Charles And Di: Doomed From Start?

Twenty-five years ago Saturday, Diana Spencer married Prince Charles in a spectacular ceremony seen 'round the world.

It was the wedding of the century, watched by over half-a-million people in Britain, and a global audience of a staggering 750 million.

But the couple wasn't destined to live happily ever after and, as CBS News Correspondent Randall Pinkston reports in looking back at the nuptials, some royals watchers had a feeling from the get-go that something was amiss.

The young bride, peering out with a smile from her glass coach, would become the most famous woman in the world and change the monarchy forever.

On July 29, 1981, joy filled the land.

"This was a moment in history," reflects British journalist Victoria Mather, "that Prince Charles was going to be king and she was going to be his queen. … Quite apart from the historical significance is that she was so young, and so beautiful; she had already got a stranglehold on the hearts and minds of the people."

It was, Pinkston says, the stuff of which fairy tales are made.

Mather, who was one of the wedding guests that fabled day, adds, "What I remember most is that it was very much like anybody else's wedding. The bride's mother wore a flowery hat; there was the naughty bride's handmaid; the bridegroom looked nervous; and the bride fluffed her lines. It was just so like anybody else's wedding, just (larger)."

Like the train of Diana's wedding gown which, Pinkston says, seemed to go on forever.

Elizabeth Emanuel, with her then-husband David, designed the dress.

Right after wedding, they received a phone call.

"It was Diana," Elizabeth recalls, "and we couldn't believe it. She had phoned us to thank us and said she felt so beautiful in it. We couldn't believe, here she had gone off on her honeymoon, and took the time to phone and thank us. That's how sweet she was."

Though the relationship appeared promising, says Pinkston, in retrospect, there were early warning signs of trouble.
  • Brian Dakss

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