The Surprising Day Princess Diana Called the “Worst in Her Life”

Hint: It wasn't Prince Charles' favorite day either.

More than 20 years after Princess Diana’s passing, new information and photos continue to surface, giving a deeper look into who she was beyond her public persona. Although there are so many stunning, rarely seen photos of Princess Diana and the royal family, some of the most telling information is on tape. 

In a documentary from National Geographic titled Diana: In Her Own Words, the princess speaks extensively about her relationship with Prince Charles, including what was going through her mind on her wedding day. 

The audio of Princess Diana speaking her side of the story comes from a series of interviews conducted in 1991 for a planned biography. Although Princess Diana never claims to have considered canceling the wedding, she goes on to describe the day as “the worst day of my life.”  

One of the producers of the documentary, Tom Jennings, told TODAY that the aim was to create a film, “from Diana’s point of view,” that told, “her truth at the time.” Her misgivings about her relationship with Prince Charles date back to before the wedding when she was newly engaged. (This is the real reason Prince Charles didn’t marry Camilla Parker Bowles instead.) 

“I went upstairs, had lunch with my sisters who were there, and I said, ‘I can’t marry him. I can’t do this. This is absolutely unbelievable,'” Princess Diana says in the documentary. “And they were wonderful and said, ‘Well, bad luck, Duch. Your face is on the tea towel, so you’re too late to chicken out.’”

It turns out that Prince Charles wasn’t too keen on marrying either, according to Robert Jobson, royal correspondent and author of Charles At Seventy: Thoughts, Hopes And Dreams“I desperately wanted to get out of the wedding in 1981, when during the engagement I discovered just how awful the prospects were having had no chance whatsoever to get to know Diana beforehand,” Prince Charles told Jobson, who spent 18 months with the prince collecting information for the biography. Find out what Queen Elizabeth II would prefer we didn’t know about Prince Charles.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana finalized their divorce on August 28, 1996, after an extended separation and 15 years of marriage. Next, find out the 10 things Princess Diana got to keep after her divorce.

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Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is an assistant staff writer at Reader's Digest who previously wrote for INSIDER, the Food Network, POPSUGAR, Well + Good, Westchester Magazine, and more. There's also a 90 percent chance Emily is drinking tea right now, but when she's not writing away about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting heavy things at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts, and liking one too many astrology memes.