Princess Diana Reportedly "Burst Into Laughter" When Prince Charles Proposed

The moment was notoriously unromantic.

Princess Diana Prince CharlesItalian naval base La Spezia
Photo: Photo by Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Even though Princess Diana and Prince Charles had one of the most famous weddings of all time, not many people talk about all the things that happened before the big day on July 29, 1981. According to the Mirror, there wasn't a sweeping romantic epic surrounding Diana and Charles's courtship — in reality, the two had only met each other 13 times before they got engaged. And about that engagement, it was so unromantic that Princess Diana reportedly "burst into laughter" when it happened in, of all places, the nursery at Windsor Castle.

Diana was just 19 years old when it happened. When she arrived at the castle that day, Charles told her that he had "missed her so much" and led her into the nursery of Windsor Castle. According to Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty Magazine, he chose the room "because the nursery is like a home." She spoke about the proposal during an appearance on the documentary Charles and Di: The Truth Behind Their Wedding.

Diana "burst out laughing," Seward said. "I think that was probably just her nerves. She didn't think it was the most romantic of proposals, but she had the proposal."

Diana spoke about the proposal in interviews, though she doesn't mention any sort of laughter. Instead, she said that "[Charles] said 'Do you realize that one day you'll be queen?' And I said, 'I love you so much, I love you so much.' He said, 'Whatever love means.' He said it then. So, I thought, that was great. I thought he meant it."

Royal biographer Christopher Wilson added that Diana didn't expect the proposal at all, explaining that it was unromantic and felt more dutiful than anything else. Charles was 32, after all, and the entire world was waiting for him to get engaged.

"Prince Charles didn't pick her up in his arms and embrace or do any of the things we might do when we propose marriage to the one that we love," he said. "He rang his mum, simply to say, 'There, I've done it now. You've asked me to get married to somebody, and I've fixed it.' What he'd done was, he'd finally found a wife."

Related Articles