A royal photographer recalls a public event where he caught the princess bursting out in tears when the crowd couldn't see her.
There is probably no one reason or moment that defines why Prince Charles and Princess Diana's seemingly perfect relationship failed. Several royal watchers believe it was a litany of circumstances that caused one of the most public splits ever. According to Fox News, her biographer Andrew Morton listed out a number of events that made the princess feel unwelcome and lonely in her marriage and inside the palace.
However, there is one distinguished moment that made the cracks in the marriage clearly visible to the outside world. This moment was captured by the royal photographer who was allowed to accompany the royal couple on their public outings and tours. This means he also had the chance of noticing the couple when the cameras weren't rolling or the crowd wasn't around.
Photographer Ken Lennox, who was the first to photograph Lady Diana and Prince Charles together, went on to capture the princess for the rest of her life, as per the Independent. He was in Australia in 1983 when Princess Diana and Prince Charles were on tour and recalled a candid moment from the event that gave the reality of the couple away.
For a four-part documentary titled Inside The Crown: Secrets of the Royals, Lennox spoke about the moment that made him notice something was not right in the young couple's marriage. He revealed to ITV about the time he saw the People's Princess break down in tears sitting beside her husband.
Lennox went on to explain that one of their engagements was in Sydney Opera House where they were greeted by thousands and he was seated in a car ready to photograph them when he realized something just wasn't right about the couple. When the crowd couldn't see her, Princess Diana who was sitting beside the prince burst into tears as he looked away.
"I'm about four feet from the Princess, and I'm trying to get a bit of the opera house in the background and some of the crowd, and Diana burst into tears and wept for a couple of minutes," he said during ITV documentary. "After it was over, I went to see the press officer for Prince and Princess, and I said, 'What happened?' He said, 'Ken, mozzies and jet lag and heat.' So I just accepted that," he added.
Lennox captured the moment in a photo, which is being claimed as the "first" one to show that their marriage had hit the rock bottom. The couple was touring Australia and New Zealand in 1983 with baby Prince William, who was less than a year old at the time.
"Charles, I don't think, has noticed at that stage, you know. If he has, typical of Prince Charles to look the other way! But it was the first sign that something was wrong. And then we began to see other things were happening later on," he was quoted by 9honey.
Later it was reported that after the Prince did not care about his wife's emotional break down in a public event. Diana developed a habit a fake laughing which "annoyed" Prince Charles. According to The Sun, her former press secretary Patrick Jephson noticed her intentionally "laughing a lot" "to annoy her husband."
"As professional royal performers they were unbeatable, but behind the scenes it was quite different. They didn't talk to each other, there was minimal eye contact, they were short-tempered with each other. Diana enjoyed upstaging her husband and if she was laughing and smiling more it wasn't that she was having more fun but that she knew it got on his nerves," Jephson revealed.
By the early 1990s things were way out of control and they couldn't pretend anymore. Their last engagement was in South Korea, 1992, where they probably didn't even try to pretend to be okay with each other. "It was blatantly obvious how miserable they were, they couldn't stand each other and I think the press office threw up their hands and said let's make the split as easy as possible," Victoria Arbiter, 9Honey's royal columnist, said.
Prince Charles admitted on TV in June 1994 that he had an affair with Camilla Bowles Parker. The couple divorced in 1996 and the princess died in a car crash in 1997.