Why Princess Diana Nearly Called Off Her Wedding To King Charles

Over two decades after her death, Princess Diana still remains an enigma to the world. This is only made more evident by contemporary media — "The Crown" on Netflix, for example, goes into the dynamics of Diana's relationship with King Charles, and BBC recently resurfaced an investigation on a taped 1995 interview with journalist Martin Bashir. Diana has always struck a chord with the public for being the victim of an extramarital affair between King Charles and Queen Camilla. She's also someone whose tragic death, until this day, raises suspicion from conspiracy theorists

Diana's sons, Prince Harry and William, Prince of Wales, fondly recall the People's Princess as a kind and loving figure. Harry, who has been particularly protective of his mother's legacy — even closely tracking BBC's investigation, according to Vanity Fair — recalled her as "the best mother ever... who brought a breath of fresh air to everything she did."

However, the relationship between Diana and Charles was much less positive. The couple's marriage disintegrated over a decade after they tied the knot, ending a divorce that was finalized in 1996, but doubts were cast about the couple's relationship as early as their marriage day by Princess Diana herself. 

Was there trouble in paradise for Charles and Diana before their marriage?

While King Charles and Princess Diana's wedding was celebrated with over 2,600 guests and sparked interest from over 1 billion viewers all over the world who tuned in to see the wedding cast on television, their relationship was already raising flags for Diana behind-the-scenes. Their body language during their first interview with BBC journalist Angela Rippon as an engaged couple, for example, revealed the two were unsure about their union from the get-go, the Los Angeles Times suggested.

Rippon said their body language was tense, with King Charles deferring to Princess Diana when the royal journalist wished them her best for their union and Princess Diana looking at her feet. "Goodness, maybe we should have read so much more into that five seconds at the end of the interview," Rippon said. "That expression on Diana's face at the end speaks volumes... gosh. Might have told so much more about what was to come."

Another red — or should we say, sapphire? — flag was hiding in plain site. Instead of the highly valued heirloom belonging to his grandmother that King Charles gave his then-mistress, Camilla, or custom-making an engagement ring, he gave Diana what was dubbed a "commoner's ring" or a ring that was a stock item and could be bought by anyone.

Princess Diana found a gold bracelet meant for Camilla

While the fallout between Princess Diana and King Charles is now well-documented, with Diana going down in history as the favorable one, it wasn't always that way. In fact, King Charles' PR team had done a successful job branding Diana's speculation early on in the relationship as evidence of mental health problems by leaking stories to the media. While Diana was later proven right in her doubts about Charles' infidelity, even her own sister at one point sidestepped her expressed concerns.

Diana apparently encountered a huge red flag prior to their wedding, when she found a gold chain bracelet engraved with initials for Charles and Camilla's nicknames, Fred and Gladys (F and G). Diana broached Charles about it, who proceeded to give the trinket to Camilla anyway, and even considered calling the wedding off. "This was about two weeks before we got married," Diana revealed in a taped interview with her biographer Andrew Morton (via Express).

However, according to Diana: Her True Story in her Own Words, her sisters "made light of her fears and premonitions of the disaster which lay ahead. 'Bad luck, Duch,' they said, using the family nickname for their younger sister, 'your face is on the tea-towels so you're too late to chicken out.'" The two ended up tying the knot anyhow, and well, the rest went down in history. 

Diana's marriage to Charles suffered

In the Netflix documentary, "Diana: In Her Own Words," we can hear Lady Di's forlorn voice as she recalls the early betrayals done to her by King Charles III before they were even married. In March of 1981, four months before they married in July, footage emerged of Diana sobbing in a red coat at the airport as King Charles, then the Prince of Wales, was about to embark on a five-week trip to Australia, per Mamamia. According to the People's Princess, her tears had "nothing to do with him going. The most awful thing had happened before he went ... I was in his study talking to him about his trip. The telephone rang. It was Camilla." She admitted that she decided to play nice and leave her fiance to his phone call with his mistress, rather than raise a fuss. " And it just broke my heart, that," she sadly recalled.

In her controversial 1995 interview with Martin Bashir, Diana once said, "I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts, in people's hearts, but I don't see myself being the queen of this country," per Insider. Alas, she was right. When Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8, Camilla Parker Bowles became queen consort of the UK and the commonwealth — a title many at one time believed would be Diana's.