Princess Diana couldn’t call Prince Charles by his first name


  • Princess Diana was only allowed to address Prince Charles as “sir” until they were engaged.
  • The princess was not supposed to call him by his first name, writes royal biographer Andrew Morton.
  • “In Prince Charles’s circle this was considered the norm,” Morton added.
  • Visit the Insider home page for more stories.

40 years have passed since Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer announced their engagement on February 24, 1981.

The couple’s engagement interview was watched by royal fans around the world, but some people may not know how formal the couple had been up to that point.

According to Princess Diana’s biography, “Diana: Her True Story,” by Andrew Morton, she was asked to call Charles “sir” when they were dating and was only allowed to address him by his first name when they got engaged.

“It was not until Lady Diana was formally engaged to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales that she was given permission to call him ‘Charles’. Until then, she had modestly addressed him as ‘Sir,’ “Morton wrote in the book, which was first published in 1992.

While Diana also had an official title, she was formally known as Lady Diana until she was married, Charles used her first name.

“He called her Diana,” Morton added. “In Prince Charles’s circle this was considered the norm.”

Morton went on to explain that Diana’s older sister, Lady Sarah, had been “just as formal” during her nine-month relationship with the prince.

“Obviously it was okay to do it because they never corrected me,” Lady Sarah told Morton.

Diana met Charles when she was 16 and Prince 29. However, they did not begin a romantic relationship until three years later. The couple met a total of 13 times before getting married, the princess later said on secretly recorded tapes for her biography.

In the same tapes, Diana called her royal wedding the “worst day of my life.”

“I don’t think I was happy. I never tried to cancel it, in the sense of actually doing that, but I think [it was] worst day of my life, “he said.

She also described herself as “a lamb to the slaughter.”

The images from the tapes were first published in the 2017 National Geographic documentary, “Diana: In Her Own Words.”

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