It was reinforced like never before in 1983, when the new Prince and Princess of Wales began just two years after their first tour Down Under together Fairytale wedding.
But without the revered royal fans knowing, the marriage was not happy and the six week tour of Australia and New Zealand only moved to widen the gap that had grown between Prince Charles and Diana.
The royal mammoth visit is the focus of the sixth episode of Terra Nullis The crown Season four, returning to Netflix this Sunday.
The much anticipated season is going to be see the introduction of Lady Diana and follows her engagement and royal wedding to the future King of England.
Set in the 1980s, it features moments that still spring to mind many royal fans, including the 1983 tour.
Diana and Charles visited Australia together three times during their marriage. Before her engagement was announced, Diana was vacationing in New South Wales and enjoying her final months in relative anonymity. Diana made her last visit here in 1996, but as a divorced woman and free from the constraints of royal life.
Here are some of the highlights from Diana’s and Charles’ 1983 tour of Australia.
Prince Williams first royal tour
When Charles and Diana first visited Australia as husband and wife in 1983, they brought their young son with them rather than leaving him with nanny at Kensington Palace.
Diana had insisted on bringing baby William, then nine months old, and Charles had a major breach in royal protocol.
When the Royal Australian Air Force plane landed on Australian soil with the Royals in Alice Springs on a hot March morning, William was greeted in a very Australian way when a blowfly landed on his head.
When Prince Charles posed for photographers on the asphalt, he was heard saying: “Look, he’s already got a fly on him”.
Days later, Diana and Charles stood at sunset for photographers in front of Uluru – then known as Ayers Rock – for a photo that has become one of their most iconic, recreated by Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, during their first tour in 2014 through Australia. They also brought their young son – Prince George was also nine months old at the time.
The Prince and Princess of Wales also did what many top end tourists were doing at the time, and climbed Uluru.
Diana talks about baby William
When Diana was speaking to children in outback communities on the School of the Air radio, one of the young attendees asked her about William’s favorite toys.
“Um, Jamie, he loves his koala bear that he has, but he has nothing special, he just likes something with a little noise,” Diana said.
The princess was also asked if Prince William had a bike.
“He doesn’t have one yet, I think he’s a little short … maybe we’ll get him one when he’s your age and size,” she said.
The little prince was left with his nannies in Woomargama, a sheep station near Albury, because his parents could fly back to him every evening during this tour.
Hysterie im Sydney Opera House
Diana cemented her popularity within the British royal family – and with her Australian fans – when she and Charles toured the Sydney Opera House, where thousands of people lined the foreshore streets and the steps of the building to catch a glimpse of the couple .
People hung from windows and office buildings as Diana and Charles drove past in an open-air car. The mass hysteria briefly took its toll on Diana, who broke into tears for a moment – something Charles didn’t seem to notice.
When it came time to sing the Australian national anthem, a shy Di looked speechless – but that only made her more popular with the public.
Her appearance that day in a flowing pink and white dress and matching hat remains one of her most enduring.
A broken marriage
Prince Charles and Diana looked happily at each other as they turned away on the dance floor at a gala dinner and danced at the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney.
Diana wore a blue Bruce Oldfield dress and her Collingwood earrings.
But when it turned out that the crowd saw her at every public appearance, a jealousy grew in Prince Charles for the attention Diana received in his place.
After all, the Australian tour was supposed to show the Prince of Wales as the next king – but the public only had eyes for Diana.
Diana’s star power can be seen
The Princess of Wales was months away from her 22nd birthdaynd Birthday while on tour, and while she was relatively new to her royal role, her natural warmth and affinity with the audience made her seem like a seasoned professional.
But Diana was never directed to behave in front of hordes of crowds while maintaining a touch of formality that the British kings had perfected for decades.
“Traumatic”, Diana later wrote about her first days in Australia, “the week in which I learned to be royal”.
With stops in Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, Alice Springs, Sydney, Hobart, and other small towns along the way, Diana and Charles faced constant pressure on the royal tour.
Diana complained of sore and red eyes almost every night, while the couple was estimated to shake more than 2,000 hands each day.
Endless engagements and fashion
The royal tour was also about official business, and Diana and Charles were guests of honor at many formal dinners, where they mingled with dignitaries and politicians.
The tour took place at a time when the newly elected government of Bob Hawke had visions of an Australian republic on the horizon and the dismissal of Whitlam by the Queen’s representative, Sir John Kerr, only happened eight years earlier.
Her four weeks in Australia were also the first big look at Diana’s fashion credentials, and every appearance was checked and copied – something that hadn’t really changed with royal women.
It was also an opportunity for the young princess to show off some of her most beautiful and now iconic jewels, many of which were given as wedding gifts only two years earlier.
Diana bullied by fans
Victorian Labor Prime Minister at the time, John Cain, wrote about the 1983 visit in his private diary, commenting on the crowds during Diana and Charles’ visit to Cockatoo, near Melbourne, where the community was still away from the Ash Wednesday bushfires in February recovered.
“Amazing,” wrote Cain. “People are still reacting to the mystery and the aura and all the things that surround royalty.”
He also commented on the tension between Diana and Charles in the battle for popularity.
“The prince told me in one of the several discussions we had that people were more warm to his wife than he was,” said Caine. “He felt that she was the subject of more attention and acceptance than he was.”
The iconic jewels of Diana, Princess of Wales
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