15 photos show how Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ relationship changed over time

charles and diana relationship

  • Prince Charles and Princess Diana got married at St Paul's Cathedral in London on July 29, 1981.
  • Their marriage faced obstacles, including Charles' relationship with Camilla-Parker Bowles and the attention Diana received from the press, from the very beginning. 
  • Diana once called her marriage to the prince "the worst day of my life."
  • However, the couple still experienced happy memories together throughout their 15-year marriage. Diana said they were at their closest just before their second child, Prince Harry, was born. 
  • Here's how their relationship changed through the years.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The then-Lady Diana Spencer first met Prince Charles in 1977, when he was casually dating her sister Lady Sarah (pictured). Diana was just 16 at the time, and Charles was 28.

Diana and Charles re-connected in 1980, three years after they first met. The press attention was an obstacle from the beginning of their relationship — this photo shows Diana being followed by photographers shortly before their engagement.

Diana and Charles announced their engagement on February 24, 1981. When asked by an interviewer whether they were in love, Diana responded: "Of course." Charles said: "Whatever in love means."

They tied the knot at St Paul's Cathedral in London on July 29, 1981. They had their first kiss on the Buckingham Palace balcony, becoming the first royal couple to share their wedding kiss with the public.

In audio footage of Diana which was later shared in the documentary "Diana: In Her Own Words," the princess called her wedding "the worst day of my life."

The couple had their honeymoon in Balmoral, Scotland, where the royal family's holiday estate is. Diana revealed in the documentary that she saw Charles wearing a pair of cufflinks gifted to him by Camilla during their vacation.

In 1983 they took their first overseas tour together in Australia with their firstborn, Prince William. It was the tour that secured Diana's position as the "people's princess," and the increasing press attention she received reportedly made Charles jealous.

Source: Vogue

Diana and Charles shared this sweet moment at a polo match in July 1984, two months before Prince Harry was born. Diana said in the documentary that they were "the closest we've ever, ever been and the closest we'll ever be" during this period.

Their marriage "went down the drain" when Harry was born in 1984, according to Diana. Here they are with their second-born son on the hospital steps shortly after his birth.

However, the couple still displayed affection in public throughout the years that followed. Here they are sharing a kiss at a polo match in 1985 …

… and another kiss during their visit to Oman the following year.

With their two children, William and Harry, the Wales family appeared picture-perfect from an outside perspective.

Behind the scenes, however, things weren't working out. The couple officially separated in 1992, and continued to carry out their royal duties privately. They didn't divorce until four years later, in 1996.

They still appeared in public together as a family in the years between their separation and divorce — here they are with William and Harry in 1994. This was also the year that Charles admitted he had an affair, saying he had remained faithful until the relationship "became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried."

Source: Insider

Diana shared her side of the story during the now-famous BBC Panorama interview in 1995, where she said "there were three of us in the marriage, so it was a bit crowded."

Diana lost her HRH status after the divorce, and her title was re-styled to Diana, Princess of Wales. 

The princess died from injuries sustained in a car accident in Paris a year later. She was reportedly on good terms with Charles before her death. 

According to Tina Brown's book, "The Diana Chronicles," released in 2008, the couple had become friends after the divorce, although Diana reportedly still had feelings for the prince. The claim has never been officially confirmed. 

"Charles got into the habit of dropping in on her at Kensington Palace and they would have tea and a sort of rueful exchange," Brown wrote, according to Elle. "They even had some laughs together."

"It was definitely calming down, the boys were older. They talked about their philanthropies. And she had accepted Camilla. One thing she had finally done was really understand that Camilla was the love of his life, and there was just nothing she could do about it … But she said to me at that lunch that she would go back to Charles in a heartbeat if he wanted her," Brown wrote.

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