Here's Everything Prince Charles & Princess Diana Said About Their Relationship

There are few things I love more than a royal wedding (see you on May 19, Harry and Meghan!) — though there's one glaring exception. As any royal fan worth their soul can tell you, the union of the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles (William and Harry's parents) was far from a storybook romance. Sure, their wedding at St. Paul's Cathedral in London was among the most iconic in history. But, as both Princess Diana & Prince Charles' quotes about their marriage indicate, their love was... well... nothing like the "incredible," "romantic," and "very happy" affair that Meghan Markle has described her relationship with Prince Harry to be.

If you haven't read a dozen books on the royal family like I have (everyone needs a hobby, OK?), I'll catch you up. Prince Charles and Princess Di got married in 1981 — mere weeks after Diana's 20th birthday — but many felt their union was more of an obligation than a celebration of love. Rumor has it, Charles felt pressured to settle down and marry Diana after they'd been dating for just a few short weeks (though Charles was truly in love with Camilla Parker Bowles, now his wife and the Duchess of Cornwall).

Not long into their marriage, Charles began an affair with the then-married Camilla, and "whatever" love had once existed between himself and Diana seemingly unravelled as a result. The pair eventually divorced in 1996 — when Prince William was 14, and Prince Harry 11 — and Diana was tragically killed in a car accident in Paris the next year.

Though neither Charles nor Diana spoke much about their relationship while Diana was alive (nor has Charles spoken much about the princess publicly since her death), these various snippets give us a sense of what their marriage must have been like, and it's a bit heartbreaking. But I'll let you read for yourself — here are 11 of Diana and Charles' quotes about their relationship and marriage.

On Their Engagement

1. "Of course [we're in love]."

"Whatever 'in love' means."

— Diana and Charles, during their engagement interview (what every bride-to-be wants to hear!).

2. "He said: 'Will you marry me?' and I laughed. I remember thinking, 'This is a joke,' and I said: 'Yeah, OK,' and laughed. He was deadly serious. He said: 'You do realize that one day you will be queen.' And a voice said to me inside: 'You won't be queen but you'll have a tough role.' So I thought 'OK,' so I said: 'Yes.' I said: 'I love you so much, I love you so much.' He said: 'Whatever love means."'

— Diana (as told to Andrew Morton, author of Diana: Her True Story — In Her Own Words)

On Their Wedding Day

3. "The night before the wedding I was very, very calm, deathly calm. I felt I was a lamb to the slaughter. I knew it and couldn't do anything about it."

— Diana (as told to Andrew Morton)

4. "We still cannot get over what happened that day. Neither of us can get over the atmosphere; it was electric, I felt, and so did my wife ... It made us both extraordinarily proud to be British."

Charles (1981, three months after his wedding to Diana)

5. "As I was walking down the aisle of St. Paul’s on my father’s arm, I thought, ‘What on Earth am I doing here?’"

— Diana (as allegedly told to James Hewitt, her later lover, in Diana: I'm Going To Be Me: The People's Princess Revealed In Her Own Words by Phil Dampier)

On Their Honeymoon

6. “I was bored, it was like being stuck with an 80-year-old man.”

— Diana (as allegedly told to healer Simone Simmons, in Diana: I'm Going To Be Me: The People's Princess Revealed In Her Own Words)


On Charles' Infidelity

7. "Charles must be wearing beer goggles to have an affair with Camilla."

— Diana (as she allegedly told her hair stylist Richard Dalton in Diana: I'm Going To Be Me: The People's Princess Revealed In Her Own Words )

8. "Do you seriously expect me to be the first Prince of Wales in history not to have a mistress?"

— Charles (as quoted in The Daily Mail in 1994)

9. "Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."

— Diana (as told to BBC's Martin Bashir in 1995)

On Their Separation

10. “God knows what the future will hold.”

— Charles (in an alleged private letter after his separation from Diana, in December 1992)

11. "People think that, at the end of the day, a man is the only answer. Actually, a fulfilling job is better for me."

— Diana (as told to BBC's Martin Bashir in 1995)

Heartbreaking as these quotes may be, it looks like William and Harry are both on track to have much more fulfilling marriages than their parents' (particularly if Harry and Meghan's own engagement interview is any indication). We may not know what the future holds, but I've got a feeling it's bright for Ms. Markle and Prince Harry.

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