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Princess Diana was left "traumatised" by Prince Charles' response to an infamous question about love, a book claims.

In a notorious interview on the day the couple announced their engagement, a reporter asked the couple: "Are you in love?"

Diana responded: "Yes, of course, we are," before Charles added: "Whatever love means."

Charles proposed to Diana on February 3, 1981, in the nursery at Windsor Castle, before calling his mum the Queen.

He later reportedly told friends he desperately wanted to call off the wedding as he hadn't got the chance to get to know his future bride but knew it was too late and he had to go through with it.

In the book Diana: In Her Own Words, she 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 round and said, 'Whatever love means'.

"And that threw me completely. I thought, what a strange answer. It traumatised me."

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Others also reported that the couple didn't have quite the fairytale romance it appeared from the outside.

Speaking in a Channel 5 documentary Charles and Di: The Truth Behind Their Wedding, royal biographer Christopher Wilson said: "He didn't pick her up in his arms and embrace or do any of the things we might do when we propose marriage to the one that we love.

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"He rang his mum, simply to say there, I've done it now. You've asked me to get married to somebody and I've fixed it.

"What he'd done was he'd finally found a wife."

Charles and Diana met when he was 29 and she was just 16 in 1977, at a grouse shooting party at Althorp, the Spencer family home.

There was a minor scandal about the couple's wedding ring at the time because it came from a catalogue, and therefore, wasn't unique.

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According to royal biographer Robert Jobson, Charles is said to have told friends at the time: "I desperately wanted to get out of the wedding in 1981, when during the engagement I discovered just how awful the prospects were, having had no chance whatsoever to get to know Diana beforehand."

Before starting his relationship with Diana, he had dated Camilla, but she wasn't considered a suitable match.

It comes after Sarah Ferguson revealed the piece of advice Diana gave her which always stayed with her.

In the 1980s, there were some cruel comparisons made between glam Lady Di and "fat, frumpy Fergie," she told People magazine.

"Diana and I both had our own mental health issues, and she and I used to talk," she went on.

"She said, 'Fergie, remember one thing, when you're at the top of the pedestal, it's so easy to fall off. And you're at the bottom. You just climb up'.

"We were positioned as saint and sinner. And the most important thing was to remain robust together, and we did, no matter what anyone wrote."

  • Prince Charles
  • Princess Diana
  • Weddings

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