Princess Diana's Dad Reportedly Talked Her Out Of Leaving Charles Before Their Wedding

Looking back at Princess Diana and King Charles's marriage, it can be easy to spot red flags. She was young; he had the indescribable fame that came with being royal; they both had enormous amounts of pressure placed on them by their families, the media, and the public at large. The signs were all there, but perhaps one of the most prominent and foreboding ones was the bride's father reportedly having to talk her out of walking away from Charles before their wedding.

Royal biographer Ingrid Seward wrote in her book "My Mother And I" that the betrothed Lady Diana "was in despair" in the weeks leading up to her royal wedding. It's presumed that the instigator was when her fiancee ignored her at the 21st birthday celebration of his brother, Prince Andrew. "Her fiancé had been away in America for most of the previous week, yet he clearly had no desire to dance with her," an insider explained to the Daily Mail. Feeling more than slightly jilted, Diana departed the party and took refuge at her father's Northamptonshire home.

There, the 20-year-old informed her dad that she wasn't planning to go through with the nuptials. We can imagine that any parent would be disheartened to hear that the relationship was in such a state just a month before the wedding. However, more was at stake, leading Diana's father, John Spencer, to strongly urge her to reconsider. The would-be princess eventually let her father convince her to go forward with marrying Charles. 

The princess was under pressure

While he may have helped her see a different perspective, it might not have been for reasons of true love. Instead, the 8th Earl Spencer, John, told his daughter Diana, "It would be an act of gross discourtesy to break off her engagement to the future King so close to the wedding," according to author Ingrid Seward. She continues to explain that Diana's dad bolstered this opinion by pointing out, "She [Diana] couldn't deny that she still wanted to be the Princess of Wales. And, at 19, she was young enough still to believe in happy endings, despite what her instincts had told her on that terrible night."

Diana wasn't the only one having second thoughts. Seward revealed that the late queen, King Charles's father, also made her hesitancy about the marriage known. "She wondered whether anyone that young could differentiate between the man and the prince," Seward wrote about the first of Queen Elizabeth II's two reservations, "And she couldn't help thinking that the Spencer girl would be far better suited to her younger son, Andrew," she continued. Even King Charles is rumored to have had a heartbreaking night before his wedding.

Despite relatives of both Charles and Diana — and the betrothed themselves — expressing worries about the pair's wedding, the couple did end up tying the knot on July 29th, 1981. Diana reportedly inauspiciously went to the altar with a good luck charm, a golden horseshoe, sewn into her dress. 

Some say the marriage was always destined to fail

We may never really know how much Princess Diana had to be talked back into walking down the aisle. Still, it's highly likely that Diana felt at least some apprehension. Not only was she young, nowhere near as famous as her fiance, and probably aware of the queen's reservations, but she also knew about her soon-to-be husband's ongoing relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. Now Queen Camilla, Charles' soulmate has proven herself to be deeply in love with and supportive of the now-King Charles. She truly stepped up as a working royal and worked hard to earn the public's love.

However, when Diana and Charles were betrothed, Camilla and the monarch-in-waiting seemed like star-crossed lovers. The pair remained close even after their initial romance ended. The now queen named Charles the godfather of her son in 1974 and was invited to sit in a coveted spot inside the cathedral during the royal wedding of Charles and Diana. A year before their divorce was finalized, Diana admitted in a now infamous BBC interview, "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."

Arguably, three people were in the marriage right from the start, and Diana probably knew what she was getting into. Similarly, many people in the couple's orbit probably saw the red flags, too, but the pressure of The Institution was likely a force no one was willing to go against.