Prince Charles and Princess Diana's Tumultuous Relationship in Photos

It was great...until it wasn't.

princess diana prince charles
(Image credit: Georges De Keerle)

Prince Charles and Princess Diana had a complicated relationship, to say the least. They first met in 1977 while Charles was dating Diana's older sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale (I know), and even after the births of their two children, Prince William (opens in new tab) and Prince Harry (opens in new tab), the British press was relentless about publicizing Charles' affair with Camilla Parker Bowles (opens in new tab) (who he's now married to), and the breakdown of Charles and Diana's marriage.

Even Charles' father, Prince Philip, had some choice words on the matter. In a letter (opens in new tab) he wrote to Diana that was later released by her former butler Paul Burrell, Philip said, "I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind leaving you for Camilla." He added, "Charles was silly to risk everything with Camilla for a man in his position. We never dreamed he might feel like leaving you for her. Such a prospect never even entered our heads."

When the couple was finally ready to call it quits, they still had to go through months of royal duties—despite everybody knowing they were going through a divorce. In an interview with BBC (opens in new tab), Diana claimed she'd never believed that she would be queen, saying, "I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts, but I don't see myself being queen of this country. I don't think many people will want me to be queen." She continued, "Actually, when I say many people, I mean the establishment that I married into because they have decided that I'm a non-starter." Ouch.

Ahead, we take a look back at the evolution of Charles and Diana's relationship through the years. As you'll see, it wasn't all sunshine and roses, but there were some sweet moments.

Bianca Rodriguez

Bianca Rodriguez is the Fashion & Luxury Commerce Manager at Hearst Magazines, covering fashion, beauty, and more for Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Harper’s BAZAAR, and Town & Country. She likes lounging about with a good book and thinks a closet without platform sneakers is a travesty.