News On This Day: Prince Charles announces his engagement to Lady Diana
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On This Day: Prince Charles announces his engagement to Lady Diana

Prince of Wales Princess of Wales
The Prince and Princess of Wales in London in 1982. Photo: Getty
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On February 24, 1981 the Prince of Wales officially announced his engagement to Lady Diana Spencer.

A far cry from the ideals of a royal romance, the pair had a complicated relationship from the very beginning.

For starters, Prince Charles had already dated Diana’s older sister, Sarah in 1977.

At the time, Lady Sarah reportedly gossiped to British tabloids about her relationship with Prince Charles, allegedly claiming she wouldn’t marry him “if he were the dustman or the King of England”.

Awkward.

Prince Charles’ courtship of Lady Diana got off to a rocky start. Photo: Getty

But despite slamming him in the press, Lady Sarah must have seen a glimmer of husband potential in the prince because she introduced him to Diana a few years later.

If Lady Sarah had not played Cupid, Prince Charles may never have met his future wife.

Plus Lady Diana had an advantage – she had the approval of his mother.

Lady Diana reveals her sapphire and diamond engagement ring following the announcement of their engagement. Photo: Getty

In the eyes of Queen Elizabeth II, Lady Diana was a perfect fit for the royal family – she was from an aristocratic family, a virgin, and she was widely respected.

It’s possible the Queen’s support for Diana may have fast-tracked the pair’s relationship.

Prince Charles and Lady Diana had reportedly only met about 16 times before announcing their engagement on February 24, 1981.

They married on July 29 at a famously lavish wedding held at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, UK.

At just 20 years old, Lady Diana became the new Princess of Wales.

Prince William was born on June 21, 1982, and their second son, Prince Harry on September 15, 1984.

Prince William’s wife Kate Middleton, known as the Duchess of Cambridge, now has the late Princess Diana’s engagement ring.

harry and will young
Princess Diana watching William and Harry exploring their musical abilities at home in Kensington Palace in 1985. Photo: Getty

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