[excerpt from the upcoming book - The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride: How Princess Diana Exposed the 'Princess Myth' for All Women]
Dreams of being rescued by a prince were not only part of Diana Spencer’s girlhood fantasies, but princes and princesses were real people in the world she lived in. She was the daughter of an Earl, a member of one of the oldest families in British aristocracy, and grew up familiar with members of the royal family, attending birthday parties and special events hosted by royalty.
“Looming large in her romantic haze,” Tina Brown wrote, “was the face she had framed in her school dormitory, a real Prince Charming…the most eligible bachelor in the whole United Kingdom, the twenty-first Prince of Wales.” Charles was known for his “daring exploits on the polo field and ski slopes…parachuting out of combat planes,” making him a heart-throb for the country’s young girls and perhaps why Diana fell in love with the dashing image when she thought she was in love with the man.
Biographer Sally Bedell Smith wrote that “during the courtship, she seemed enchanted mainly by the idea of becoming a princess.” Then added these insights: “Diana idealized marriage as a fantasy that contrasted sharply with Charles’ elaborately considered view. In contemplating marriage to Charles, Diana supposedly told friends that she felt secure for the first time in her life.”
With different expectations of love, partnership, royal duties and marriage, the relationship began breaking down early. “But this was the marriage of the heir to the throne, and Diana and Charles were locked into position,” Smith explained. “They would both keep pretending, without fully understanding the consequences of their charade.” ~
[Other excerpts from the "End of the Myth" chapter of The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride upcoming book can be found by clicking on End of the Myth in the Labels list.]