Princess Diana remains one of the most beloved public figures in the world, even years after her tragic death. Her story remains a major pull for fans and tabloid journalists alike, but it’s unlikely we’ll ever know the full extent of the People’s Princess’s life (or, indeed, her death, which still has questions hanging over it). Thankfully, Diana’s legacy lives on in her sons, Princes William and Harry, both of whom continue to pay tribute to her.
When it comes to Diana’s short-lived marriage to Prince Charles, it’s clear theirs was an unhappy union. The couple married in 1981, announced they were splitting up in 1992, and finalized their divorce just four years later. In 1997, Diana was tragically killed in a car crash, with certain dark corners of the internet convinced there was some sort of conspiracy involved (via Independent). Regardless, even Diana knew something was wrong from the get-go.
Princess Diana’s body language said it all
The Latin Times notes that, when engaged couple Charles and Diana sat down for an interview with the BBC’s Angela Rippon, it was clear from Diana’s body language she wasn’t sure about the union. Rippon wished them all the best and the Princess looked down at her feet in response. “Goodness, maybe we should have read so much more into that five seconds at the end of the interview. That expression on Diana’s face at the end speaks volumes… Might have told so much more about what was to come,” Rippon recalled.
As Cheat Sheet notes, Diana may have known she was being treated as second best even based on Charles’s choice of engagement ring. He selected a so-called “commoner’s ring” from a catalog rather than a family heirloom, or even a custom-made piece of jewelry (the Prince of Wales notably gave his second wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, a ring that belonged to the Queen when he proposed to her).
Diana confided in her sisters before the wedding
Princess Diana had doubts just days before she walked down the aisle, too, according to Diana: Her True Story. She allegedly discovered a gold chain bracelet, engraved with the initials “F” and “G,” which was meant as a gift for Charles’s then-mistress, Camilla (the letters stood for Fred and Gladys, reportedly their pet names for each other). Diana confronted Charles, but he insisted on giving it to Camilla anyway, leading the People’s Princess to confide in her sisters about her growing hesitation.
She even considered calling the wedding off. However, when Diana told her sisters how she was feeling, “They 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.'” Poor Diana ended up going through with it, of course, setting in motion a series of events that would alter the course of history forever.