Heartbreaking sign Charles and Diana's marriage was destined to fail seen in their most iconic photo

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince Charles and Princess Diana's marriage was destined to fail according to a body language expert who has analysed their official engagement photographs.

On the 40th anniversary of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's engagement a body language expert has revealed the tell-tale signs that suggest their marriage was not destined to last.

Prince Charles and Diana married on 29th July 1981 and have two sons Prince William and Prince Harry but their marriage broke down in 1992 and the couple divorced four years later in 1996.

Diana was later tragically killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

But while their engagement marked the start of their love story, it looks like a happy ever after wasn't destined from the start.

Body language expert Darren Stanton has analysed Prince Charles and Diana's official engagement photoshoot that took place on 24th February 1981 at Buckingham Palace.

Darren (speaking on behalf of Slingo) sheds light on how the former Royal couple’s body position, gestures and facial expressions reveal their true feelings at the time.

He explained, “The mind and body are inextricably linked and often what we are thinking is revealed by our body position and the gestures we make. Diana had been plunged into the limelight on a global scale and in her official engagement photos it’s apparent that this level of attention was obviously very daunting and all new to her."

Princess Diana and Prince Charles

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer pose for photographers at Buckingham Palace after the announcement of their engagement. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
(Image credit: Corbis via Getty Images)

Mr Stanton continued, “Charles, however, was more used to being in the public eye and the expressions he is displaying in the photos don’t seem to be consistent with the emotions he is trying to convey. Instead, we can assume that Charles is just going through the motions because, unlike Diana, he was so used to having his photograph taken.

You can watch a video clip of the announcement below...


“Diana appears nervous and in some photos is seen with her arm positioned across her chest in what is known as a self-reassurance hug. This posture tends to be adopted by those that are feeling uncomfortable in their environment, suggesting Diana was nervous and quite intimidated by the level of attention she was receiving."

Princess Diana and Prince Charles

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 24: Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer (later to become Princess Diana) in the gardens of Buckingham Palace on the day of announcing their engagement. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Mr Stanton also explored the significance of Diana's outfit to her feelings. He noted, "The royal blue suit she wore to announce her engagement to Charles may be an iconic outfit of the ‘80s, but it was everything Diana was not.

"The high neckline and longer skirt would have adhered to Royal protocol, but seems a little too stuffy and sensible for her liking," he claimed.

And added, "It would have been the ‘appropriate’ choice for Diana to wear, given the official occasion she was wearing it to, but I can’t help but feel she looks uncomfortable and defensive while sporting it - suggesting she didn’t enjoy the spotlight she was being thrust into.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales pose for photographs following the announcement of their engagement in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on February 24, 1981 in London, United Kingdom (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

“As for Charles, while he appears quite calm and seems comfortable, not surprisingly as they are in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, he lacks sincerity in his emotion - this is visible by his face failing to appear completely engaged - and there appears to be a disconnect between himself and Diana, as he is leaning away rather than in towards his fiancée.”

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is currently a Senior Entertainment Writer for Goodto.com, formerly Senior Entertainment writer for Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life with more than 16 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently writes a mix of Entertainment news - including celebrity births, weddings, reporting the the latest news about the Royal kids Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet as well as Family news stories from baby names to store closures and product recall warnings. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.