Charles and Diana were ‘credible’ & ‘tactile’ during engagement before ‘appalling’ moment

Princess Diana and Charles discuss engagement in 1981

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Prince Charles and Lady Diana announced their engagement on February 24, 1981, just six months after they began dating. They were married on July 29, later that year. Charles and Diana were interviewed by the press at the time of their engagement, with the Prince’s response to one particular question shocking the nation. But did his body language match his words? And what was Diana’s reaction?

Many royal fans will remember Charles and Diana’s engagement interview, where, when asked if they were in love, Charles responded: “Whatever in love means.”

Meanwhile, Diana simply said: “Yes.”

The couple stood close to one another and had just had their engagement portrait taken.

Charles wore a grey trouser suit with a pale blue shirt and a dark blue tie, while Diana wore a royal blue skirt suit with a white and blue patterned pussy-bow blouse.

But what was the pair’s body language like?

Judi James gave her professional analysis, saying: “Up until the point where Charles lets his appalling, infamous and hugely telling truth-bomb comment of ‘whatever in love means’ drop to shatter Diana’s illusions about a romantic, fairy-tale love-match, he and his very young bride-to-be are displaying signals of a very credible and authentic love-based relationship.”

The body language expert continued: “Standing side-by-side, they are extremely tactile, with their arms pressed tight together as Charles holds onto Diana’s hand and caresses it throughout the interview.

“His facial expressions of the look of love are uncannily congruent.

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“Every time he looks at Diana, and he looks at her with flattering frequency, his whole expression changes, with the muscles softening the features.

“The eyes narrow in a smile, his mouth opens in a beaming grin, and even the hint of a dimple appears on his cheek.”

Judi explained that Diana, meanwhile, “giggles as he speaks to her and tilts her head in a truncated gesture that suggests a desire to place it on his shoulder”.

“She might be a teenager but he lets her answer her questions and even defers to her at one point during an answer of his own,” the body language expert said.

“He lets out a delighted laugh as she says she found him ‘pretty amazing’ at their first meeting and he looks genuinely flattered and pleased.

“What warning signs exist, apart from his final and damming comment, are small but dramatic.”

Commenting on Charles’ tactility, Judi said: “The hand-touch looks tender but it is also clumsy, like the odd hand he had place on her shoulder during their photoshoot outside.

“At one point we can see he is actually stroking his own hand, although he moves to her fingers but stroking them repeatedly from the tip of the nail downward, which could feel uncomfortable for her.”

Judi added: “When Diana is asked about their ‘daunting’ marriage Charles’s smile drops and a partial rictus takes its place.

“One side of his mouth pulls up in what looks like an involuntary movement that looks like a wince of pain.”

Charles and Diana separated in 1992, but didn’t divorce until August 1996.

Their marriage suffered due to their incompatibility and extra-marital affairs.

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