How Charles motivated Diana to ‘transform and come out of her shell’

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Diana and Charles had a famously rocky relationship from the start of their marriage in 1981. He was first in line to the throne, and she was an aristocratic young nursery teacher who had never really been in the spotlight. From the moment they announced their engagement, she became a figure of great interest, as she was expected to one day become the Queen consort. She managed to adapt to this sudden fame very quickly, and became one of the most photographed women in the world. She became known as a leading humanitarian figure, a icon and yet she apparently remained a very personable individual.

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In BBC Radio 4’s podcast series, ‘Images of Diana’, journalist Natasha Kaplinsky explored how Diana managed to change from a shy woman to a global star.

She was pictured in November 1985 dancing with esteemed actor John Travolta in the White House in front of the President Ronald Reagan on an official visit to the US with her husband.

Ms Kaplinsky said: “Dancing in front of the president of America… It takes some guts to get up and dance in the White House like that.

“This is an image of Diana transformed what had happened to Diana behind the scenes to give her this new confidence, this new look, this new dynamism?”

Princess Diana and Prince CharlesPrincess Diana and Prince Charles (Image: Getty)

Diana dancing with John TravoltaDiana dancing with John Travolta (Image: Getty)

Biographer Sarah Bradford said: “I don’t think it was anything but her that happened. By this time, Charles was no longer sleeping with her.

“He was saying things like ‘Why do they love her so much? All she ever did was say yes to me.’ He had this very downing effect.

“Her reaction to that was to project herself, to make herself into an international figure. I mean Americans in particular were impressed.”

Ms Kaplinsky added: “Well we were all glued let’s be honest.

READ MORE: Why Meghan's Diana-style TV interview is 'problematic' for Queen

Diana transformedDiana transformed (Image: Getty)

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