Their marriage seemed like an uphill climb from the start. And it took a serious toll on both of them, eventually leading to a divorce.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles' wedding in 1981 was nothing short of a spectacle, much like any Royal wedding. However, in the later years, it was their marriage that became the spectacle that the media seemed to be talking about. Behind all that drama was hidden a lot of pain and heartbreak.
Their tumultuous relationship was not easy on either of them. While some feel the issues started a couple of years after their wedding, royal biographer Howard Hodgson feels otherwise. According to Express UK, in his 2007 book, Charles — The Man Who Will Be King, the couple had a pretty ugly spat just a couple of weeks after the wedding.
According to the book, both husband and wife had started confiding in the Prince of Wales’ aide and personal secretary, Michael Colborne, quite early in their marriage. Just two months after the wedding, Diana poured her heart out to Mr. Colborne on a trip to Balmoral.
After reaching the place, the couple continued to have disagreements. Hodgson said, "Later that day, and after they had witnessed another slanging match, the Prince tossed Diana’s wedding ring at Colborne in the dark drive as he prepared to leave for London with the Prince." Continuing, he said, "It was already too big for her finger due to her weight loss and needed to be altered."
After throwing the ring towards his personal secretary, the Prince "rounded on Colborne with an explosion of hot temper concerning a trivial point about his new Range Rover’s carpets." According to the biographer, Charles reportedly “didn’t draw breath for over an hour”, which suggests the temper explosion went on for a long time.
According to Express, Colborne witnessed Diana “disintegrating into a mental wreck” and Charles, the person to whom his loyalties lay, “turned on him over some minor point that hadn’t even been his fault”, all in one day.
The Prince cooled down after a while and then sought the aide's help. They discussed the Prince's marriage and reportedly, Charles said he was “at a loss” to understand why the marriage was going so wrong, and how to mend it.
According to Cheatsheet, things between the couple started souring as early on as their honeymoon. They kept bickering while on their 14-day honeymoon cruise through the Mediterranean and Aegean aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, which concluded after several more days at the Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
According to The Untold Story by Penny Junor, it was on this cruise that the young bride realized her new husband was still in love with his ex-girlfriend, Camilla. Penny writes in the book that, "On one occasion, she [Diana] and Charles had been consulting their diaries when a photograph of Camilla fell out of his." Another time, according to Express UK, "When they were in formal dress for dinner, she noticed the Prince was wearing a pair of gold cufflinks engraved with interwoven Cs."
Additionally, they had very different interests. Charles was an avid reader and painter, and had "taken along his watercolours, some canvases and a pile of books by the Afrikaner mystic and writer Laurens van der Post, which he'd hoped he and Diana might share and then discuss in the evenings."
Diana, on the other hand, wasn't much of a reader. According to Penny, "She hated his wretched books and was offended that he might prefer to bury his head in one of them rather than sit and talk to her." Additionally, "She resented him sitting for hours at his easel, too, and they had many blazing rows."
Unfortunately, their marriage only went downhill from there. After countless fights and extra-marital affairs on both sides, the couple decided to separate in 1992 and finally divorced in 1994. As for Michael Colborne, he died aged 83 in 2017. He had worked in the Prince of Wales’ office for 10 years between 1975 and 1984, according to The Telegraph.