Diana left 'traumatised' by Charles' odd reply at engagement – 'Threw me completely'

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The 19-year-old and Prince of Wales delighted royal fans when they publicly announced their engagement on February 24,1981. But Diana’s moment of happiness soon turned sour, after a brief encounter with the media. One of the journalists asked the newly engaged couple whether they were in love.

Diana enthusiastically replied ‘Of course,’ but was then mortified by her partner’s response.

Prince was only able to muster enough enthusiasm to reply: “Whatever ‘in love’ means.”

William and Harry’s mother would later reveal the profound impact Charles’ disinterested reply made on her.

In the documentary, ‘Diana: In her Own Words’, she said: “That threw me completely, I thought, ‘What a strange [answer]’ – absolutely traumatised me.”

The Wales’ marriage would soon hit the rocks, as Diana realised that her husband had never stopped loving Camilla.

In a frank interview with BBC journalist Martin Bashir, the Princess of Wales confided that “there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”

In the same interview she said that she became aware that Charles and Camilla had rekindled their affair in 1986.

READ MORE: Princess Diana’s private letters to friends up for sale

Sally Bedell Smith, author of ‘Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life’, told People magazine his words weren’t as harsh as some people took them to be.

She said: “I don’t see it as a cynical, cruel statement.

“She giggled and you don’t get any sense of her raising her eyebrows.”

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