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Charles' 'Joke' after Harry's Birth Signaled to Diana 'The Beginning of the End of Their Marriage,' Says Book

Lois Oladejo
Mar 25, 2022
09:20 P.M.
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Charles and Diana had a tumultuous marriage that saw them both stoop to cheating at some point — the royal marriage was over long before they ended things legally. And shockingly, Diana's life ended shortly after.

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Charles and Diana had a turbulent relationship. The pair announced their official separation in December 1992 after more than a decade of marriage that produced two sons. 

Her life had been stressful while married to Charles, but it got worse after their divorce because many of the privileges she had always enjoyed stopped even though she still had limited freedom. 

[Left] Prince Charles & Princess Diana leaving hospital after the birth of Prince Harry on 16th September 1984; [Right] Princess Diana at Cirencester Polo Club on June 28, 1984. | Source: Getty Images

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Letters never arrived on their way to her, and trips abroad were often denied. It was a difficult time for Diana and Charles; however, they kept their fans in the loop, and when the divorce was finalized in 1996, she walked away with adequate compensation. 

After they announced their separation, the pair became more outspoken about their ailing relationship, with both giving their side of the story in interviews. Here are the details. 

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing a yellow and navy blue dress and jacket designed by Catherine Walker and a hat by Philip Somerville, visit the National Cemetery on November 2, 1992 in Seoul, South Korea.| Source: Getty Images

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A RELATIONSHIP DOOMED FROM THE VERY BEGINNING 

Those closely acquainted with Charles and Diana's love story will already know that it was a whirlwind affair doomed to end before it even really began.

 Harry was reportedly indifferent, and a little bewildered, but her older son burst into tears. 

During their engagement, Diana stumbled upon a gift her husband-to-be had prepared for the third character in their relationship – Camilla. It was a beautiful gold chain bracelet with a blue enamel disk and the initials G and F entwined into it.

Lady Diana Spencer reveals her sapphire and diamond engagement ring while she and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales pose for photographs in the grounds of Buckingham Palace following the announcement of their engagement. | Source: Getty Images

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According to Diana, the initials were from their nicknames, Gladys and Fred. A staff of Charles' told Diana about the present, and she had gone on to check it out even though she knew how devastated she would be about it. 

She was mad about it, and rightfully so — they were about to get married, and her husband seemed to be deeply taken with Camilla. A few days before their marriage, he took the bracelet to Camilla, and he did so without an escort.

While he was gone, she wandered into his office and met his officer there — it was a clear indication of whom her husband had been with. It saddened Diana, who complained to her sisters about it over lunch. They were gracious about it, but none encouraged her to end things with her blatantly unfaithful fiancé. 

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Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales on board the Royal Yacht Britannia in Gibraltar, at the start of their honeymoon cruise, August 1981. | Source: Getty Images

Diana was a big ball of nerves when they practiced for the upcoming wedding, primarily because of what she knew of her husband's relationship with Camilla. A day before the wedding, Diana had a particularly nasty episode of bulimia, much to the amusement of her sister, who made no efforts to stop her. 

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Reacting to overeating, Diana became sick that night; however, she was fine, calm, and ready to face the storm of her life by morning. Diana kept an eye out for Camilla during the wedding, who she eventually found standing next to her child, Tom. 

After they left the St. Paul Cathedral, where they exchanged vows, Diana and Charles dealt with fans who had come out to wish them well. It made Diana realize just how huge the role she had taken on was.

Princess Diana attending a Gala Evening in aid of Cancer Research at Bridgewater House In London | Source: Getty Images

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After the wedding, they returned to Buckingham Palace, where she observed the remaining activities. The wedding was followed up with a honeymoon to the Broadlands. Diana had hoped that things would go well, but it was dashed by the second day.

On the second night, Diana later revealed that Charles got a couple of books written by Laurens Van Der Post. He read them, and they would analyze them over lunch each day. 

It didn't help things between them, but those activities seemed to make her husband happy, and that was all Diana craved, so she went along with it. Still, despite all that, her bulimia worsened, and her dreams were haunted by Camilla, who had Charles in her hands. 

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Princess Diana sitting on a step at her home, Highgrove House on 18th July 1986. | Source: Getty Images.

It didn't help that Charles also remained in contact with the lady, discussing with her a lot, seeking advice on handling his marriage. 

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People who came around to spend time with them during the honeymoon saw Diana get thinner and thinner, but all they did was stare and treat her like "glass" when she just needed a friend. 

Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry at The "Thorpe Park" Amusement Park on April 13, 1993 | Source: Getty Images

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A TOUGH PREGNANCY 

Diana's first pregnancy was not an easy one because she was dealing with many too many things at the time, chief of which was trying to adapt to seeing many people all the time. 

She wanted nothing more than to be done with it, but there was little choice. Fortunately, Charles supported in the little ways he could, but it was hardly enough. She said:

"So I was 'a problem' and they registered Diana as 'a problem.' 'She's different; she's doing everything that we never did. Why? Poor Charles is having such a hard time.'"

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales leave St Mary's Hospital in Paddington with their baby son, Prince William. | Source: Getty Images

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Not when Diana also had to deal with her bulimia and severe morning sickness, something the royal family had not had to deal with for some time. This made it seem like something was wrong with her and that Charles was suffering for picking such a woman as a bride. 

The sickness became very frequent, but Charles kept his opinions to himself, choosing not to make any suggestions for her. This created even more distance between the couple, and one day to get her husband's attention, Diana threw herself down the stairs at Sandringham. 

He knew it was a ploy to get him to listen to her, but he decided to ignore her, choosing instead to go riding, and upon his return, he dismissed the occasion that had been gruesome enough to shake the Queen herself. 

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Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales leave the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital following the birth of Prince Harry on September 16, 1984 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

THE CLOSEST THEY EVER WERE

Diana and Charles's first child was a boy named William, and he was delivered via C-section. His birth triggered a lot of celebration that somehow left Diana excluded. 

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The same could not be said for their second child because, for some reason, Charles had wanted a girl child. Indeed, Diana would later reveal in a book authored by royal biographer Andrew Morton that the second pregnancy had some bittersweet implications

What she said about the topic was included in the re-release of "Diana: Her True Story — In Her Own Words," It quickly became a best-seller even though the royal family didn't like it much. 

Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, visit Canada, 4th May 1986. | Source: Getty Images

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In the book, Diana revealed that despite all that had happened before, she and Charles had found themselves at a good place about six weeks before the delivery of their second child. 

On September 15, 1984, Harry's birth changed all that, and according to Diana, the marriage ended around that time. She had known her child would be a boy but had hidden it from Charles because she knew he wanted a female child as his second. 

When they finally welcomed their baby, Charles was caught off guard, and his initial reaction was, "Oh God, it's a boy," then, "and he's even got red hair."

Prince William and Prince Harry at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial on April 9, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

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After the birth, Diana admitted that something closed off within her, especially because her husband kept seeing his mistress. She told Morton, who wrote in her biography that this signaled the "the beginning of the end of their marriage," that:

"By then, I knew Charles had gone back to his lady."

Diana's biography was published in 1992, and it featured interviews with the princess herself. But unfortunately, it was all done underground, and the tapes she used to answer his questions were smuggled out by her friend James Colthurst.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles during the Royal Tour of Canada on June 29, 1983 | Source: Getty Images

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THE LOWEST OF LOWS

Charles and Diana's marriage broke down in 1986, and as a result, Charles was at what royal biographer, Penny Junor, described as "a critical sort of low." 

After two mutual friends, concerned for Charles, independently reached out to Camilla and urged her to contact him. She did so, and it jump-started their friendship again.After some time, the two got romantically involved again, but Diana was no longer a contender.

Indeed, the tell-all book she contributed to had forced her and Charles to evaluate their relationship. When he had requested that they separate, she had not resisted the idea even though it made her feel "profound sadness." 

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Princess Diana, keeps her first engagement as a divorced woman, for a visit to the English National Ballet HQ, South Kensington, London, Wednesday 28th August 1996.| Source: Getty Images

HOW THEIR KIDS REACTED

In a book he released in 2011, titled "William and Catherine," biographer Andrew Morton wrote about how William and Harry reacted to the news of their separation.

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Diana drove to Ludgrove, a prep school in Berkshire where William and Harry were boarders, to break the news of their separation to them before it went live. Harry was reportedly indifferent, and a little bewildered but her older son burst into tears. 

Indeed watching Diana get stripped of her royal titles after the divorce, a reportedly petty move by the royals, made William feel disappointed in his family. However, he promised Diana: "I will give it back to you when I am King."

Prince William arrives with Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Harry for his first day at Eton College on September 6, 1995 in Windsor, England.| Source: Getty Images

Little did he know that his mother would pass on before he became king. Then, on August 31, 1997, Diana succumbed to injuries she got during a fatal accident that claimed her driver's life.

She was pronounced dead at 4 a.m. at Paris' PItié-St. Salpêtrière Hospital at age 36. Her death shocked the royal family, and Charles took charge of taking care of her remains. RIP Diana.

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