Jaipur holds a special place in the Princes Diana legend. As the entire world remembers on her 20th death anniversary, the royal couple’ s visit to the city way back in 1992 for the first time when strained relationship between the two came out in the open during a polo match when Princess Diana appeared to snub her husband as he leaned in to kiss her during a prize giving ceremony.
Former royal press officer Dickie Arbiter describing the awkward moment in his book On Duty With The Queen, says Charles forgot to kiss wife in front of waiting media but realised his mistake and hastily returned to kiss her cheek. He said: “Incensed, the Princess swivelled her head so that the kiss landed near her ear. The crowd, as well as those of us accompanying the royal couple, could only cringe.”
“The Prince had clearly been intentionally humiliated, and we knew he’d be furious.”
Arbiter says the reason behind the snub was that Princess Charles did not accompany her to visit Taj Mahal as he was busy attending business meetings. Diana was clearly upset and she apparently decided to exact her revenge on her husband at a Valentine’s Day polo match. The Princess was due to hand out prizes at the match.
“The Prince could have used the visit to the Taj Mahal to make a positive statement about his marriage and, in turn, quell the ever-present rumours.
“Instead, his unwavering refusal to accompany her made it clear to his wife and the world at large that he no longer cared what people thought.”
Furious at being left alone, she initially refused to do so but was reportedly persuaded to continue by Arbiter and another press officer.
Tina Brown, who penned the best selling, “The Diana Chronicles,” says that was the beginning of the end.
Speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival in 2010, Brown said that during the September 1992 visit to Jaipur, Princess Diana was found moving away from Prince Charles who had leaned against her in one of the public appearances. The strain in the relationship, started apparently due to Prince Charles’ proximity to Camilla Parker, got aggravated later on, Brown said.
If Camilla was the reason for Diana’s sense of insecurity the reason for Prince Charles’ disenchantment with their marriage was seemingly his doubts over the parentage of their son, Harry. Thereafter, it was a long list of boy friends for Diana including Indian businessman Gullu Lalwani, Pakistani doctor, Hashnat Khan and Dodi Al-Fyad. “Diana did out of her insecurity and to embarrass the royal family,” Ms. Brown noted. In fact it was some kind of irony that Diana happened to be with Dodi on the ill fated day in August 1997 when the Princess died after a car crash in Paris, observed Brown, as there had been no deep relationship between the two.