The engagement of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles was met with much fanfare in 1981, and the pair wed in a whimsical royal wedding later that year. Princess Diana instantly captured people’s hearts, and the royal couple’s popularity only grew as they welcomed their sons Prince William and Prince Harry. But in the mid-1980s, the cracks began to form in Charles and Diana’s relationship.
Although Prince Charles and Princess Diana often appeared happy together in the early years of their marriage, it wasn’t long before their relationship began to falter.
It is thought Prince Charles rekindled his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles around 1986, while both remained married to other people.
Charles and Camilla have known each other since the 1970s and dated before Camilla married her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles.
Diana was also thought to have had an affair with her riding instructor, Major James Hewitt, around this time.
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The early 1990s
Prince Charles and Princess Diana embarked on what would be their final joint tour abroad in 1992 to South Korea.
Photos from the trip showed the couple were incredibly unhappy, and in December of that year their separation was announced.
Then prime minister John Major announced in the House of Commons: “It is announced from Buckingham Palace that, with regret, the Prince and Princess of Wales have decided to separate.
The breakdown of Charles and Diana’s marriage was played out on TV, with Charles famously admitting to being unfaithful in the ITV documentary ‘Charles: The Private Man, the Public Role’ in 1994.
Charles said he had been faithful to Diana until their marriage “became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried”.
The night the documentary aired, Diana famously appeared in what has since been dubbed the ‘Revenge Dress’ at a dinner at the Serpentine Gallery in London.
In 1995, Diana said there were “three” people in her marriage in an interview with Martin Bashir for BBC Panorama.
A report by Lord Dyson found last year that the BBC had covered up the “deceitful behaviour” Mr Bashir used to secure the interview, and the broadcaster has pledged to never air it again.
Charles and Diana would officially divorce in 1996 after 15 years of marriage, and Diana continued to reside at Kensington Palace.
In a royal snub, however, Diana was no longer permitted to use the HRH honorific she had received after marriage.
Diana died at the age of 36 in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.
Charles and Camilla would marry at the Windsor Guildhall in 2005.