The Surprising Story of How Charles and Diana Met

If you’re a fan of the Royal Family, then everything old is young again. For example, the world is once again obsessed with the relationship between King Charles and the late, great Princess Diana.

This is mostly due to their relationship being portrayed on the hit Netflix show The Crown. However, that show is filled with exaggerations and omissions. Eventually, fans of Charles and Diana end up asking themselves if this is how things really went down.

That’s where we come in. Want to hear the surprising true story of how Charles and Diana met? Care to learn what The Crown got right and what it got wrong? Just keep reading!

A most unexpected meeting

The idea of a young Diana meeting Prince Charles likely seems pretty magical in your head. After all, we are conditioned from an early age to think that young women want nothing more than their own Prince Charming to sweep them off their feet.

However, it was not a fairy tale when Diana met Charles. As Town & Country reports, the two met at the Spencer family home known as Althorp in 1977. There, Charles was busily engaged in a grouse hunt…not exactly what you associate with the future King of England!

At the time, Diana was only 16 years old. But that wasn’t the only obstacle to her hooking up with Charles. At the time, the future king was dating Diana’s sister Sarah. But Sarah was less than impressed and, after they broke up, she said of Charles that she wouldn’t have married the man  “if he were the dustman or the King of England.” Ouch!

RELATED: The Real Reason Prince Charles & Princess Diana’s Marriage Failed

A very smitten Diana

Teenage Diana was much more smitten with Prince Charles after she met him. Just show smitten was she? According to Reader’s Digest, she immediately began telling friends that he was the man she was planning to marry.

Knowing what we know now of their doomed relationship, it’s a bit sad to think of how excited a young Diana was at the time. And here’s a real twist of the knife: she went on to also tell her friends that “He’s the one man on the planet who is not allowed to divorce me.”

Both marriage and divorce awaited these two in the coming years. And, sadly, the release of divorce would only come after mutual affairs and scandals between the two ended up rocking the world.

Diana’s happy memories of that meeting sour over time

One of the more fascinating things about human memory is how much it can change over time. For example, many of Diana’s friends remember her fateful words about being excited to marry Prince Charles. To them, it would be impossible to dispute that Diana had a great first impression of Charles.

However, when Diana looked back at her own life and her first meeting with Charles, she ended up having a very different impression. When she was interviewed by Andrew Morton (who would go on to write Diana: Her True Story), she told him that her first impression was a simple, five-word statement: “God, what a sad man.”

It’s very likely that Diana was viewing her own past through whatever the opposite of rose-colored lenses is. But considering how long Charles would ultimately spend married to a woman he did not love and perhaps never loved, “what a sad man” may be an accurate description. Certainly more accurate than “he’s the one man on the planet who is not allowed to divorce me.”

RELATED: The Unknown Truth Of How Prince Charles Вroke Princess Diana’s Heart

A doomed relationship

Despite a less-than-auspicious first meeting, the two ended up dating in 1980. And in its own way, their relationship moved pretty fast. For example, as Town & Country reports, they only met in person 13 times before Charles popped the question.

Plans proceeded for a big wedding despite some obvious red flags. For example, there was an awkward moment when a reporter asked “are you in love?” Diana responded, “Yes, of course we are. Charles, meanwhile, responded with a telling answer: “Whatever love means,” which shocked Diana.

Still, the two were married in 1981 and separated by 1992. The divorce was official in 1996, and part of what made everything so scandalous is that the relationship imploded because Charles, the future King of England, could not stop seeing another woman: Camilla Parker Bowles. 

Don’t trust everything you watch on ‘The Crown’

The big question everyone has about The Crown is this: is it accurate in its portrayal of the Royal Family? And the honest answer is “sometimes yes, sometimes no.”

For example, as Town & Country points out, the show often portrays conversations and events that really happened but with some dramatic “tweaks.” For example, the show portrays Charles meeting Diana when she was in costume for a school play. This never happened in reality. The show also portrays Charles and Diana having a frank conversation about his late friend Mountebatten while in his car. In reality, that conversation was at Philip de Pass’s house in Sussex.

However, The Crown will always have one thing going for it. When it comes to the Royal Family, truth is often stranger than fiction, so it’s difficult to distinguish truth from fiction with even the most outlandish of events.

RELATED: 10 Men Princess Diana Loved Besides Prince Charles