Princess Diana Wasn't the 1st Person Prince Charles Proposed To – Meet the Women Who Turned Him Down

Cheryl Kahla
Jul 29, 2021
07:52 A.M.
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Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana's relationship was the center of discussion for years, but there were a few facts hidden away from the public that not a lot of people know of. 

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It has been 40 long years since Charles and Diana's lavish royal wedding. While it was a spectacle that the world tuned into, there's actually more than meets the eye when it comes to their relationship. 

Prince Charles and Diana tied the knot back in 1981 at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, and the ceremony was watched by more than 750 million people from around the world. However, before Prince Charles asked Diana to marry him, he had his eye on two other women: Anna Wallace and a distant cousin, Lady Amanda Knatchbull.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles pose with their sons Princes Harry and William on board royal yacht Britannia during their visit to Venice, Italy, on May 6, 1985 | Getty Images

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HIS NOT-SO-SECRET LOVE

It's no secret that Prince Charles was in love with Camilla Parker Bowles long before he met Diana, but she went on to marry Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973.  The two were in an on-and-off relationship, as Camilla was considered an unsuitable bride from the beginning. 

For starters, she was considered a "commoner." Although she was from an upper-class background, it was not enough for her to be deemed worthy of becoming the future queen of England. 

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HIS TWO FAILED PROPOSALS

Before dating Diana, the future king of England made two proposals to Anna Wallace and Lady Amanda. The former turned down his proposal for the simple reason of not settling for second-best, as everybody knew that Charles was head-over-heels for Camilla. 

He then proposed to Amanda, his second cousin through his great uncle and her grandfather, Lord Mountbatten. He was the one who suggested to Charles that she would make the perfect companion for him. 

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HIS COUSIN AMANDA

Unfortunately, Lord Mountbatten was assassinated by the IRA in 1979, and Amanda also lost her grandmother and younger brother. As Charles proposed soon after his granduncle's death, Amanda was grieving and did not want the scrutiny of being in the royal family.  

Amanda is known today as Lady Ellingworth, having married Charles Vincent Ellingworth 10 years after Prince Charles proposed. They share three children, aged between 21 and 26, and Amanda works as the director of several NGOs. 

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HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH DIANA

With the love of his life married to another man and two other prospects rejecting him, Prince Charles was a desperate bachelor at 32 years old, keen on selecting a companion who could give him an heir. In February 1981, he was betrothed to Diana Spencer, and they got married five months later on July 29, 1981. 

While on honeymoon in Balmoral, Scotland, in 1981, Diana showed resentment over Charles' solitary habits. He always wanted to be alone instead of spending time with her, and she was jealous of Camilla after discovering photos of her in his diary along with cufflinks with intertwined C's. 

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A PROBLEM FROM THE BEGINNING

Realizing she was in a loveless marriage, she experienced drastic weight loss due to depression-induced anorexia. She also started to exhibit outbursts of anger, to the point that she would hit Charles while he knelt for his nightly prayers.

The pair share two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. While they raised their sons together, by the year 1992, Charles and Diana announced their separation.

Prince Harry and Prince William watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018. | Photo: Getty Images

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SETTLING DOWN WITH HIS TRUE LOVE

Four years later, in August 1996, they were formally divorced. However, the Princess of Wales' freedom was short-lived after she died following a car crash in Paris a year later, in August 1997. 

Following Diana's death, Charles eventually found his own fairytale after reuniting with Camilla, who divorced her husband in December 1994 after 21 years of marriage. The prince then married Camilla in 2005, more than three decades after he first fell in love with her and eight years after Diana's death. 

It took years for Camilla to be accepted as his wife finally, and the public was very critical of their relationship through the years. However, while she was once the "most hated royal," many now consider her to be worthy of being queen and the stepmother to Charles' two sons. 

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