The fourth season of The Crown is out on Netflix reviving the controversy around Lady Diana and Prince Charles marriage and the events that unfolded ahead of their wedding. The royal couple of the United Kingdom, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer announced their engagement at Buckingham Palace in February 1981. The two were married months later in July.
However, the wedding was far from a royal fairytale, as portrayed publicly. The couple had two sons – William and Harry and divorced in 1996. Lady Diana had said that she had met Charles only twelve times before they were engaged. Diana was only 19 years old when she accepted Charles proposal, while the prince was 32.
With multiple documentaries and biographies, it has become quite clear that Charles allegedly had reservations in the lead up to the marriage, however it's not because of his feelings for Camilla Parker Bowles, who he eventually married in 2005.
Netflix series, The Crown showcases its version of the royal wedding in episode three. The episode begins with Diana leaving her flat in Earls Court and moving into Buckingham Palace to receive “princess tutorials” from her own grandmother, Lady Fermoy.
The couple is interviewed by the media following their engagement, as happened in real life. When asked if they were in love, Diana replies that they “absolutely" were, while Prince Charles’ responds “whatever love means”.
In the Netflix drama, Prince Charles leaves shortly after the engagement to go on tour. As he goes for lunch with Camilla Parker Bowles (played by Emerald Fennell), Diana discovers that Charles has had a bracelet made for his former lover with their nicknames for each other, Fred and Glady, inscribed on it. The on-screen Diana tries desperately to get through to Prince Charles or any member of the Royal Family to discuss the matter. Lady Diana speaks over the phone as she demands to speak to the Queen and says that the wedding cannot go ahead since it will be a disaster for everyone. She confronts her fiancé before the wedding rehearsal, where Charles reassures her and presents her with his signet ring.
Later, we see the Queen advises Charles to go ahead and prioritise his “duty”, promising that “love and happiness will surely follow."
But, did all of this really happen? Turns out, it did.
For instance, Diana did indeed discover a bracelet that Prince Charles had gotten made especially for Camilla just two weeks before the wedding. According to reports, it was this discovery which reignited suspicion that the prince was still very much in love with his former partner. She is reported to have cried for six hours straight and even kicked furniture in anger and exasperation.
Diana spoke about the heartbreaking moment in tapes which had been given to author Andrew Morton in the late 1980s. She said that Charles had decided that their marriage was not going to work, and that it did not. She also asserted that Camilla wore the bracelet, given to her by the Prince of Wales, even while the former were married. Morton also wrote that Diana had wanted to call off the wedding. But her sisters convinced her not to.
The Crown also focuses on Diana's battle with an eating disorder - bulimia- something that the late princess has often spoken about in great detail. Diana, in her tapes, had said that her eating disorder started a week after she got engaged to Charles and it took her nearly a decade to overcome.
According to Vogue, shortly after their engagement, Prince Charles had apparently commented on Diana's weight. While putting his hand around her waist, he had called her chubby. Diana said in interviews later that that moment triggered something in her; that, coupled with Camilla, aggravated her eating disorder.