Prince Charles Allegedly Told Princess Diana He Didn't Love Her the Night Before Their Wedding

Prince Charles reportedly told Princess Diana he didn't love her right before they tied the knot in July 1981, Diana's friend Penny Thornton revealed.

london, england july 29 prince charles, prince of wales and diana, princess of wales, wearing a wedding dress designed by david and elizabeth emanuel and the spencer family tiara, ride in an open carriage, from st pauls cathedral to buckingham palace, following their wedding on july 29, 1981 in london, englandphoto by anwar husseingetty images
(Image credit: Princess Diana Archive)
  • Prince Charles reportedly told Princess Diana he didn't love her right before they tied the knot in July 1981.
  • Charles "didn't want to go into the wedding on a false premise," Diana's friend Penny Thornton said.
  • Diana allegedly told Thornton that she considered not attending the wedding after the "devastating" revelation.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana's grand royal wedding on July 29, 1981 seemed the stuff of fantasy—but according to one of Diana's friends, the reality was far from picture perfect. Penny Thornton, an astrologer Diana sought advice from, made a startling revelation in new ITV documentary The Diana Interview: Revenge of the Princess, as People reports: Charles reportedly told his future bride he didn't love her the day before they tied the knot.

"One of the most shocking things that Diana told me was that the night before the wedding Charles told her that he didn't love her," Thornton said in the documentary, which centers on Diana's bombshell 1995 interview with the BBC after her separation from Charles. "I think Charles didn't want to go into the wedding on a false premise. He wanted to square it with her and it was devastating for Diana."

The wedding almost didn't go ahead, Thornton shared: "She didn't want to go through with the wedding at that point, she thought about not attending the wedding," she said.

london, united kingdom july 29 prince charles and princess diana on the balcony of buckingham palace on their wedding day the princess is wearing a wedding dress designed by david and elizabeth emanuel the prince is wearing naval dress uniform photo by tim graham photo library via getty images

(Image credit: Tim Graham)

According to royal biographer Ingrid Seward, Charles felt "pushed" into marrying Diana by his father, Prince Philip. "He told some of his friends that he felt pressurized into marrying Diana because Philip said, 'You’ve either got to marry her or let her go. You can’t string a … young girl [along]. She’s only 19. You can’t string her along,'" Seward told Us Weekly. "Charles…he was frightened of his father and he probably thought, 'Well, OK. I’ll marry her if that’s what you want me to do.'"

Emily Dixon
Morning Editor

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.