Princess Diana Pretended to Be Shorter Than Husband Prince Charles Using Sneaky Tricks in Photos

It’s no secret that Princess Diana had a hard time fitting in with the British royal family. While the senior advisors expected Diana to be demure and easy to manipulate, she was headstrong and unafraid of expressing her emotions. Her personality made her popular with royal fans. However, her relationship with Queen Elizabeth and other senior royals suffered.

The Princess of Wales did make some effort to fit in with her new family. One way she accomplished that was by bending to their wishes, which included propping up her new husband Prince Charles.

She even agreed to lie about her height in photos by helping the Prince of Wales appear taller.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana were the same height

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

There are plenty of royal followers who have no idea about the royal family’s big secret: Prince Charles and Princess Diana are both the same height at 5 feet 8 inches tall. But just by looking at photos of the pair you’d never expect that was the case.

Instead, many photos of the Prince of Wales show him standing a head above his wife, which led many to believe he was significantly taller. It turns out that was all due to clever deception which Diana went along with.

Some fans noticed tricks Princess Diana used to appear shorter

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | MSI/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

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Even though Charles and Diana stood eye to eye, photos make it look like Diana is much shorter. She achieved this by strategically positioning herself lower than her husband by slouching or standing slightly downhill. Some critics found this behavior ridiculous or even sexist.

Professor Lisa Wade at the Occidental College said, via The Sun, “This effort to make Charles appear taller is a social commitment to the idea that men are taller and women shorter. When our own bodies, and our chosen mates, don’t follow this rule, sometimes we’ll go to great lengths to preserve the illusion.”

She continued, “When Charles and Diana were posed together formally, however, they were typically arranged so as to suggest that he was significantly taller than her, or at least to disguise the fact that he was not.”

It’s even rumored that Charles stood on a box or wore lifts in his shoes for formal portraits where slouching would not have been appropriate.

Eventually, Diana stopped faking her height

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

When Chares and Diana first got married, the Princess of Wales mostly wore flats and paid attention to her height compared to her husband’s. But as time went on and the marriage began to unravel, Diana stopped caring so much about appearances. Later photos show the Princess of Wales looking visibly taller than Charles and doing nothing to hide that reality.

The whole scandal is a metaphor for how Diana felt about the royal family in general. She stopped worrying what they thought of her and started doing what she wanted.

After separating from Prince Charles in 1992, she didn’t have to worry about slouching ever again.