Princess Diana Said She Was "Traumatized" by Prince Charles' Answer to an Engagement Interview Question

Princess Diana said Prince Charles' answer to a question about loving her during their engagement interview left her "traumatized."

24th february 1981 charles, prince of wales, and diana, princess of wales, 1961 1997 at buckingham palace in london on the occasion of their engagement photo by central pressgetty images
(Image credit: Central Press)
  • When they announced their engagement in 1981, Prince Charles and Princess Diana (then known as Lady Diana Spencer) sat down for an official interview as a couple.
  • At one point, the interviewer asked the pair if they were in love. Diana, then 19, said she thought the question was "thick" and answered that they were, but Charles infamously responded, "Whatever love means."
  • Years later, Diana revealed that the "strange answer" left her feeling "traumatized," according to her biography, Diana: In Her Own Words

Princess Diana's issues in her relationship with Prince Charles began long before she said "I do." In fact, the late royal eventually revealed that she was "traumatized" by something Charles said during their engagement interview.

Like many royal couples, Charles and Diana sat down for an official interview when they announced their engagement in 1981. During the interview, they were asked about everything from their first meeting to their wedding and honeymoon plans. At one point, the interviewer asked if they were in love—a question the then-19-year-old Diana found "ridiculous," considering the context (you know, that they had just announced their engagement).

Diana didn't talk a lot during the interview, but did speak up at this question to say that yes, they were in love. Charles, however, had a very different—and, in retrospect, a very telling—response.

"We had this ghastly interview the day we announced our engagement," she said, according to her biography, Diana: In Her Own Words. "And this ridiculous [reporter] said, 'Are you in love?' I thought, what a thick question. So I said, 'Yes, of course, we are,' and Charles turned round and said, 'Whatever love means.' And that threw me completely. I thought, what a strange answer. It traumatized me."

You can watch the interview in all of its awkwardness below:

Weekend Editor at Cosmopolitan

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with over 10 years of professional experience covering entertainment of all genres, from new movie and TV releases to nostalgia, and celebrity news. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.