The real reason behind Diana's airport tears

Eliza Velk
·Junior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

In the lead up to Princess Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles, the world caught glimpse of a pivotal moment that we now know marked the beginning of the end for the royal couple’s relationship.

On March 29, 1981, pictures emerged of Diana dressed in a red coat and crying, as she watched Charles board a plane and leave for a five-week royal tour to Australia.

Diana was captured crying in the airport as she bid farewell to Prince Charles prior to their wedding. Source: National Geographic
Diana was captured crying in the airport as she bid farewell to Prince Charles prior to their wedding. Source: National Geographic

At the time, it was believed to be, “a touching farewell,” with tears brought on by the idea of spending time apart from the Prince of Wales.

Only that wasn’t the case according to an older Diana, who revealed in archived recordings shared by the National Geographic that her tears actually had to do with Charles’ now-wife Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Archived recordings have revealed the heartbreaking reason Diana was sobbing at the airport was because of Charles’ mistress Camilla. Source: Getty
Archived recordings have revealed the heartbreaking reason Diana was sobbing at the airport was because of Charles’ mistress Camilla. Source: Getty

“That had nothing to do with [Charles],” she said referring to the picture of herself sobbing.

Instead, she claimed something ‘awful’ had happened right before he left.

“I was in his study talking to him about his trip,” she recalled, “The telephone rang, it was Camilla.”

“I thought I’d be nice, so I left them to it… And it just broke my heart, that.”

According to Diana, Charles had received a phone call from Camilla prior to his tour and weeks before his wedding to Diana. Source: Getty
According to Diana, Charles had received a phone call from Camilla prior to his tour and weeks before his wedding to Diana. Source: Getty

In the moments before their ‘fairytale wedding,’ Diana also recalled that she was considering calling it off.

Speaking to her sisters, she reached out in panic, “I can’t marry him, I can’t do this, this is absolutely unbelievable.”

Yet their response was simply “bad luck”.

“Your face is on the tea towel…so you are too late to chicken out,” they told her.

Things went downhill for Princess Diana and Prince Charles after she learnt of his affair with Camilla. Source: Getty
Things went downhill for Princess Diana and Prince Charles after she learnt of his affair with Camilla. Source: Getty

Charles and Diana went through with their wedding in July 1981 and later had their two children, Prince William and Prince Harry.

However, it wasn’t long before things fell apart as Diana realised the extent of Charles’ affair with Camilla, who he went on to marry in 2005 after Diana’s tragic death 21 years ago.

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