Prince Charles got married for the first time in 1981 to Lady Diana Spencer, who would later be known as Princess Diana. The two of them would later divorce, but fans continue to be fascinated by what went on in their marriage.
There are many theories as to why Charles and Diana’s relationship did not last—with the most popular one being Charles’ famous affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. However, Queen Elizabeth reportedly thinks Charles’ age might be at play as well.
How old was Prince Charles when he first got married?
Charles was born on November 14, 1948. He was the eldest child of Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Phillip.
Charles was 32 years old when he married Diana in 1981. At the time, Diana was barely 20 years old.
Charles reportedly was not too happy about the large age gap between them. Royal expert Sarah Bradford even revealed in the documentary Charles and Di: The Truth Behind Their Wedding that the prince called his bride “a child.”
“She is exquisitely pretty, a perfect poppy. But she is a child,” Charles reportedly said, according to Express. “She does not look old enough to be out of school, much less married.”
Prince Charles had an affair during his marriage to Princess Diana
Several years after tying the knot with Diana, Charles began an extramarital affair with Camilla. Charles and Camilla used to date in the early 1970s, but he was not allowed to marry her since she was not “aristocratic” enough for the heir to the throne.
Even during her marriage, Diana was very much aware that Charles had another woman in his heart. In fact, she found out Charles was still in touch with Camilla weeks before her wedding.
“Someone in his office told me that my husband has had a bracelet made for her,” Diana said in an interview with Andrew Morton, according to Mirror. “I walked into this man’s office one day and I said, ‘Ooh, what’s in that parcel?’ And he said ‘Oh, you shouldn’t look at that’. So I opened it and there was the bracelet … I was devastated, and I said ‘Well, he’s going to give it to her tonight.”
Charles and Diana officially divorced in 1996.
Queen Elizabeth reportedly thinks Prince Charles’ age also played a role in his divorce
Charles married Diana because she had the approval of his family. However, his mother, Queen Elizabeth, seemed to have known that the marriage would not work out. According to royal author Robert Johnson, Her Majesty reportedly believes Charles’ age played a role in his divorce.
“The Queen thinks that one of the reasons Charles’ marriage to Diana didn’t last was because he waited too long,” Johnson said, as reported by Express. “At 32, he was too set in his ways.”
Charles and Camilla ended up getting married in 2005 when Charles was 56 and Camilla was 57. They have been married for 15 years now.