The Crown may not have depicted the actual wedding ceremony of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, but the show nonetheless provides small, revealing details about their big day.
The wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles happened on July 29, 1981, at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. Heralded as a fairy tale come true, the televised event drew in hundreds of millions of viewers, all of whom were hungry for a little slice of happily ever after.
But Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding was far from an idealistic fairy tale. In the aptly named Season 4 episode "Fairytale," The Crown depicts a number of true events and details - including revelations about Prince Charles and Princess Diana's engagement and how the couple spent the months before the ceremony - that paint the supposedly happy couple in starker terms. The show is fictional, however, and its realism goes only so far: There are plenty of The Crown Princess Diana wedding facts that were left out, and they give an even deeper understanding about the ceremony and relationship.
All of these small details about Charles and Diana's wedding reveal the royal couple in a different light than how people at the time wanted to imagine them.
Diana Found A Bracelet Charles Had Made For Camilla Right Before Their Wedding
The Crown depicts an uncomfortable, but true, moment that didn't bode well for Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer's marriage. In the days before the wedding, Diana stumbles upon a sketch for a bracelet engraved with the letters "F" and "G." Believing they stand for "Fred" and "Gladys" - Charles and Camilla's nicknames for each other - Diana furiously confronts her fiance and threatens to cancel the wedding. Charles talks her out of it.
This actually happened. When Diana discovered the bracelet and confronted Charles about it, he positioned it as a friendly gift, rather than a gift to a lover. The letters stood for "Girl Friday," he insisted, since Camilla was as useful as a secretary to him.
Diana mulled over ending the engagement, but her sisters talked her out of it.29750See them in a different way?
Diana Got To Pick Out Her Engagement Ring
Princess Diana's sapphire, diamond-encrusted engagement ring is as well-known as her extravagant wedding dress. But The Crown taught viewers that Diana picked the ring out herself. In the show, Diana selects the ring from a tray of baubles, with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles looking on.
The Crown got it right. Prince Charles didn't present his fiancee with an engagement ring when he proposed. Instead, Diana later picked the ring out from options that the royal jewelers laid out for her. As she later recalled:
A briefcase comes along on the pretext that Andrew is getting a signet ring for his 21st birthday and along come these sapphirs. I mean nuggets! I suppose I chose it, we all chipped in. The Queen paid for it.24244See them in a different way?
Charles Was Pressured Into Marrying A Virgin
In The Crown, Prince Charles knows exactly who he wants to marry: Camilla Shand. The problem? She loves someone else and is not the virginal bride that the future queen consort has to be.
In the show, Prince Charles's family puts him under increasing pressure to find the right girl and settle down. As his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten advises him:
I believe, in a case like yours, the man should sow his wild oats and have as many affairs as he can before settling down, but for a wife he should choose a suitable, attractive, and sweet-charactered girl before she met anyone else she might fall for.
In the words of Princess Diana's unofficial biographer Andrew Morton, the Windsors became "patently aware that the older [Charles] became the more difficult it would be to find a virginal, Protestant aristocrat to be his bride."
Lady Diana Spencer fit the bill. As a teenager who was part of one of the country's most storied aristocratic families and who had never had a romantic relationship with a man, she was exactly what the royal family had in mind.25164See them in a different way?
Camilla Parker Bowles And Diana Had Lunch At The Ménage à Trois Restaurant After Her Engagement Was Announced
In one particularly awkward scene in The Crown, the newly engaged Lady Diana Spencer agrees to meet Camilla Parker Bowles - Prince Charles's former lover - for lunch. Camilla is overly warm to Diana, even as she clarifies that she knows more about Charles than Diana ever will.
The pair - Prince Charles's former flame and his future wife - met for lunch at the Ménage à Trois restaurant in London. The show presents the events from Diana's perspective. As she recounted to biographer Andrew Morton:
When I arrived at Clarence House there was a letter on my bed from Camilla, dated two days previously, saying, "Such exciting news about the engagement. Do let's have lunch soon when the Prince of Wales goes to Australia and New Zealand. He's going to be away for three weeks. I'd love to see the ring, lots of love, Camilla." And that was, "Wow!" [...] So we had lunch. Very tricky indeed. She said: "You are not going to hunt are you?" I said: "On what?" She said: "Horse. You are not going to hunt when you go and live at Highgrove are you?" I said: "No." She said: "I just wanted to know," and I thought as far as she was concerned that was her communication route. Still too immature to understand all the messages coming my way.19152See them in a different way?