What Prince Charles and Princess Diana Did to Tip Off the Press That Their Marriage Was Falling Apart
Once upon a time, a British prince and beautiful princess tied the knot in a storybook wedding. But their marriage was far from a fairy tale.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana wowed fans with their lavish royal wedding, but they shocked many when they announced that they were separating. The press, however, speculated years before the public announcement that the Prince and Princess of Wales were having marital problems. Here’s what Charles and Diana did on a trip abroad that was one of the first signs that things between them were not good.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana slept in separate suites in Portugal
In her secretly recorded tapes to biographer Andrew Morton, Princess Diana revealed that her marriage to the heir apparent really started to break down in 1984 after their second son, Prince Harry, was born. It’s also been reported that Charles and his former flame Camilla Parker Bowles’ extramarital affair heated up again in 1986.
During a trip to Portugal in 1987, the prince and his wife did something that gave the press a clear sign of their troubles when they arranged to stay in separate rooms during the tour.
The couple insisting on staying in different suites fueled speculation back in the U.K. that they were unhappy together and may even decide to split.
Things were worse during their trip to South Korea
Charles and Diana stayed together for the next few years but it was evident to just about everyone on their visit to South Korea in November 1992, that they likely weren’t going to work things out and a separation was imminent.
In nearly every photo from that trip the pair looked “miserable.”
James Whitaker, who was The Mirror‘s correspondent on their visit to Seoul, told the publication: “They arrived in Korea with orders to present the image of a loving couple. Instead, stony-faced, they ignored each other, not even exchanging a look. Their eyes never met. There was no physical contact. It was as if they were two strangers.”
Speaking to Yahoo’s The Royal Box, photographer Arthur Edwards said: “It was only when we went to Korea, the last tour, when you knew it was all over then because they couldn’t bear to be in each other’s company.”
When their separation was finally announced
On Dec. 9, 1992, mere weeks after their South Korea trip concluded, the announcement everyone expected was made.
The New York Times noted that the news was announced by then-Prime Minister John Major during a television appearance in which he read a statement from Buckingham Palace.
“This decision has been reached amicably and they will both continue to participate fully in the upbringing of their children,” Major read from the text. The statement also said that ”Their royal highnesses [would] continue to carry out full and separate programs of public engagements, and will from time to time attend family occasions and national events together.”
In August 1996, the Prince and Princess of Wales divorced, one year before Diana’s tragic death.
On April 9, 2005, Charles married his longtime mistress Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.