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How Old Were Charles And Diana When They Met?


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The Crown depicts the first 13 years of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s relationship, and one of their issues was the big age gap between them.

The Crown season 4 dramatizes the first 13 years of Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) and Princess Diana’s (Emma Corrin) tumultuous relationship. Ironically, 13 years is also the difference between their ages, with the Prince of Wales being the elder party. However, their significant age gap was only one of the reasons why their “fairytale” marriage was tragically doomed to failure.

Prince Charles was born on November 14, 1948, and fans of The Crown have watched the future King of England grow up since his first appearance as a baby in season 1. The first two seasons of The Crown focused on Prince Charles’ royal parents, Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) and Prince Philip (Matt Smith), during the first two decades of the Queen’s reign, but the young Charles (Billy Jenkins) was featured in an episode of The Crown season 2, which depicted his unhappy time as a student at Gordonstoun, the Scotland boarding school that was his father’s alma mater. The Crown season 3 re-introduced Prince Charles as an adult; now played by Josh O’Connor, fans watched his struggles as Charles was invested as Prince of Wales, and he fell in love with Camilla Shand (Emerald Fennell). But the royal family’s machinations ensured Camilla married Andrew Parker-Bowles (Andrew Buchan), which left Charles desperately heartbroken but still in need of a proper wife.

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Related: What Years The Crown Season 4 Is Set In?

Prince Charles dutifully followed the advice of his “Uncle Dickie,” Lord Louis Mountbatten (Charles Dance), and spent most of the 1970s sowing his wild oats as the world’s most eligible bachelor — but still no potential wife to show for it. But, in 1977, the Prince of Wales met the girl who would fit the bill — on paper, if not in Charles’ heart. In November 1977, Prince Charles was dating Lady Sarah Spencer (Isobel Eadie) when he met her younger Diana. Lady Diana Spencer, who was born on July 1, 1961, was 16 years old at the time while Prince Charles was aged 29. However, Charles and Diana’s romantic relationship wouldn’t begin until July 1980, after the August 1979 assassination of Lord Mountbatten, when Charles was nearly 32 and Diana had newly-turned 19.

The Crown Season 4 New Images Recreate Charles & Diana's Engagement

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Charles and Diana’s courtship moved quickly. In September 1980, Diana won over the royal family during her debut at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, which The Crown depicted as “a triumph.” After 13 dates, according to The Crown, Prince Charles, under pressure from his family to finally choose a wife, proposed to Diana at Windsor Castle in February 1981. The couple formally announced their engagement to the world on February 24 and they married in a lavish ceremony on July 29, 1981. An estimated 750-million people watched their nuptials at Westminster Abbey; Prince Charles was 33-years-old while the newly-ennobled Princess Diana was only 20 on their wedding day.

The age difference between the Prince and Princess of Wales was just one of the contributing factors to their ill-fated marriage, which experienced problems from the get-go. As one of Charles’ closest confidants, his sister Princess Anne (Erin Doherty), aptly summarized, “He’s older than his years and she is younger than her years.” Later in The Crown season 4, Queen Elizabeth also lambasted Charles and Diana for both being “spoiled and immature” considering their incredibly fortunate and privileged positions in life. But there were other insurmountable problems as well that doomed Diana and Charles’ marriage and perhaps the biggest was that Prince Charles never stopped loving Camilla, who is the same age as Charles. Ultimately, Prince Charles got his wish and he married Camilla years after Diana’s tragic 1997 death, which are among the monumental events fans can expect to see in the final two seasons of The Crown.

Next: The Crown Season 4 True Story: What Really Happened (And What Changed?)

The Crown season 4 is available to stream on Netflix.

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Updated: November 18, 2020 — 4:40 pm

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