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  #2081  
Old 10-27-2016, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 View Post
I don't think that Diana married Charles for "status and perks". She hardly needed status, because she was the daughter of the Earl Spencer. Not only did she have the courtesy title of "Lady Diana", but she had family that was closely connected to the Royal Family on both her father's and mother's sides. She was a wealthy young woman in her own right, from the money that she inherited from her ancestress Frances Ellen Work. If she hadn't married Charles, I'm sure that there were other titled and/or wealthy young men she could have married.

I do believe that she either was in love with Charles or was fond enough of him to be convinced that she was in love with him. The belief that he could never divorce her was, I believe, part of the reason she married him. She wanted to marry for love, and she didn't want to be divorced.
Yep. By the midpoint of their marriage, she probably did feel that the only value (aside from her sons) that she got from it were perks and status, so might as well take advantage. But I seriously doubt that was what she valued at the outset.

I think both Charles and Diana were at vulnerable transitional points in their lives when their courtship began, compounded by the intense press attention, and it lead each of them to overestimate their compatability.

Charles was likely smarting from the kind of attention his string of failed relationships had drawn to that point. The press was turning on him and becoming increasingly catty about what "experience" his girlfriends had with other men. He'd seen so many of his friends marry and settle into the next phase of life that he must have felt as if his clock was ticking. All that could easily combine to put him in the right frame of mind to interpret what should have been slight nudges towards marriage and finding a "virgin bride" as being giant pushes in that direction. What's more, I don't really think he was romantic with Camilla at that point; rather, she was a best friend, which meant that he didn't really see the need to find a wife who filled that best friend role. From his point of view, that probably lowered the bar for what kind of relationship he needed from a potential bride.

Meanwhile, Diana was newly on her own, in that phase when many of us fumble about trying to figure out which of our adolescent likes and habits will fall away and which will remain as part of our adult selves, and I don't think she guessed right. For instance, I suspect that she thought she'd like the "country life" Charles offered because (a) she assumed she'd grow into enjoying the same things the adults in her sphere enjoyed and (b) what she'd known of it to that point had still been a kid version, spent at a house where everyone still looked at her as a vulnerable, sensitive child and thus allowed her to hang onto a child's habits and pastimes (this includes hanging out in the kitchen with staff who approached her with a quasi-parental attitude). Perhaps more importantly, she wasn't very experienced with romance, and what examples of it she'd seen from her parents' love lives and divorce probably served more as a caution for particular things to avoid than a primer in what strengths to look for and value. She wasn't really in the best position yet to be able to tell the difference between admiring a man and falling for him. She'd also probably been coddled more than she realized.

So he was primed at that particular moment in time to look at a young woman like Diana and see the ideal bride who he could come to develop affection for; she was primed to look at an older Charles as a stable presence she could come to love who lived a life she could settle into liking. I do think they liked each other just fine, but they didn't spend enough time another alone to realize the ways their personalities could grate against each other. The press was following them with an intensity that went beyond anything the rest of the royal family had experienced during their own courtships, which backed both Charles and Diana into corners where it would take a great deal of inner strength to admit to themselves, much less others, that their connection might not be strong enough.
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  #2082  
Old 10-27-2016, 06:33 PM
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I think you've pretty much nailed it into the whys and reasons why Charles and Diana's marriage was pretty much a perfect set up at the beginning.

I think that at 19, Diana was very much impressed with Charles, his role and his titles and for her, it was easy to put him on a pedestal and that was too easily mistaken for falling in love. Perhaps Charles, with looking at a pretty young 19 year old, thought that as time passed, she'd be malleable to fit in and adapt to the rigors and the role of being Princess of Wales. Actually, I think she did a fine job being out and among the people and bringing attention to the causes she backed but the issues of their private lives and being intimate friends as well as husband and wife was a rough road to go. Diana wanted more of Charles than he was willing to give and Charles, for the most part, found her demands and wants and needs to be irrational. There was no room for compromises on either side.

I do think that if there wasn't so much pressure on the couple and they had taken a longer courtship, it never would have resulted in marriage.
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  #2083  
Old 10-27-2016, 06:49 PM
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I do think that if there wasn't so much pressure on the couple and they had taken a longer courtship, it never would have resulted in marriage/quote

Same here. A longer courtship + no pressure =NO WEDDING. I totally agree.
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  #2084  
Old 10-27-2016, 06:58 PM
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I think another good point that Loonytick brought up is the one about Charles already having a best friend and that he wouldn't have required that in a wife. I think this is perhaps a big stumbling block in the marriage.

I honestly believe that Diana did expect to be all that Charles ever would need. Wife, friend, mother, lover, valet and confidante and advisor. I don't think she was mature enough to realize that having Camilla as a "best friend" was not a threat to her. Instead, Diana felt from the very beginning that Camilla was the "enemy" and fixated on getting those who were closer to Charles than she felt that she was out of the picture. The more Charles had involvement in other things that Diana couldn't or wouldn't participate in, the more insecure she got. Charles did try to appease her for a while but it never was enough.
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  #2085  
Old 10-27-2016, 09:06 PM
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It's interesting what Loonytick posted about them both being at "vulnerable transitional points in their lives", and it's caused me to think about what was going on then. Prince Charles had lost his great mentor, Lord Mountbatten, a year before Diana's invitations to Petworth, Cowes, and Balmoral in the summer and early autumn of 1980. His grieving might have been past by that time, but he still would have felt a great loss in his life. Along comes Diana, a pretty, sympathetic young woman looking for stability. Her father wasn't quite the same after his massive stroke in 1978, and her disliked step-mother was running the family home. I can completely understand her falling totally and utterly for Prince Charles, or thinking that she did, and Charles's real fondness for and attraction to a young girl who was charming and undemanding. She fit into his schedule and traveled wherever he wanted to meet her. He had no reason to think that she wouldn't be the same way after they were married.
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  #2086  
Old 10-28-2016, 09:33 PM
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In January 1988 Prince Charles and Princess Diana flew to Australia to take part in Australia's bicentennial celebrations in Sydney. Charles felt upstaged by Diana. In Sydney on the first day, Diana sang the words of Australia's national anthem Advance, Australia Fair. Her husband did not know the words.
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  #2087  
Old 10-28-2016, 10:30 PM
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Well, Charles could hardly blame Diana for that. He should have done his homework. I'm surprised he didn't know the words, actually. He's said many times that Australia holds a special place in his heart, that he takes note of Oz affairs, etc.

I remember the 1988 visit well. Aussies responded to Diana then just as they had the first time they saw her. She was extremely popular here, always.
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  #2088  
Old 10-28-2016, 11:02 PM
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How do we know he didn't know the words? Was there something said about it at the time?


LaRae
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  #2089  
Old 10-29-2016, 12:31 AM
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I seem to remember the Press pointing it out. Charles may have thought that 'God Save the Queen' would be played, as it still is when the Queen is present here.
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  #2090  
Old 10-30-2016, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonmaiden23 View Post
I do think that if there wasn't so much pressure on the couple and they had taken a longer courtship, it never would have resulted in marriage.

Same here. A longer courtship + no pressure =NO WEDDING. I totally agree.
I agree, too.
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  #2091  
Old 11-08-2016, 07:58 PM
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Prince Charles was a member of the Royal Family. Did he have conception of what marrying into the Royal Family would have meant to Lady Diana?
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  #2092  
Old 11-09-2016, 07:51 PM
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I think that he did to a degree, because he suggested that she should think about whether "it would all be too horrible" and was "pleased and surprised that she agreed to take me on." However, I don't think that anyone can really understand what a completely new lifestyle is like until s/he has to go through it.
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  #2093  
Old 11-09-2016, 07:58 PM
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She didn't know the whole story. The extra person. The expectation that he could do as he pleased. She knew many of the difficulties, whether she was up to it was another thing. The sole love of her partner might have helped. She was to be window dressing and he was going to live his life, as other princes of Wales.
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  #2094  
Old 11-09-2016, 08:07 PM
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The royals' lifestyle was, I think, much more formal and ritualised in the late 1970s and early 1980's than it is today.

Their lives followed a prescribed course, followed by the Queen and Prince Philip today, Royal duties interspersed with Sandringham at certain times of the year, London at others, Balmoral/Birkhall for the summer, the cruise up to Scotland in the 'Britannia'. It would take some getting used to by those not used to it. Charles was born into this life and he had never (apart from his years in the Navy) known any other.

As well, Charles is very conscientious, practically a workaholic, and I don't think he realised what an impact his work, both private and public, would have on his wife.

And I don't think anyone, Charles included, could have predicted 'Di-mania'!
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  #2095  
Old 12-03-2016, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
The royals' lifestyle was, I think, much more formal and ritualised in the late 1970s and early 1980's than it is today.

Their lives followed a prescribed course, followed by the Queen and Prince Philip today,
And I don't think anyone, Charles included, could have predicted 'Di-mania'!
No, and I don't think that Diana realised HOW formal and rigidly timetabled Royal life was then. Today they have become much more flexible about things like Christmas, non royals being allowed to spend more time with their families etc.
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  #2096  
Old 12-03-2016, 02:02 PM
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Good points Curryong and Denville. (Nice to see you back Denville.) The Spencers did not live a very formal lifestyle so this would have been quite the adjustment for Lady Diana Spencer.
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  #2097  
Old 12-04-2016, 10:33 AM
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Diana's whole life had been fairly informal. Her father left her a lot to school or the care of servants, she was used to the cosy informality of chatting in the ktichen to them.. and her father did not enjoy socialising. I think that that changed when Raine came along but Diana wasn't going to enjoy the life that Raine enjoyed and inflicted on the famlly. In London she was living in a falt with her girlfriends and I think she had no real conception of how the RF lived with a lot of servants and other staff around, with rules and an old fashioned almost Edwardian form of social life.. plus all their duties.
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  #2098  
Old 12-05-2016, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Denville View Post
Diana's whole life had been fairly informal. Her father left her a lot to school or the care of servants, she was used to the cosy informality of chatting in the ktichen to them.. and her father did not enjoy socialising. I think that that changed when Raine came along but Diana wasn't going to enjoy the life that Raine enjoyed and inflicted on the famlly. In London she was living in a falt with her girlfriends and I think she had no real conception of how the RF lived with a lot of servants and other staff around, with rules and an old fashioned almost Edwardian form of social life.. plus all their duties.
I think that's true, and I also think that nobody, not Diana, not her parents, certainly not the royal family, had a real understanding of how out of step the younger Spencer's routines were from the usual noble lifestyle, much less that of the royal family. Part of that disconnect came from a general lack of understanding that most of us in the 70s and early 80s (of all economic classes) had of the ways in which divorce can change a child's experience and leave them "flapping in the breeze" without concerted effort on the parents' part. Her parents, especially, didn't seem to have a great understanding of what was going on in their children's lives as they were shuttled around, she couldn't have known how far from the norm (for her strata of society) her life was, Charles likely had no idea at all of how she'd lived...

And it seems they all just sort of assumed that because they socialized in a similar way at certain functions then their home lives and general expectations would be compatible enough.
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  #2099  
Old 12-06-2016, 04:44 PM
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Yes, this makes sense to me. Diana was very good at informally chatting with people and could make a real connection. In the early years in particular, she seemed rather uncomfortable at formal occasions. There's a video of an appearance that she made with Charles to a hospice early in 1982. She seemed shy and self-conscious during the formal part, but came alive when meeting the patients.
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  #2100  
Old 12-09-2016, 01:27 PM
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well said, Mermaid. I think she was more at ease meeting everyday folk then the pomp and circumstance of traditional duties. She was a natural at meeting people. I love how in the mid 1980s you could clearly see her blossoming into an accomplished Princess.
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