Millions of Brits celebrated Prince Charles and Diana Spencer’s engagement – but things could have been very different.
Charles, under a lot of pressure to settle down, had originally wanted to tie the knot with another woman, according to reports.
In Robert Lacey’s book Battle of Brothers, he explains how Prince Charles’ great-uncle Lord Mountbatten pushed the prince to marry his second cousin, Amanda Knatchbull.
But Ms Knatchbull turned Charles down because she did not want to surrender herself into a “system”.
According to the biographer, Charles turned to Diana after he was rejected by Amanda, who was Lord Mountbatten’s granddaughter.
Mr Lacey wrote: "Over the years the two cousins did grow close, developing a mutual respect and friendship that has lasted to the present day.
“But when the prince finally made his proposal in the summer of 1979—shortly before Lord Mountbatten's assassination by the IRA—the independent-minded Amanda politely turned him down."
The rejection, according to reports, had a big impact on the future king.
According to Charles' biographer, Jonathan Dimbleby, the rejection "served only to confirm [Charles'] own belief that to marry into the House of Windsor was a sacrifice that no-one should be expected to make."
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It was only then that Charles turned to a young Diana Spencer, with the pair tying the knot in July 1981 at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
But according to The Express, she wasn't that impressed with the Prince of Wales when they first met.
She told Andrew Morton about her first impressions in the Channel 4 documentary Diana: In Her Own Words.
She said: “God what a sad man.
“I was asked to stay with some friends in Sussex, and they said, ‘Oh, the Prince of Wales is staying,’ and I thought I hadn’t seen him in ages.
“He’d just broken up with his girlfriend, and his friend Mountbatten had just been killed.
“I said it would be nice to see him. I was so unimpressed.”
The couple were together for 11 years, with Diana giving birth to Princes William and Harry before the pair separated in 1002.
Diana and Prince Charles divorced in 1996 before the princess was tragically killed in a car accident the following year.
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