10 Times King Charles And Princess Diana Engaged In Rare PDA Moments

It's not exactly a secret that Princess Diana's marriage to the future King Charles III was troubled. Beginning in 1995, the princess was very open with the public about some of the difficulties that she faced during her relationship with her husband. Indeed, in that year, Diana admitted in a highly publicized interview with the BBC that she had cheated on Charles. Speaking of her former lover, James Hewitt, Diana divulged, "Yes, I adored him. Yes, I was in love with him. But I was very let down" (via PBS). This confession came approximately one year after Charles came clean with the public about his own affair with his longtime companion, Camilla Parker-Bowles. Together, these revelations shattered the illusion of the Wales couple's happy union, instead painting a picture of a marriage that was little more than a PR stunt.

Although it would be very easy to assume that Diana and Charles' marriage was entirely fake, that was not totally the case. Even the princess herself once confessed that the couple's interactions were more complicated than that, oscillating between passion and indifference. As she told her biographer, Andrew Morton, in a set of privately recorded tapes, "In a way [Charles] was obsessed with me, but it was hot and cold, hot and cold. You never knew what mood it was going to be." During the high points of this unusual relationship, the couple could actually seem happy. Sometimes, on official engagements, they would even indulge in PDA.

1. Charles rubbed Diana's shoulders when they got engaged

One of the first times that King Charles III and Princess Diana showed some affection was when the couple revealed their intention to get married. Indeed, on February 24, 1981, the duo invited the press to Buckingham Palace, where they officially announced their engagement to the public. During this special occasion, Charles and Diana displayed quite a bit of physical affection, with Charles getting especially touchy with his future wife. The then-prince was photographed offering his arm to the bride-to-be and leading her through the palace gardens. At one point, he even placed both of his hands on Diana's shoulders, as if he was going to offer her a massage. 

Interestingly, though, at least one royal body language expert believes that these early displays of affection were not as natural as they might have appeared to members of the public. Nicole Moore, who specializes in nonverbal communication and romantic relationships, told The List that there was something off about the way that Charles touched Diana's shoulders, explaining, "Charles puts his hands on Diana's shoulders, but it's a light touch and he pats her on the shoulder like you'd pat a friend." 

According to Moore, in this initial interaction, Diana seemed no more romantically invested in the relationship than her beau. The body language expert relayed, "Diana appears uncomfortable, and shrugs her shoulders up when he touches her, a subtle body language sign indicating that she's not in love with his touch."

2. The couple were photographed linking arms before the wedding

Prior to their wedding, King Charles III and Princess Diana were photographed together countless times. Once, they posed for a picture within the walls of Buckingham Palace, along with Queen Elizabeth II. From an outside perspective, the shot seemed to tell the story that a new branch of the royal family was being formed. However, as one body language specialist has noted, the photograph also reveals the disconnect that was already forming between Charles and Diana.

Speaking with Today, nonverbal communication expert, Traci Brown, revealed that Charles and Diana were experiencing totally different emotions when this picture was taken. According to Brown, the then-prince felt totally comfortable in this moment. She explained, "Charles? He is in his element here." Apparently, though, the same could not be said for Diana. In Brown's professional opinion, the princess seemed rather lost: "This is not Diana's best moment. In this moment, she's not engaged in the situation. We see her hand kind of drape here. There's not reassurance or support or anything to show commitment behind that. There's no certainty." 

Interestingly, around the time that the photo was taken, Diana was apparently considering backing out of the royal wedding. As she told Andrew Morton in a series of private tapes, "'I said, 'I can't marry him. I can't do this.'" In that sense, it is possible that the body language displayed by Diana in that fateful photo was her way of expressing doubt.

3. Charles and Diana had an iconic royal wedding smooch

Regardless of any misgivings that Princess Diana had about marrying King Charles III, the couple tied the knot on July 29, 1981. The ceremony, which was held at St. Paul's Cathedral, captured the attention of 750 million viewers across the world (via People). Diana wore a couture wedding dress designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, which, according to Town & Country, was worth about $115,000. Compared to the wedding as a whole, though, this was nothing. People reported that the grand event cost a grand total of $48 million dollars to pull off — or, $156 million in today's currency.

In the midst of all this glitz and glam, Charles and Diana displayed one of the more iconic incidences of PDA in recent history. As soon as the religious ceremony had concluded, the couple headed to the Buckingham Palace balcony, where they kissed each other with passion. The moment captured the imaginations of people worldwide. In fact, the Daily Mail reports that this massive smooch was even voted the most famous embrace in British history.

Sadly, though, this kiss was not everything that it seemed to be. In truth, it was planned, staged, and executed by the British royal family after Charles forgot to plant one on Diana during the actual ceremony. Thus, Charles and Diana's famous kiss was memorable because it had to be. The prince, after all, needed to make up for his public failure at the altar.

4. They also had PDA during their honeymoon yacht trip

Many newlywed couples find that their honeymoons offer them the opportunity to bond. But, for King Charles III and Princess Diana, things did not exactly go down that way. When the pair embarked on the royal yacht Britannia for their romantic getaway, things started going south almost immediately. As Diana told Andrew Morton in a series of privately recorded tapes, it was during this honeymoon trip that she discovered just how deep Charles' feelings for Camilla Parker-Bowles truly were. The princess recalled how she began to understand that her husband's affinity for Camilla went well beyond the physical: "We were opening our diaries to discuss various things. Out [of Charles' personal calendar] comes two pictures of Camilla." 

Even as Diana was learning about Charles' true feelings, she continued to engage in PDA with her new husband throughout their honeymoon. On one occasion, Charles and Diana were photographed holding hands aboard the Britannia's deck. And, while many viewed this gesture as a sign of affection, modern body language experts claim that things were more complicated than that. As nonverbal communication specialist, Traci Brown, told Today, this moment shows the couple's failure to connect.

Brown relayed, "He's reached for her, she has not reached for him and they are not even looking the same thing at all. One of her arms is behind her back. Whenever you put your arm behind your back, that's hiding or wanting to protect and not doing outreach."

5. The couple exhibited PDA during their Balmoral vacation

King Charles III and Princess Diana may have had a tense trip aboard the royal yacht Britannia, but the couple's relationship seemed to get better in the weeks that followed. After their seafaring adventures, the duo headed off to Balmoral to enjoy time with Charles' family. At one point, Charles and Diana invited the press to Scotland to snap a few photos to document their honeymoon. And, as body language expert, Patti Wood, told Today, the pair engaged in a style of PDA that made them seem like they were deeply in love. Wood explained, "She's relaxing into him, in to merge with him, which is quite lovely. He has his arm and hand, between her legs. It's very intimate. I love that her head rests a tiny bit on his shoulder, and she has a look on her face like, 'I'm so, so happy.'"

Unfortunately, however, Charles and Diana's public displays of affection did little to prevent their marriage from quickly unraveling. As Diana spent more and more time in Balmoral, the princess found herself feeling increasingly forlorn. In the documentary, "Charles and Di: The truth about their marriage," royal expert, Ingrid Seward, relayed that Diana "hated the countryside, hated her family's passion for horses and dogs, hated the rain that fell mercilessly" (via Express). On top of that, the princess apparently felt that Charles was keeping his distance from her. Per Seward, "She felt that her husband avoided intimate contact."

6. Prince Charles showed PDA towards Diana while she was pregnant with William

King Charles III and Princess Diana's marriage was rocky from the start, but that did not prevent the couple from sharing a happy moment or two over the years. When Diana realized that she was expecting Prince William in 1981, she reportedly grew quite a bit closer to Charles. As per the biography, "Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life," by royal expert Sally Bedell Smith, Diana's pregnancy gave the couple "a glimmer of contentment." Apparently, the princess viewed the baby as a "godsend." Meanwhile, the then-Prince of Wales, "hoped having a baby would give Diana a focus for their future together" (via Google Books).

During the pregnancy, Diana and Charles embarked on a romantic vacation to Eleuthera — or what some people might consider a "babymoon." During this trip, the couple relaxed together, and Charles displayed an extraordinary amount of affection toward his wife. One photo of the escapade shows Charles wrapping an arm around Diana as the pair entered the ocean. Other shots captured the couple kissing passionately on the sand. For at least a time, the Waleses were happy.

As we know, though, Charles and Diana's marital bliss was hardly permanent. Shortly after the couple returned to England, Diana is said to have fought frequently with her husband. According to Bedell Smith's biography, the princess, "in floods of tears, lash[ed] out at Charles." This, ultimately, added strain to their relationship.

7. Charles and Diana danced romantically in Australia

Perhaps no moment of Princess Diana's marriage to King Charles III showcased the ups and downs of the couple's relationship quite like their 1983 Australian tour. During this trip, Charles and Diana were spotted in moments of discontent. At the Uluru, a famous Australian geological structure, the couple were photographed hiking with several meters between them. Far from the glowing couple that they tried to portray themselves to be, both parties looked absolutely stormy.

That being said, Charles and Diana's trip to Australia arguably reflected more positive moments than negative ones. On one evening, in particular, the couple headed to the Sheraton Wentworth Hotel, where they slayed on the dance floor. Dressed to the nines in a tux for Charles and a turquoise gown for Di, the unlikely pair were spotted laughing and leaning in towards each other. Body language expert, Patti Wood, noted just how in love the couple seemed as they danced, telling Today, " ... she's so happy in this moment. He's not going away from her, which is nice. The thing that you don't see often is that she's just so lifted up and happy." 

Interestingly, former royal press secretary, Dickie Arbiter, said that this sort of PDA was once typical for Charles and Diana. Chatting with "The Royal Beat" podcast, Arbiter recalled, "Charles used to pat her bum regularly. There were times when he would even squeeze it, even in Australia" (via Daily Mail).

8. They held hands on the Australia tour

King Charles III and Princess Diana's romantic dance was not the only time that the couple showed PDA on their 1983 tour of Australia. As the couple sat in front of excited crowds in Newcastle, Charles leaned over towards Diana, who was dressed in an adorable pink dress and grabbed her hand. This small gesture showed a sign of solidarity towards the princess, indicating that Charles was available to support her. 

Compellingly, several body language experts have commented on just how wonderful the couple's nonverbal communication seemed on that particular outing. Traci Brown, who wrote the book "Persuasion Point," told Today that she thought the princess looked especially joyful on that day in Newcastle, explaining that one can see the happiness in Diana's gaze. Brown shared, "A smile isn't just with your lips, a smile actually happens with your eyes. True happiness comes from your eyes. You smile with your eyes – the mouth is kind of an afterthought."

Speaking to Today, Patti Wood largely agreed with Brown's analysis. Wood, who authored "SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions," found that both Diana and Charles seemed quite content on that outing. And, apparently, the couple's shared emotional state would have strengthened their relationship. As Wood relayed, "They are happy and they're sharing that happiness." Ultimately, this sweet moment between Charles and Diana shows that their marriage was not always as cold and distant as some sources portrayed it to be.

9. The couple kissed when Diana was pregnant with Harry

When Princess Diana found out that she was pregnant with Prince Harry in 1984, things started to go swimmingly for the royal couple. As Diana later relayed in the tapes that she privately recorded for her biographer, Andrew Morton, her pregnancy ushered in a new phase for the marriage. King Charles III was said to be particularly affectionate to Diana during this time and was even spotted smooching his pink-clad wife following a polo match. Reflecting on this time, Diana would later recall, "Anyway, Harry appeared by miracle. Charles and I, we were very, very close to each other the six weeks before Harry was born. The closest we've ever, ever been and ever will have been."

Unfortunately, however, Charles and Diana's closeness — and all the PDA that went along with it — came to a halt shortly after Prince Harry came into the world. According to Diana, "Suddenly, as Harry was born, it just went bang. Our marriage. The whole thing went down the drain."

At least one royal expert believes that Harry's birth was a decisive moment in Charles and Diana's marriage. In the book, "Diana: Her True Story," Morton wrote that "Charles' reaction [to his second-born son] finally closed the door on any love Diana may have felt for him. 'Oh it's a boy,' he said, 'and he's even got rusty hair'. With these dismissive remarks he left to play polo" (via Express).

10. Charles and Diana often smooched at polo games

Throughout much of King Charles III and Princess Diana's marriage, the couple maintained a tradition of kissing whenever the then-prince won a polo match. However, just because Diana and Charles were engaging in PDA, does not mean that they were actually getting along behind the scenes. In June 1985, the couple shared a kiss as Charles accepted a trophy following a polo match that had been organized to raise money for charity. To many members of the public, this smooch would have seemed fairly normal. However, royal body language expert, Judi James, has expressed a different opinion. 

Chatting with the Daily Mail, James revealed that Charles and Diana's kiss actually displayed more tension than anything else. According to the nonverbal communication specialist, the princess was trying to make it challenging for her husband to kiss her — a move that reflected the strain that already existed in their relationship.

James shared, "There is a feeling in this pose that Diana was in distance-making mode, though, as her torso is partially turned towards the cameras and also held upright, rather than leaning in to make it easier for her slightly shorter husband to make contact ... Her chin is also tilted up slightly and the effect can be seen in the muscle tension in Charles's neck as he cranes his head out and upward to plant his kiss, which lands on Diana's lower lip rather than fully on her mouth."