If you were a teenager or adult in the 80s, then likely you know at least a little bit about the lives, marriage, and subsequent tragedy that was Princess Diana and King Charles. You’ve also likely seen countless photos of the couple, both together and separate. They may not have been on the throne, but they were certainly the king and queen of the headlines. Still today, 25 years after her death, people talk about the couple.
Well, a viral tweet about Princess Di and King Charles from four years ago is making the rounds again. People are yet again talking about a small detail in nearly every photo of the couple that you will only notice if you truly know all there is to know about the pair.
The Detail About Photos Of Princess Diana And King Charles That Everyone Is Talking About
It’s no secret that Princess Diana and King Charles’ marriage wasn’t exactly a happy one. It is public knowledge that it was rife with discord, infidelity, and ultimately ended in divorce. Diana clashed with the strict rules and protocol that went along with being a part of the royal family and gave a very provocative tell-all after the couple split. Still, there are many photos of the couple over the course of their courtship and marriage.
There’s one detail that only die-hard Diana fans will notice is that in nearly every photo, in particular the official ones, King Charles appears quite a lot taller than Princess Di. If you’re wondering why that’s weird, it’s because the pair were the same height: Each of them standing at 5 feet and 10 inches. (1)
Nowhere is this more apparent in the commemorative stamp, where Charles appears almost a full head taller than Diana.
Why Did They Do This?
Of course, no one can officially ask the royal family why, necessarily, but most agree that the reason is likely quite obvious. King Charles is the heir to the throne and future King of England. The family wanted to make sure that he always appeared “manly”, while Diana appeared dainty and lady-like. To achieve this, they always made sure that he appeared taller than her in photos.
Many speculate that this is always why Diana wore flats or very short heels, never anything higher. Many note that she is also often tilting her head downward in photos. The speculation is that she did this also to ensure that the King appeared taller than her.
Unofficial photos, plus knowledge of each partner’s individual heights, confirm that there was not this apparent height difference. They were the same height, always.
“When Charles and Diana were posed together formally, however, they were typically arranged so as to suggest that he was significantly taller than her, or at least to disguise the fact that he was not,” said Occidental College Professor Lisa Wade. “This effort to make Charles appear taller is a social commitment to the idea that men are taller and women shorter. When our own bodies, and our chosen mates, don’t follow this rule, sometimes we’ll go to great lengths to preserve the illusion.” (2)
Princess Diana’s Tall Genes Squeaked In
For the new members of the Royal Family, Kate and Meghan, who are the wives of Diana and Charles’ sons William and Harry respectively, this is not an issue. The height genes that run in Diana’s family found their way into William and Harry’s DNA. It is suspected that William stands at 6 foot 2, while his younger brother Harry is a slightly shorter 6 foot 1.
Of course, it is not known if this contributed in any way to the couple’s downfall. That being said, it could not have been easy constantly being told to make yourself smaller in order to fit this outdated gender “role”. It is also sad to think that King Charles was made to feel inferior or that he lacked something important simply because he was only average in height. Either way, it is an interesting fact to note, intentional or not.
Of course, many people commented on the tweet. Some speculated that he wore lifts, others suggested that perhaps he stood on a box. Many women commented on how annoying this was and that they can never understand why men feel so emasculated by tall women.
“annoying. Hollywood does this all the time. Why are men so afraid of us tall women? Gah.” wrote one user.
What do you think? Do you think this was intentional, or simply a coincidence? Do you think height differences or lack thereof matter in a relationship? If you are a woman, do you care if your partner is taller or shorter than you? Likewise, if you are a man, does height matter to you in a relationship?
- “Princess Diana height: How much taller than Prince Charles was Diana?” Express. Aliss Higham. October 21, 2020.
- “The bizarre detail in every photo of Princess Diana and Prince Charles you probably never noticed.” Woman and Home. Lucy Buglass. July 7, 2021.