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Diana Spencer was first introduced to Prince Charles when she was just 16 in 1977. The Prince of Wales was 29-years-old and was attending a grouse shooting party at the Spencer family home at Althorp. He was a guest of Princess Diana’s eldest sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale whom he was dating at the time.
The relationship did not last long and it was only a few years later that Diana began dating Charles.
In their engagement interview in 1981, Charles recalled meeting Diana at 16.
He said: “I remember thinking what a very jolly and amusing and attractive 16-year-old she was. I mean, great fun, and bouncy and full of life and everything.”
The couple met again three years after their first meeting in July 1980.
Diana, then aged 19, saw him when they were both guests at a country weekend during the summer.
She watched Prince Charles play polo and he began to take a serious interest in Diana as a potential bride.
The couple dated for several months and in November 1980, she was invited up to Balmoral to meet other members of the Royal Family.
Prince Charles proposed to Diana on February 6, 1981 and she accepted.
Their engagement was then kept secret for a couple of weeks.
The engagement was announced officially on February 24, 1981 when Diana was 19 and Charles was 32.
In the engagement interview on BBC Radio, Charles said: “She had planned to go to Australia quite a long time before anyway with her mother and I thought ‘Well I’ll ask her then so that she’ll have a chance of thinking it over when she’s away and saying I can’t bear the whole idea – or not,’ as the case may be.”
After the engagement, Diana left her job as a nursery assistant and lived for a short time at Clarence House which was the home of the Queen Mother. She then moved into Buckingham Palace until the wedding.
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How old was Princess Diana when she married Prince Charles?
The Prince of Wales and Diana were married on July 29, 1981 – 28 days after her 20th birthday.
The couple were wed at St Paul’s Cathedral and was watched on television by 750 million people, with 600,000 spectators lining the streets to catch a glimpse of the couple en route to and from the ceremony.
The couple went on to have two children, William and Harry, but their relationship began to break down in the late 1980s.
The couple separated in 1992 and officially divorced in 1996, the same year as Prince Charles’ brother Prince Andrew divorced Sarah Ferguson.
The Prince of Wales confirmed an extramarital affair with Camilla in 1986, saying it began one his marriage to Diana had “irretrievably broken down”. Charles and Camilla later married in February 2005.
Princess Diana made headlines this week after a former BBC chairman Michael Frade made allegations that Martin Bashir used forged bank statements to convince Princess Diana to do an interview in 1995.
The Panorama interview was watched by 23 million people 25 years ago during which Diana famously said: “There were three of us in this marriage”.
The BBC said yesterday: “We will have a robust investigation. It will have the appropriate independence people expect.
“We are hampered at the moment by the fact we are unable to discuss any of this with Martin Bashir, as he remains seriously unwell.
“The focus at the time was whether the princess had been misled.
“According to our records, the princess spoke for herself, sending a written note saying she had not seen the documents and they played no part in her decision to take part in the interview.”
The news came ahead of actress Emma Corrin’s debut as Diana in the Netflix drama The Crown on Sunday.
Season four begins in 1979 and ends in 1990 meaning the royal wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles will also feature in the next season of The Crown.
There will two other seasons of The Crown after season four according to series created Peter Morgan.
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