Because of the failure of her marriage, Princess Diana would tell her sons to marry for love when it was finally their time to.
There was a time in Prince Charles and Princess Diana's marriage when their problems did not remain behind closed doors, and their dissatisfaction and sorrow, unfortunately, seeped into their public appearances in front of hundreds and thousands of people.
One such time was in March 1983 when the couple was on a royal tour through Australia and New Zealand, and people could see that something was off between the couple. A photographer, Ken Lennox, even captured the moment when Princess Diana burst out in tears while her husband was sitting right next to her in the car, paying no attention to his upset wife.
The captured moment gave a hint about the fractured relationship between the Prince and Princess of Wales, and how vulnerable Diana was during those months. The photographer, Lennox, who caught the distressed princess in tears spoke about it in a program called Inside The Crown: Secrets of the Royals, which aired on ITV.
"I’m about four feet from the princess and I’m trying to get a bit of the opera house in the background and some of the crowd, and Diana burst into tears and wept for a couple of minutes," said Lennox, while throngs of people stood around them, according to Independent. This was one of the first of many moments that revealed what was going on between them.
"After it was over, I went to see the press officer for the prince and princess at that time, and I said what happened," Lennox went on to say. The press officer dismissed it and blamed other factors. Lennox recalled, "He said, 'Ken, mozzies and jet lag and heat.' So I just accepted that."
Lennox went on to say, "Charles I don’t think has noticed [Diana crying] at that stage. If he has, typical of Prince Charles to look the other way. But it was the first sign of something was wrong, and then we began to see other things happening later on."
The photographer also mentioned that Prince Charles started feeling overshadowed by Princess Diana whenever they stepped out in public, as she was effortlessly able to win the hearts of the public. "Bring your wife over" was something he was asked. This perhaps was something that made Charles uncomfortable. However, they would try to maintain their act in public, given that they were important members of the royal family, reported The Sun.
"As professional royal performers they were unbeatable, but behind the scenes, it was quite different. They didn't talk to each other, there was minimal eye contact, they were short-tempered with each other," said Patrick Jephson, who was Princess Diana's former press secretary.
After the incident of Princess Diana bursting out in tears in public in front of the Sydney Opera House was out, Jephson noticed how her demeanor began to change. She would do things like fake a laugh when she and Prince Charles were out together for engagements, not "because she was having fun, but to annoy her husband," Jephson said in the ITV documentary.
"Diana enjoyed upstaging her husband and if she was laughing and smiling more it wasn't that she was having more fun but that she knew it got on his nerves," Jephson also added.
The marriage between Prince Charles and Princess Diana always seemed like it was doomed to fall apart as royal author, Penny Junor, called their relationship "the most curious engagement."
Sources close to the family hinted that Prince Charles agreed to marry Princess Diana not because he was in love, and that this may have been the root cause of some of their problems. "Charles always said he would marry with his head not his heart and I think that was a hangover learnt from Prince Edward's abdication," said Junor.
While the public may have caught only glimpses of their failing marriage in moments such as these, there were two young people who were close witnesses to their broken relationship. And that was their two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. They "learned a lot of lessons" by just watching their parents staying trapped in a bad marriage. And Princess Diana would tell her boys to follow their heart when they finally get married, Junor revealed.
The royal author said, "Diana told William and Harry to marry for love, and to their great credit both of them have married for love."
If Princess Diana were alive today, she would have been able to see that her boys did exactly as she hoped they would. They are both married to the women they love and feel inspired by. Going by the looks of it, history is unlikely to repeat itself.