Princess Diana’s first royal engagement was a disaster for many reasons

Like Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, the late Princess Diana had an exceptionally challenging time to adjust to life in the British royal family. At just 19 years old when she and Prince Charles got engaged and married, the princess hardly knew her future husband. Worse yet, she had no idea what it meant to be a high-ranking member of the British royal family.

As someone still on her own, Princess Diana found life in a fish tank terrifying. He also did not understand the press’s obsession with her. The royals also separated her from her own family, the Spencers, which meant she had no one to really trust. Because she was so young, the princess often rebelled by going against the current.

However, she hoped to make a good impression during her first royal engagement as Prince Charles’s fiancé. Unfortunately, it was a disastrous experience.

Lady Diana Spencer attended her first public engagement tonight, when she joined Prince Charles at a Gala Charity Concert at Goldsmith's Hall, London, in aid of the Royal Opera House.  Princess Grace of Monaco also attends the event, as seen in other paintings in this set.  Note to editors: Diana is wearing a black dress, as seen in the Mirrorpix color images of this event, May 22, 1981.
Lady Diana Spencer attended her first public engagement tonight, when she joined Prince Charles at a Gala Charity Concert at Goldsmith’s Hall, London | Kent Gavin / Daily Mirror / Mirrorpix / Getty Images

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Princess Diana’s dress was inappropriate

Princess Diana’s first royal engagement was a musical recital at Goldsmiths’ Hall on March 3, 1981. Unfortunately, her choice of wardrobe for the evening made her nervous immediately.

The princess has chosen a daring black dress from Emmanuels. Prince Charles disapproved. He scolded his future girlfriend saying that black was the color of mourning, that a future blushing bride was not seen. The dress also turned out to be a bit revealing.

In Diana: her true story In his own wordsThe late princess told royal biographer Andrew Morton that the dress was “two sizes smaller.” She also explained that “her chest was quite large and everyone was very excited.”

It was much more attention than the princess expected on her first night of partying.

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Princess Diana did not know the proper royal protocol

Unfortunately, before casting her into the wolves, so to speak, Princess Diana was not adequately prepared with the knowledge of how to deal with the press and what proper protocol was for high-ranking royalty in public settings.

The young princess desperately wanted to make a good impression. However, the pressure of everything almost made her sick.

“It was a horrible occasion,” he later recalled. “I didn’t know whether to go out the door first. I didn’t know if your bag should be in your left or right hand. I was terrified, really, at that moment everything was everywhere. I remember that night very well. I was terrified, almost sick. “

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Princess Diana was already terrified of life in the royal family

During that first outing, Princess Diana only tasted what was expected of her and was too overwhelming. She ended up trusting Grace Kelly, the princess of Monaco who was also present.

“Princess Grace, 52, the subject of this kind of care in the 1950s, notes Diana’s discomfort and suggests that they retire to the women’s bathroom to chat a little,” Craig Brown wrote in his book. Hello Goodbye Hello: Circle of 101 notable meetings. Diana tells Princess Grace that she is concerned that her dress is inappropriate. It is, she explains, two sizes too small. Her experience tonight suddenly made her realize how excruciating it would be to have hundreds of people watching her forever. She sees stretching out in front of her, a life without any form of privacy. What should she do? She bursts into tears. Princess Grace puts her arms around her and pats her on the shoulder. She cup her cheeks in her hands and jokes, softly: ‘Don’t worry darling. You will see, it will only get worse. The two women return to the crowd, there to mix and be evaluated. ”