What was the age difference between Diana and Charles when they got married?

The marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana seemed like the perfect match, but it was a marriage rocked by affairs, controversy and ultimately two very different people who reportedly felt trapped by their existence and union.

Despite their two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, the two were unhappy together and pursued affairs, all the while Diana suffered with severe mental health issues such as depression and an eating disorder.

They finally divorced one year before Diana's death in 1997, but had already been separated for a number of years.

The two, due to their status as royals, had their relationship heavily scrutinised. To this day, Diana remains extremely popular.

So what caused their relationship to break down?

How old were Prince Charles and Princess Diana when they met?

The engagement of Charles and Diana, 1981. Diana was just 19(Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The two first met in 1977 at Althorp House, Diana's country estate in Northamptonshire. At the time, Charles was 29 and Diana just 16.

In a 1981 interview with the Telegraph, Charles said: "I remember thinking what a very jolly and amusing and attractive 16-year-old she was.

"I mean, great fun, and bouncy and full of life and everything."

Charles was dating her older sister Sarah at the time but their relationship did not last long. Charles and the Spencer's did remain in the same social circles, however.

Three years later in 1980 is when the two seemingly got together for the first time, there relationship remaining a secret until September of the same year.

On February 24, 1981, they announced their engagement. Diana was just 19 and Charles 32.

Signs all was not well between the two began to emerge here. In the documentary 'Diana: In Her Own Words', Diana said: "We had this ghastly interview the day we announced our engagement.

"And this ridiculous [reporter] said, 'Are you in love?' I thought, 'What a thick question.' So I said, 'Yes, of course, we are,' and Charles turned around and said, 'Whatever love means.' And that threw me completely. I thought, 'What a strange answer.' It traumatised me."

When did Charles and Diana have children?

Charles and Diana with a young William and Harry(Tim Graham/Getty Images)

Diana gave birth to Prince William on June 28 1982 and Harry followed on September 15 1984, this was despite obvious problems in their union which began even before their wedding.

It is said that before the wedding, Diana found out about a bracelet Charles was having made for old flame Camilla Parker Bowles.

With Diana wracked with doubts, the wedding went ahead in front of a live audience of 750 million people on July 29 1981. Diana later called it "the worst day of my life".

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An argument during their honeymoon over cufflinks gifted to Charles by Camilla is then believed to have ensued.

Charles and Camilla had dated in the early 1970s, but the relationship soon fizzled out. Camilla Shand married Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973, but the former and Charles remained close afterwards and it was this that reportedly caused tension in the marriage between Charles and Diana.

However, one expert, former royal press scretary Dickie Arbiter, believes Diana and Charles's marriage started going wrong after William and Harry were born.

On the documentary Channel 5 documentary Charles and Camilla: King and Queen in Waiting, he said: "Charles wasn't the fully hands on dad that she would have expected, and I suppose that created a distance between the two."


When did Charles and Diana divorce?

Prince Charles & Princess Diana stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding ceremony(Getty Images)

By 1992, the marriage had all but ended and Prime Minister John Major announced their separation.

Their last royal trip together was in that same year.

Speaking on the documentary, Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, said: "They went separately and they left separately I think the press really jumped on that and they realised this was going seriously wrong, but nobody apart from Diana and her intimate circle knew about Camilla at that time."

They eventually filed for divorce in 1996 and both continued their royal duties.

As Diana's popularity grew, so did alleged resentment between the unhappy pair.

After a bout of depression following the birth of William, Diana then developed further mental health struggles. Media scrutiny around her, her marriage and looks was growing. Difficulties arrived this time in the form of the eating disorder bulimia.

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In the now infamous interview with the BBC's Martin Bashir, Diana said the bulimia was a "symptom of what was going on in [her] marriage."

Affairs then began to poke holes in the hull of an already unsteady ship. Charles later said that he became involved with Camilla once again in 1986, Diana's affair with army captain James Hewitt is believed to have started around the same time.

Another affair, this time between Diana and her bodyguard Barry Mannakee was also rumoured.

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Mannakee joined her bodyguard in 1985 and Diana would later describe him as the "greatest love of her life".

Manakee died in a motorcycle accident in 1987, months after being transferred away from Diana. The same year, Diana said she confronted Camilla about her affair with Charles and said: "I'd just like you to know that I know exactly what is going on."

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Shortly after the prime minister announced their separation, the 'Camillagate' tapes were published. Charles - in a recording from 1989 - joked with Camilla about "living inside" Camilla's knickers as a tampon.

He said: "Oh, God. I'll just live inside your trousers or something. It would be much easier!"

When did Princess Diana die?

(AFP/Getty Images)

After their separation, their public fallout continued.

In 1995, Diana revealed a number of details about their marriage, saying: "It was a bit crowded" with Camilla seemingly the third member. Charles had admitted to his affair publicly the year before.

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At 36, Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris. The crash also killed Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul. Charles went to collect her body from the French capital.

Her death caused a huge uproar among the British public, angry at how she had been treated by the royals and media at the time.

British television audience peaked at 32.10 million for her funeral.

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