Body Language Expert Weighs In On Diana And Charles' Engagement Photos

The wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana was one of the most watched television events in history, with 750 million people around the world tuning in to watch the nuptials (via The Mirror). Before the couple said I do, however, both expressed doubts about the union. Diana was especially dismayed to discover that the week of their 1981 wedding, Charles had given a gift to Camilla Parker Bowles, with whom she had a strained relationship. She reportedly told her sisters that she wanted to call off the wedding but was told it was too late. 

The prince also confided in friends that he was in a "confused and anxious state of mind." "Prince Charles kept saying 'I want to do the right thing by my country. I want to do the right thing by my family.' [But] in his heart, I think he knew that they just had nothing in common," royal expert Ingrid Seward revealed in a 2019 documentary (via Smithsonian).

Of course, they went through with the nuptials and later welcomed sons Prince William and Prince Harry. But the relationship between Charles and Diana always seemed strained; they eventually divorced in 1996. Diana even called her wedding day the "worst day of my life," adding, "If I could write my own script, I would have my husband go away with his woman [Camilla] and never come back" (per Independent).

And one body language expert has pointed out there were signs of discord from the start.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana don't look happy in their engagement photos

According to behavioral expert Darren Stanton, there were signs that the union between Prince Charles and Princess Diana was doomed from the start. "Looking back at Prince Charles and Princess Diana's official engagement photos from 1981, it's clear to see that, right from the outset, Diana displayed moments of doubts when it came to her relationship with Charles," he told Express, speaking on behalf of Slingo. "Charles is seen standing behind Diana with his hand on her shoulder — a gesture that is very revealing on many levels. It's not as intimate as one would expect for a newly engaged couple and instead appears quite formal."

Stanton added that Charles doesn't show "crow's feet at the side of his eyes, with these lines usually a sign of true happiness and sincere emotion," while Diana looks uneasy and likely "felt like a fish out of water."

Charles's comments during the announcement also caught many by surprise. When the interviewer asked if they were in love, Diana replied, "Of course," while Charles responded with, "Whatever love means." In fact, he repeated the same line when he proposed to Diana in private. "So you have to ask yourself, did he really have any kind of genuine feeling for Diana or was she, as she felt herself, a sacrificial lamb ... producing an heir and a spare and then being discarded?" asked her official biographer, Andrew Morton (per Smithsonian).

Both Prince Charles and Princess Diana were reportedly deeply unhappy in their marriage

While their engagement photos forecasted trouble ahead for Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the Prince of Wales actions shortly after the couple's betrothal didn't help. Right after his proposal, Charles left on a five-week trip to Australia and New Zealand — without his bride-to-be (per Vogue).

Of course, the two went ahead with the wedding and had two much-loved sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. However, Charles and Diana seemingly couldn't find happiness with one another, which allegedly led both to be unfaithful during their marriage. Diana is rumored to have struck up an affair with James Hewitt, while Charles revealed to his biographer that he reignited his romance with Camilla Parker Bowles in 1986.

One year later, rumors of Charles and Diana's marital woes were all over the press. "She was the love object of everyone in the world except her husband," journalist Georgina Howell wrote for Vanity Fair in 1988. "She was faced in her mid-twenties with something she found chilling to contemplate: a fairy-tale marriage that had cooled into an arrangement."

The pair made one last official trip together to South Korea in 1992, and they appeared so unhappy that the media dubbed them "the Glums," according to The New York Times. One month later, it was announced Charles and Diana were separating, and their divorce was completed by August 1996.

Princess Diana never got her happily ever after

After their divorce, Princess Diana continued her charity work and struck up a romance with film producer Dodi Al-Fayed, the son of billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed. Sadly, the two were killed in a car accident while being chased by paparazzi in Paris in 1997, per Reader's Digest. She was only 36 years old. Her death left people around the world — as well as her two sons — devastated.

"There's nothing like it in the world," Prince William said in the HBO documentary "Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy," per Town & Country. "There really isn't. It's like an earthquake has just run through the house and through your life and everything. Your mind is completely split. And it took me a while for it to actually sink in."

Prince Charles went on to marry Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005, and the two appear to be happy together. In fact, ahead of her Platinum Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth announced that after she would like Camilla to be named queen consort when Charles ascends to the throne. "[W]hen, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes king, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as queen consort as she continues her own loyal service," the queen wrote.