The wedding of Princess Diana and King Charles marked a pivotal point in the history of the Royal Family.
The tumultuous wedding and its tragic end led to for a change in Firm’s centuries-old tradition, argued royal expert, Tom Quinn, author of Gilded Youth.
He told Express.co.uk that in a way “the marriage of Charles and Diana was the last gasp of a tradition that went back about 500 years.”
He explained, “In effect, the elder royals, and people like Lord Mountbatten, got together with the Queen Mother and Lady Fermoy, who was Diana’s grandmother, and said, ‘Look, we’ve got to sort something out for Charles, but we need it to be someone who’s definitely not had any boyfriend, who’s extremely aristocratic and is a bit naïve.’”
Quinn claimed that the Royal Family “wanted someone for Charles who wouldn’t dominate him, who would do as royal wives had always done, who would have accepted that if he needed to have a mistress, that was fine.”
However, while Diana “seemed perfect” for the role, she “wasn’t the mouse that they thought she was. And the result, as we know, eventually was a divorce.”
Quinn claimed that their failed union and the destructive War of the Waleses in the early 1990s forced the Firm to shift from a centuries-old tradition of either arranging marriages or finding partners only among the aristocrats to allowing high-profile royals to marry for love.
Charles and Diana married in July 1981 at St Paul’s Cathedral, however, their troubled relationship soon became evident. Due to their conflicts and public feud, the Firm and its reputation was plunged into crisis.
In 1992, the late Princess of Wales secretly collaborated with author Andrew Morton to tell her stories, revealing her mental health struggles and unhappiness and speaking about the relationship between then Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.
After the public feud, the Firm decided to change its approach when it came to marriages.
“I think all across the Royal Family it was seen that if you arranged marriage for dynastic reasons, as they did it in the case of Charles and Diana, the result was going to be disastrous,” Quinn elucidated.
“And that’s why they shifted to the modern view where it’s much better if you let younger royals choose their partners. And so it’s almost like the old experiment had failed and they’re trying the new experiment.”
He surmised, “I think it’s absolutely the case that they felt [with] arranged marriages you get your fingers very badly burnt. I mean, the Royal Family nearly, you could argue, came to an end, the whole divorce and then the TV interviews and so on were so destructive. So, they’re just trying to avoid that.”
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