Was Diana taller than Charles? Princess Diana's height explained

She was taller than the average UK woman

a split collage showing a young Princess Diana and Prince Charles
(Image credit: Future/Getty)

So was Diana taller than Charles? We delve into the height difference between the former husband and wife.

Being a figure in the public eye often means everything is under scrutiny - from your behaviour and fashion choices to trivial matters such as height. So it's no surprise that people often want to know how tall is King Charles III and the royal family (opens in new tab). The late Princess Diana (opens in new tab) is another whose height has piqued interest following the release of a certain Netflix show. 

The actress playing Diana in The Crown season 5 (opens in new tab) stands notably taller than other The Crown season five cast (opens in new tab) members - leaving many wondering what Princess Diana's height was and whether she was taller than Charles and other individuals in the royal household. We reveal all.

Was Diana taller than Charles?

No, Diana was not taller than Charles, in fact the ex-husband and wife duo were actually the same height - standing 5ft 10 inches tall (or 1.78 metres). Princess Diana's height made her taller than the average sized woman in the UK.

Though of the same footing, one look at the couple's official portraits together show that they were often staged to present Charles as taller than Diana. Both their engagement and wedding photoshoots show Charles appearing taller than his bride.

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The height difference in Princess Diana and Prince Charles' engagement photo can be explained, with the King of England standing a couple of steps up from Diana.

It's been reported that Princess Diana was banned from wearing heels whilst on public engagements with her husband. Though this is something that the current Queen consort (opens in new tab) Camilla is not obliged to follow.

According to Newsweek (opens in new tab), Diana's height actually held her back in some ways. The young Spencer loved to dance, taking up ballet as a child. However she was forced to stop as she grew up and became an adult, with her height making her taller than what is expected of traditional ballet dancers.

Why was Diana made to look shorter than Charles?

Whilst there's been no official confirmation, it's thought that traditional gender roles were the reason behind the strategic height posing - with Diana having to bend to support the notion that men should be taller than their wives. 

"This effort to make Charles appear taller is a social commitment to the idea that men are taller and women shorter," says Professor Lisa Wade PhD of Tulane University via The Society Pages (opens in new tab). "When our own bodies, and our chosen mates, don’t follow this rule, sometimes we’ll go to great lengths to preserve the illusion."

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Body language expert Judi James (opens in new tab) also suggests that Diana was presented as being shorter than her partner for male representation.

"The male ego is tightly linked to sexual performance and perhaps the thought was to avoid anything that might make him feel weaker or inferior," she says.

Modern audiences have expressed their dissatisfaction at Diana having to follow such rules at the time. 

"One user on Twitter, tweeted: "One may/may not recall the lengths to which the couple (the crown?) went to disguise #LadyDiana's height. #Conformity #Sexism.”

Whilst another added: "It's not about him wearing heels, it's about him making her squat in the photo."

Princess Diana's height in The Crown

Viewers tuning into The Crown season 5 (opens in new tab) will see that Diana actress Elizabeth Debicki stands taller than Dominic West - the actor who plays Prince Charles. This has led to some falsely believing that Diana was taller than Charles in real life - when they were in fact the same height.

Elizabeth Debicki is 6ft 3 - and therefore 5 inches than the real Princess Diana. Meanwhile Dominic West is 6ft - shorter than his on-screen wife - but 2 inches taller than the real King Charles III.

Elizabeth Debicki as Diana in The Crown season 5

Elizabeth Debicki as Diana in The Crown season 5.

(Image credit: Netflix)

In season 4, Princess Diana was portrayed by Emma Corrin, who was actually shorter than the real Diana at 5ft 8 inches.

Who is taller Diana or Kate?

The late Princess Diana was actually taller than Kate Middleton by 1 inch. Whilst Diana was 5ft 10in, her daughter-in-law's height is 5ft 9in.

Diana and Charles's height advantage certainly passed down to their sons Prince William and Prince Harry. The new Prince of Wales is 6ft 3 - making him the tallest current living royal and six inches taller than Kate.

Prince Harry is also over the 6ft mark - standing tall at 6ft 1 inches. This makes him four inches above the average height for a man in the UK. Both of Charles's children are therefore taller than their father.

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