Even though she was warned and there were signs of how her future was going to be, Diana chose to follow her heart, but it all went spiraling down.
A lot of times we think that the first person we met and fell in love with will be our "forever." But it's not true always. Sometimes the spark felt in the initial days dies out pretty soon and we're left wondering if something went wrong.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles' relationship is proof that not all things work as planned or imagined. The couple had issues since the beginning of their married life which didn't end until their divorce in 1996. The love that was portrayed in front of the people or the media never existed. While there were rumors of the infidelity of Prince Charles which were later confirmed, a young Diana was believed to have been excited to marry the Prince.
The couple had met only 13 times when Prince Charles proposed the 19-year-old Diana with a diamond and sapphire ring. But the ring's bling and Diana's happiness soon faded when an incident from the night before the engagement broke her heart and seemed to make her realize how her future was going to be.
In the controversial 1992 biography Diana - Her True Story by Andrew Morton, the author wrote about the scene in detail and the young and shy Diana's feelings.
"The night before the engagement announcement, which took place on February 24, 1981, she packed a bag, hugged her loyal friends, and left Coleherne Court forever. She had an armed Scotland Yard bodyguard for company, Chief Inspector Paul Officer, a philosophical policeman who is fascinated by runes, mysticism, and the after-world. As she prepared to say goodbye to her private life, he told her: 'I just want you to know that this is the last night of freedom in your life so make the most of it.' Those words stopped her in her tracks," he wrote, according to Express UK.
"They felt like a sword through my heart," she said, as per Morton.
It is believed that Princess Grace had warned Diana about the changes she's going to face once a part of the royal family. According to Express UK, Grace Kelly had given up her Hollywood career to marry Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956. She was also the one who helped Diana through her first outing as Prince Charles' fiancee at the musical recital at Goldsmiths’ Hall on March 3, 1981. It had only been a week since the announcement of the engagement.
Describing the scenario, Kelly said, "I remember meeting Princess Grace and how wonderful and serene she was -‒ but there was troubled water under her, I saw that," said Diana, as quoted by Morton in his book.
The 19-year-old had opened up to Kelly about her fears for the future since she too had been an outsider who joined the royal family. Kelly gave her a stark warning instead of words of support. "Don’t worry, it’ll only get worse."
Prince Charles, on the other hand, was a silent puppet to the royal family's wishes. Parental pressure had reportedly made him marry Diana. Looking at all the attention that the family was receiving from the reports of Prince Charles and Diana's relationship, Prince Philip had given his son two options, either to marry Diana or leave her. As a result, the Prince proposed Diana in the feat of doing "this country and for my family," according to History Extra.
While the world was happy, the misery Prince faced with the idea of marrying Diana was so strong that he cried the night before his wedding. According to the 2017 biography Charles: The Misunderstood Prince by Sally Bedell Smith, standing by the window he had asked his then valet, "Stephen. Is it possible to love two women at the same time?"
Diana too revealed that just moments after her engagement she wanted to call it off. According to the secret tapes of Diana which was later released as a documentary, Diana: In Her Own Words, she recalled her interaction with her sisters on that day and said, "I went upstairs, had lunch with my sisters who were there, and I said, 'I can’t marry him. I can’t do this. This is absolutely unbelievable.' And they were wonderful and said, 'Well, bad luck, Duch. Your face is on the tea towel, so you’re too late to chicken out,'" reported Cheat Sheet.
Even though there were clear signs that this pair wasn't meant to live a fairytale, Diana and Prince Charles married each other but lived a miserable, toxic, and emotionally draining married life until their separation in 1992, followed by the divorce in 1996. Just one year later Diana passed away in a tragic accident in 1997.