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Prince Charles would playfully chase Diana up stairs before Harry was born
June 30, 2021
Prince Charles and Diana "definitely" had good times for a few years following their wedding of the century, a royal biographer claims.
The couple shared a playful relationship until Prince Harry was born and "the whole thing went down the drain", Diana told Andrew Morton.
Charles and Diana tied the knot in front of 750 million TV viewers and 600,000 people lining the streets of London on July 29, 1981.
According to Diana whose 60th birthday would have been on Thursday, she had only ever seen Charles 13 times before their big day.
There was a collective intake of breath as the bride stepped out of the horse-drawn carriage and onto the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, finally revealing the voluminous wedding dress which had been dubbed “the most closely guarded secret in fashion history”.
The stunning ivory silk and antique lace gown featured more than 10,000 pearls and a 25-foot train, which according to designer Elizabeth Emanuel was created to make Diana “look like a fairy tale princess”.
Following the ceremony, the newlyweds waved and smiled as they were driven in an open carriage through the ecstatic crowd to Buckingham Palace.
Charles had been so nervous during the ceremony that he forgot to kiss Diana after his vows, so made up for it on the balcony, starting a royal tradition.
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Three months after the wedding the newlyweds set off on their first royal engagement, a three-day tour of Wales in October, when it was clear just how Britain had fallen in love with the new Princess as they chanted “We want Diana!” whenever Charles approached them instead.
The following year Diana gave birth to a son, William, and the Royal Family was riding high on a wave of popularity not seen for decades.
Royal biographer Penny Junor describes a happy home during the early years.
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“People who visited Kensington Palace in the early 1980s describe Diana charging about the house playfully looking for William who had run away and hidden under his father’s desk at bedtime.
“Others describe Charles chasing Diana up the stairs. I think there were definitely good times.”
In March 1983, the Princess of Wales undertook her first overseas tour – and her first ever trip abroad – aged just 22. Diana, Charles and baby William spent more than 40 days in Australia and New Zealand.
The iconic tour left royal watchers in no doubt that Diana’s stardom had already far eclipsed that of the future king’s.
But while the tour was deemed a success, others later suggested the attention lavished on her by the press and public caused tensions in their marriage.
Diana’s biographer Andrew Morton later wrote: “In public, Charles accepted the revised status quo with good grace; in private he blamed Diana.”
Still, the couple appeared happy and very much in love, sharing tender moments, holding hands and famously sharing a romantic dance at a gala dinner in Sydney.
A year later, Diana gave birth to the couple’s second son, Harry.
In just four years of marriage, the princess had done her royal duty by the book, providing an heir and a spare and helping The Firm remain popular and relevant.
But things changed dramatically after the birth, as Diana told Morton: “Suddenly as Harry was born it just went bang, our marriage, the whole thing went down the drain. Something inside of me died.”