PRINCESS DIANA made her royal debut at an event with Grace Kelly in 1981 – and the Princess of Monaco had some chilling words for Diana when she “poured her heart out”, according to a royal biographer.
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Princess Diana and Prince Charles married in their spectacular royal wedding in July 1981. The Prince and Princess of Wales announced their engagement in February of that year, and Lady Diana Spencer’s first royal engagement with her husband-to-be followed at a glamorous gala with Grace Kelly at the Royal Opera House. Andrew Morton in his 2011 book “William and Catherine”, about Diana’s son William and his wife Kate, delves into the occasion in March 1981, where the Princess of Monaco had some chilling words for the Princess of Wales.
Mr Morton said: “She chose a black ballgown with plunging, gravity-defang décolletage, which had commentators wondering if she had exposed more than she should, for a charity gala in the presence of Princess Grace of Monaco, the former Hollywood star Grace Kelly.”
Mr Morton reported how the Princess of Wales later told him: “It was a horrendous occasion.
“I didn’t know whether to go out of the door first.
“I didn’t know whether your handbag should be in your left hand not your right.
“I was terrified, really – at the time everything was all over the place.
The two Princesses met each other in 1981 (Image: Getty)
The function was Princess Diana’s first royal engagement (Image: Getty)
Diana’s dress was designed by her wedding dress designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel (Image: Getty)
Mr Morton added: “Sensing her discomfort, Princess Grace took her aside and listened as she poured out her heart.
“‘Don’t worry,’ Princess Grace had joked, ‘it will get a lot worse.’”
Mr Morton also wrote about how Kate Middleton’s entrance into royal life was markedly different from Princess Diana’s experience.
Speaking about Diana, he said: “She had moved away from her family and friends to live with the Queen Mother at Clarence House until the wedding day.
“As a result, she had felt isolated and alone, unsure how to act and whom to ask for help.
“If anything, her first official public appearance had been even more of an ordeal than the engagement day.”
This is backed up by royal author Penny Junor, who writes in her 2017 biography “The Duchess: “It was intimidating stuff for someone who had never been in the public eye.
“Diana was scrupulously polite but she found the pressure unbearable.”
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Diana later said of this period: “I cried like a baby to the four walls. I just couldn’t cope with it.”
Ms Junor comments: “Because she was just a girlfriend, there was no mechanism to protect her.”
The landscape has changed significantly for Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, who both enjoyed protection before they officially joined the Royal Family upon their marriages to Prince William and Prince Harry respectively.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK