Princess Diana came to know of Charles' relationship with Camilla only after the engagement.
Princess Diana's wedding with Prince Charles was one of the most viewed weddings in the world. The extravagant ceremony caught the eyes of millions around the globe but nobody knew the confusion and last-minute worries that happened behind the grand affair. Princess Diana got cold feet moments before tying the knot.
According to CheatSheet, the princess was buried with doubts on her big day, The 20-year-old bride even told her sisters about the dilemma. In the documentary, Diana: In Her Own Words, the princess opened up about the behind the scene events that took place on her big day.
“I went upstairs, had lunch with my sisters who were there, and I said, ‘I can’t marry him. I can’t do this. This is absolutely unbelievable,’” said the princess, according to CheatSheet. However, her sisters discouraged her and said she was too late to change her mind now. Left with no choice, the princess went ahead with the ceremony. Years later, she revealed what people thought was her best day was actually “the worst day” of her life.
Diana knew her husband's heart was reserved for his ex-lover, Camilla Parker Bowles and she did not want to be stuck in a race to gain love and attention from her husband. However, with no plan B, she walked down the aisle with her eyes and mind distracted by the very sight of Camilla in the audience.
"I knew she was in there, of course. I looked for her. So walking down the aisle, I spotted Camilla, pale gray, veiled pillbox hat, saw it all, her son Tom standing on a chair. To this day you know — vivid memory," revealed the princess, according to Good House Keeping.
She further opened up about the day and stated if it was up to her, she would have allowed Prince Charles to go with the woman he loves instead of getting into a forced marriage that seemed real to the world. “If I could write my own script I would have my husband go away with his woman and never come back," said the princess, according to The Telegraph.
Speaking to biographer Andrew Morton, the princess said, "I felt as though I was a lamb going to the slaughter," according to Express UK.
Before their engagement, Diana was not aware of Charles' affair with Camilla. She did not think they were anything more than friends. But soon, she realized the hard truth.
"Instead of explaining to Diana at the outset that Camilla was an old girlfriend, he had presented her as nothing more than a friend," stated author Penny Juror in The Duchess: Camilla Parker Bowles and the Love Affair That Rocked the Crown, according to Good House Keeping.
She added, "It didn't occur to him that she needed to know before someone else told her... He came clean after the engagement, admitting that Camilla had been one of his most intimate friends, but reassured Diana that from now on there would be no other women."
Though he gave his word, Charles's actions proved he was not over Camilla. "He used to see his lady once every three weeks before we got married," recalled Diana, according to the Telegraph.
She even found gifts her husband exchanged with his ex-lover just days before their union. Charles gifted a gold chain bracelet to Camilla with the letters G and F, referring to the nicknames, Gladys and Fred they had given each other. Diana became jealous of Camilla and she became suspicious of her.
Moreover, she was distressed about having to marry a man who was not truly in love with her. Charles too was disturbed before his wedding. According to The Sun, he wept in pain after realizing his dream of being with Camilla was broken forever.
Their union was celebrated by millions but the two unhappy people could not make it far in their marriage. No matter what the princess did, Charles' heart was set for Camilla.