The night before her wedding, Princess Diana was understandably nervous.
She was set to say ‘I do’ to Prince Charles in front of 3,500 guests at St Paul’s Cathedral as millions tuned in around the world.
But to ease her tensions, her future husband sent his bride-to-be a secret note on the eve of their wedding almost 40 years ago – and it offered sweet advice to young bride.
The heir-to-the-throne was 32 when he married Diana, while the late princess was just 20.
In her book about Camilla called The Duchess: The Untold Story, royal author Penny Junor revealed: “The night before the wedding, which Diana spent at Clarence House with her sister Jane, he sent her a note, along with a signet ring that bore the Prince of Wales feathers.
“He wrote: “I’m so proud of you and when you come up I’ll be there at the altar for you tomorrow. Just look ’em in the eye and knock ’em dead'”, reports the Express.
But despite the note, Charles also reportedly left his bride devastated after making an admission the night before the wedding, because he “did not want to go into the marriage on a false promise”.
Diana’s astrologer, Penny Thornton, who worked closely with the princess claims Charles told his fiancee that he didn’t love her.
Speaking on ITV documentary The Diana Interview: Revenge Of A Princess, she said: “One of the most shocking things that Diana told me was that the night before the wedding Charles told her that he didn’t love her…
‘I think Charles didn’t want to go into the wedding on a false premise. He wanted to square it with her and it was devastating for Diana.
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‘She didn’t want to go through with the wedding at that point, she thought about not attending the wedding.’
But despite the concerns on both side, the wedding went ahead and the next day, Diana captivated the world as she walked down the aisle in her huge ivory silk taffeta gown.
She exchanged vows with Charles – despite the pair having only met a handful of times. About 750 million people around the world watched the ceremony on TV.
The job of designing Diana’s dress fell to David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who went to great lengths to ensure the design was kept a secret.
The couple even destroyed their sketches straight after they’d been shown to Diana to make sure they could never fall into the wrong hands.
But in case the design was to be leaked, another dress was created as a back-up option.
Meanwhile, Diana also had two bouquets also made for the big day. That’s because according to a new documentary, she wanted one laid on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey.
Florist David Longman, who was in charge of the flowers at the 1981 wedding told The Wedding of the Century, that features on Britbox: “She was very easy to deal with. She wasn’t particularly demanding. She was always charming.
“If you look at the photographs from Princess Elizabeth’s wedding, you will see that the big photograph with all the bridesmaids, everyone is carrying a bouquet, except the bride.
“The princess asked for her bouquet to be put on the tomb of the Unknown Warrior. Lady Diana had heard this story so she said: ‘Please can we have two bouquets?’
“So, we had one that went straight onto the tomb and the other that was delivered to Buckingham Palace ready for the photographs.”
In her book, Ms Junor claims Charles believed the wedding was a mistake but knew it was too late to pull out.
She added: “Charles was not convinced he was doing the right thing in marrying Diana but there was no way out and, bolstered by the hope that things would be different once they were married, he put a brave face on it.”
A year after their fairytale wedding, the Charles and Diana welcomed Prince William and later Prince Harry but the couple separated in 1992 after their marriage broke down.
The couple divorced in 1996, just a year before Diana tragically died following a car crash in Paris.