didn’t work. Needless to say, Diana didn’t feel like herself for years after marrying into the family.

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | Vincent Amalvy/AFP/Getty Images

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Diana revealed it took her ‘6 years’ to feel comfortable within the royal family

There was tension between Diana and the other royals, mostly due to her mental health. Plus, it was clear to everyone that she and Charles were not happily married, which only made things more difficult.

In her recordings, Diana revealed that adjusting to the royal family was no easy feat. “When I first arrived on the scene, I’d always put my head down,” she said, adding that it was because she was “terrified” rather than “sulky.”

“I was just so frightened of the attention I was getting. It took me six years to get comfortable in this skin, and now I’m ready to go forward.” Diana recalled that “it was too much” for her to handle at the time, going from a nobody to a princess. She also revealed that she was too scared to do any royal engagements on her own at first, so she tagged along with Prince Charles wherever he went.

Princess Diana with Prince William and Prince Harry
Princess Diana with Prince William and Prince Harry | Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Diana and Charles’ marriage should never have happened

More than a decade after Charles and Diana wed, they officially separated, mostly because Charles’ longtime affair with Camilla Parker Bowles had unraveled. But the truth was that Charles had always wanted to be with Camilla; rumors suggest Queen Elizabeth didn’t see Camilla as a good fit for the prince.

Had Charles been able to be with his partner of choice, his wedding to Diana likely never would have happened. It certainly would have spared her from the difficulties of royal life, though the world never would have had the chance to meet the real “People’s Princess.”

Charles ultimately married Camilla after Princess Diana’s death, and since then, both he and Camilla have worked to build their reputation among the public.