Her dad had to convince her to go through with it.
The days leading up to Princess Diana's wedding to then-Prince Charles were undoubtedly stressful, but according to royal biographer Ingrid Seward, the big day almost didn't happen. In her new book, My Mother And I, Seward explains that Diana felt alone and isolated before the wedding. In an excerpt published by the Daily Mail over the weekend, the situation is laid out like this: at Prince Andrew's 21st birthday, Diana wanted to dance with Charles, but he was too busy working the room.
"Diana was in despair. Her fiancé had been away in America for most of the previous week, yet he clearly had no desire to dance with her," the excerpt reads. "Feeling emotionally drained, she threw herself into dancing frantically with one man after another — and finally just dancing by herself."
Elton John performed at the event and per Business Insider, the star described it in his 2019 memoir Me as "the world's quietest disco" in case anyone wondered what vibes were like that night. The party was in June 1981 and the wedding was slated for July.
Seward's book continues, with footman Mark Simpson saying that he saw Princess Diana "looking exhausted and lost in her thoughts yet still moving in slow, rhythmic time to some tune in her head."
The author continues, writing that the People's Princess ended the night in Northamptonshire, where her father lived, feeling "distraught, flustered, angry, and had no intention of ever going back. As far as Diana was concerned, the royal wedding was off."
"But when she explained her decision to her father, Earl Spencer, he was appalled," the author wrote. "After calming her down, he pointed out it would be an act of gross discourtesy to break off her engagement to the future king so close to the wedding."
"And, anyway, wasn't it what she'd always wanted? Didn't she remember him telling her that she should only marry a man she loved — and her firm reply: 'That is what I am doing'? Diana wasn't immediately convinced," Seward added. After "gusts of tears and spells of indecision," Diana "allowed her father to talk her round."
"She couldn't deny that she still wanted to be the Princess of Wales. And, at 19, she was young enough still to believe in happy endings, despite what her instincts had told her on that terrible night," Seward wrote.
My Mother And I hits shelves on Feb. 15.
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