The royals" marriage and subsequent divorce were plagued v jealousy, cheating, tabloids and also tragedy.

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The July 1981 wedding the Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer came throughout as a real-life fairy story to the numerous millions the people roughly the human being who watched the ceremony. After year of bachelorhood, the 32-year-old prince had found his princess: a shy, beautiful 20-year-old English aristocrat. However, the true story that this royal relationship was much an ext complicated.

Behind the royal couple's happily-ever-after façade, private conflicts soon erupted, also as the two developed "an heir and also a spare." over time Charles and also Diana's discontent seemed to create an recurring public scandal. Eventually, also the Queen agreed that divorce was the only option.

Splitting up in 1996 offered Charles and Diana the possibility to build separate lives. However Diana's new start was cut short by her tragic death at the age of 36 in 1997. After year of conflict, Charles was left alone to grapple with Diana's ns on a an individual level, and to carry on in the zero of she legacy.

November 1977: Prince Charles meets Lady Diana Spencer

Diana is a 16-year-old schoolgirl once Charles access time Althorp, Diana's home, as a guest of she older sister, Lady sarah Spencer. Despite the void in their eras — Charles is 12 years older — Diana feeling the prince appreciates her, later on saying, "I make a most noise and also he preferred that and he came up to me after dinner and we had actually a huge dance."

She excitedly shares the news the her royal encounter after returning to school.

READ MORE: Was Princess Diana a Commoner prior to Marrying Prince Charles?

November 14, 1978: Diana is invite to a dance at Buckingham royal residence

Diana is ~ above the guestlist because that a dance provided to celebrate the prince's 30th birthday.

July 1980: Diana comforts Charles in ~ a residence party

The prince and Diana satisfy at a home party around a year ~ Charles's mentor, lord Louis "Dickie" Mountbatten, was eliminated by one IRA bomb. She speak him, "You looked for this reason sad when you walked up the aisle at lord Mountbatten's funeral. It to be the most tragic point I've ever before seen. My heart bled for you as soon as I watched. I thought, 'It's wrong, you're lonely, you have to be through somebody to look after ~ you.'" she care and also concern appeal come Charles.

September 1980: Diana visits with the royal family members at Balmoral

This stay, during which Charles teaches Diana to fish, leader the prince to believe that Diana enjoys life in the country.

The push spot the two together at Balmoral and also become interested in this potential partner to the heir to the throne.

READ MORE: Inside Prince Charles' Hunt because that a Bride

September 1980: Diana poses for an iconic photo

Pursued through photographers, Diana agrees come pose in ~ the kindergarten whereby she works. A result photo, in which light shines with her skirt to expose her legs, further catches the public's attention. It likewise earns her a compliment from the prince, who supposedly tells her, "I knew your legs were great but ns didn't realize they were the spectacular."

January 1981: Prince Philip urges Charles to make a decision

With the press in a furor around Diana, Prince Philip write a letter to his son, advising Charles either to suggest or to finish things through Diana to safeguard her reputation. Charles look at this as an order from his father.

February 6, 1981: Charles asks Diana come marry him

Charles invites Diana to Windsor Castle and proposes. The expects her to take it time to take into consideration the commitment, offered the requirements that will be inserted on his wife and is surprised when she doesn't hesitate to accept him.

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Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in ~ Buckingham royal residence on the work they announced their engagement, February 24, 1981

Photo: Tim Graham photo Library via Getty Images

February 24, 1981: The royal engagement is announced

Buckingham palace announces the engagement in between Prince Charles and also Lady Diana Spencer. Once asked by one interviewer if they are in love, Diana answers, "Of course," before Charles adds, "Whatever 'in love' means."

Mid-July 1981: Diana find a bracelet Charles plan to provide to Camilla Parker Bowles

Shortly before her wedding, Diana discovers a bracelet significant with a "G" and an "F." The letters either describe Charles's designation the Camilla Parker Bowles, the intended recipient, together his "Girl Friday," or their corresponding nicknames of "Fred" and also "Gladys." Diana is uncomfortable by this proof of she fiancé's closeness with another woman.

READ MORE: Why Camilla Parker Bowles Was thought about Unsuitable because that Prince Charles

July 29, 1981: Charles and Diana's wedding

Despite misgivings on both sides — the night prior to Charles was weeping, while Diana continued her struggle with bulimia — the 2 wed at St. Paul's Cathedral. The ceremony has actually 750 million viewers worldwide.

Princess Diana getting here at St Paul's Cathedral in London, England on she wedding day, July 29, 1981

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Prince Charles and also Princess Diana exiting their wedding ceremony

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Prince Charles and Princess Diana ~ above the procedures of St. Paul's Cathedral following their wedding

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Princess Diana and also Prince Charles ~ above the means to Buckingham royal residence by carriage after their wedding ceremony

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A sketch of Princess Diana's wedding gown

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A map out of Princess Diana's wedding shoes and also parasol

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Formal portrait that Princess Diana in her wedding dress designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel

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Princess Diana and Prince Charles pose in Buckingham royal residence for their official wedding photograph

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Princess Diana's wedding dress designers David and also Elizabeth Emanuel

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Princess Diana through designer David Emanuel at Kensington Palace

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