Charles first laid eyes on 16-year-old Girl Diana Spencer in 1978 when he was invited to Althorp, her household’s property, by one in every of his paramours, her older sister Girl Sarah Spencer. At his thirtieth birthday celebration, held at Buckingham Palace, Diana watched Charles dance along with her sister, Camilla and others.
Andrew Parker Bowles was a pal of the Queen Mom and her circle, so he and Camilla have been by no means removed from the middle of Charles’ universe. Charles and Camilla remained confidantes and, based on The Diana Chronicles, their affair was rekindled in 1979 when Charles was grief-stricken over the demise of Uncle Dickie, who was killed alongside together with his teenage grandson and one other boy when an murderer’s bomb blew up his fishing boat.
Although they have been going mad over Charles’ poorly saved secret, neither the queen nor Philip stated a lot about their son’s many indiscretions. Philip did at one level write his son a letter chiding him for having “paraded” one in every of his girlfriends round. They simply hoped Charles would decide on somebody acceptable to marry, and the virginal Diana occurred to suit the invoice.
Regardless of their myriad variations and a 12-year age hole, Charles and Diana launched into a romance in July 1980, round when she turned 19. The tabloids have been all around the couple, and Diana specifically, and, although denied by the Palace, a positively scandalous headline within the Day by day Mirror—“Royal Love Practice,” with the report that they’d spent two nights collectively aboard the Royal Practice—set off countless chatter about when, or if, Charles was ever going to make an trustworthy girl of her.
In January 1981, Philip despatched his son one other one in every of his well-known letters, urging him to go in some way—suggest or break up. Charles solely learn it a technique.
Of their televised engagement interview, aired on Feb. 24, 1981, Charles stated he was “delighted and glad.” Requested rhetorically if he was “in love” with Diana, he stated, “no matter ‘in love’ means.”