Princess Diana’s Wedding to Prince Charles Gave Several Hints That Their Marriage Was Doomed

Princess Diana and Prince Charles had a rocky marriage to say the least. Though things seemed fine on the outside, on the inside, things were spiraling before their marriage even fully got off the ground. Charles rekindled an affair with his former love (now wife), Camilla Parker Bowles, several years after marrying Diana, but even on his honeymoon with Diana, things weren’t what they should have been. And it turns out, there were some pretty big hints at their wedding that the marriage wasn’t going to last.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles on their wedding day.
Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Diana reportedly told her family she didn’t want to marry Charles right before the wedding

Though Diana and Charles seemed to be a great match to the public, behind the scenes, there were very different emotions. According to royal biographer Andrew Morton, Diana actually never wanted to go through with the wedding. She reportedly went to her sisters the day before the nuptials would take place and told them she wanted to call it off. “I can’t marry him, I can’t do this, this is absolutely unbelievable,” Diana had said. However, her sisters told her that it was far too late for her to change her mind. Diana realized what they meant, and decided to go through with the wedding anyway.

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

Diana refused to say she would ‘obey’ her husband in their wedding vows

The princess probably didn’t realize this at the time, but she actually set a new unwritten rule when she refused to repeat a part of the wedding vows to Charles. Diana was supposed to say that she would “love, cherish, and obey” her husband during their 1981 wedding vows, however, she instead said that she would have, hold, love, and cherish. Though the term “obey” was clearly outdated by then, it was also Diana’s way of saying she didn’t want to be pushed around by her husband, possibly because they both knew their marriage was not out of love. Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle both omitted the term “obey” from their wedding vows, too.

She even referred to Prince Charles by the wrong name

Besides outright saying she didn’t want to marry Charles, Diana also messed up his name, showing that her mind was clearly elsewhere on the couple’s big day. Instead of referring to him as “Charles Phillip” she referred to him as “Philip Charles,” though it was too difficult for anyone to hear except those who were sitting right at the front of the church. Name flubs, especially in relationships, are always tough to come back from, but there’s nothing quite as bad as saying an incorrect name on the wedding day.

Though it wasn’t obvious at the time, Diana and Charles clearly were not meant to be together. He was in love with someone else the whole time, and she was never truly in love with him. However, they did have two sons together, Prince William and Prince Harry, who were Diana’s world, especially after she and Charles separated upon learning about his affair with Camilla.