Diana and Charles, wedding

Diana, Twenty Years Later: Part Two

 

It was the wedding of the decade, if not the century. Lady Diana Spencer, resplendent in yards upon yards of taffeta and lace, complete with huge puffy sleeves and a train 25 feet long, paced down the aisle of St Paul’s Cathedral to marry her Prince Charming, while the world watched. But the fantasy of that blissful day in July 1981 was soon overshadowed by the harsh reality of life in a cold, lonely palace, with a husband who loved another woman, under the scrutiny of the Press and paparazzi. In Part One of this series, we looked at Diana’s birth chart. This time, we’ll focus on Charles, their relationship, marriage and divorce.

 

We’ve already seen how PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) representing Charles fit so snugly into Diana’s nativity. Her PNAs impact his chart in meaningful ways as well.

 

Asteroid Diana at 4 Sagittarius is inconjunct Charles’ (born 9:14 PM GMT 14 November 1948, Rodden rating A) natal Moon at 0 Taurus, squared natal Saturn at 5 Virgo, broadly semisquare natal Venus at 16 Libra, and in a Grand Trine with the 5 Leo Ascendant and a Hera/Juno conjunction at 29 Pisces and 1 Aries. This establishes Diana as a potential partner, both romantically (Venus), matrimonially (Hera and Juno, Greek and Roman goddesses of marriage) and domestically (Moon), while strongly impacting (and, at least initially, improving) his public image (Ascendant). The Saturn connection in square hints at troubles to come, but also establishes Diana as a potential consort, with an official role to play beyond mere spouse.

 

Asteroid Spencer at 6 Scorpio is an exact match for Charles’ natal Mercury, signifying the revivification of Press interest, which had been flagging for Charles as his bachelorhood appeared to stretch into infinity. From this degree Spencer also tightly squares the Horizontal Axis and opposes the Moon, forming a Grand Cross. The sextile to Saturn at 5 Virgo reiterates the importance of Diana to his career.

 

How do these two interact, from a relationship standpoint? Unsurprisingly, not all that well. True, Diana’s 24 Taurus Venus opposes Charles’ 22 Scorpio Sun, and his Venus at 16 Libra more broadly squares her 9 Cancer Sun, so there’s a basic level of attraction between them. But his Saturn at 5 Virgo falls on her Mars/Pluto conjunction at 1 and 6 Virgo, a sure dampener of sexual compatibility. Additionally, his Mars at 20 Sagittarius is semisquare her 8 Scorpio Neptune and sesquiquadrate her asteroid Child at 6 Taurus, so his sexual expectations are unrealistic (Neptune) and he may consider that she is just too young for him (Child), not an equal partner. His Mars is also semisquare her natal Jupiter at 5 Aquarius, which by itself can increase sexual desire, but given the other elements of the pattern, it can also act to emphasize or inflate the inherent negatives.

 

On his own, Charles has significant relationship issues, with Venus conjunct Neptune and asteroid Aphrodite, both at 14 Libra, further empowered by conjunction with the 13 Libra IC. This suggests that Charles has an unrealistic image of relating (Venus/Neptune) which is deeply embedded in his foundation (IC), and is more inclined to the “playful” aspects of courtship rather than commitment, due to Aphrodite’s prominence in the combination. This goes far to explaining Charles’ protracted bachelorhood and well-earned reputation as an international playboy, while the exact pairing of Neptune and Aphrodite indicates a very strong, somewhat addictive pull toward the fantasy of sexual interaction without serious obligation.

 

This is just what Charles had initially with Camilla Parker Bowles, who, as a married woman, was unavailable in any official sense, and could not be considered as a bride. But the close square from asteroid Camilla at 21 Virgo in Charles’ birth chart to his Mars at 20 Sagittarius hints at a strong sexual component in his attraction to her. Charles met Camilla in 1970 when she was still Camilla Shand, but she was already too “experienced” to qualify as a virginal bride, and her 1973 marriage to Andrew Parker Bowles took her off the marriage market.

alice keppel

Alice Keppel, Camilla’s great-grandmother and mistress of Charles’ great-great-grandfather, King Edward VII

As a commoner Camilla may not have had the pedigree for the position regardless, but she did have the family tradition to act as royal paramour; her great-grandmother Alice Keppel was the long-term mistress of Charles’ great-great-grandfather King Edward VII in his last years. Despite her marriage, Camilla filled this role for Charles, on and off, for some 35 years before grabbing the brass ring and becoming his wife. Reflecting the name by which the world would know her, asteroid Parker at 9 Sagittarius is in a T-Square with Saturn at 5 Virgo and asteroid Diana at 4 Sagittarius, describing the conflict (square) between his two spouses (Saturn), and Camilla’s emergence as the official consort (however she is styled), once Charles assumes the throne.

 

Interestingly, like Diana, Charles also has Hera at station at his birth, and Juno as well. Goddesses of marriage in the Greek and Roman pantheons respectively, Hera turned direct the day before, and Juno on the 11th of November, three days prior. So just as with Diana, it was marriage that would be a preeminent influence in his life. Their conjunction and dual stationary status makes a choice of life partner even more vital for Charles, who throughout his life was plagued by the issue – when will he marry, who will he marry, will they divorce, will he remarry? At each successive stage, it was marriage issues that dominated his biography, as he endlessly waits to assume his inheritance.

 

Charles and Diana were actually acquainted for some time before they began their courtship, since Diana’s family leased a home, Park House, on the grounds of Charles’ family’s Sandringham estate (where she was born). Essentially, they were tenants of the Royal Family, but the disparity in their ages meant they had little interaction.

 

That changed in 1980, as Diana turned 19 and Charles was 32, when they were both guests at a country weekend house party, where Diana watched admiringly as Charles played polo. That reconnection was followed by an invitation from Charles to the Cowes Regatta that August, and a visit to Balmoral, his family’s Scottish estate, in September.

 

Their courtship continued throughout the autumn and early winter, until by February 1981 they were engaged. We have two dates for the engagement: Charles proposed on the 3rd, and Diana accepted, but they kept their decision a secret until the 24th.

diana charles engagement

Diana and Charles, the official engagement photo, 1981

Both dates show stunning resonance to their charts. On the 3rd, the transit Sun at 14 Aquarius was an exact match for Diana’s natal Damocles, the doom hanging unseen overhead. Certainly that momentous decision set in motion a train of events which would end with that tragic car crash in Paris, sixteen years later, which no one could have envisioned at the time. For Charles, the Sun opposes natal Pluto at 16 Leo, suggesting momentous changes, as well as the extreme level of coercion he felt from the family, to finally make a suitable match.

 

Additional portents of a disastrous union, particularly from Diana’s viewpoint, include transit Venus at 29 Capricorn on her natal Saturn at 27 Capricorn (loveless partnership); transit Mars at 27 Aquarius on her natal Moon at 25 Aquarius (a fractious, angry domestic environment) and squaring natal Venus at 24 Taurus (romantic conflict); and Neptune at 24 Sagittarius sextile Pluto at 24 Libra, both exactly inconjunct her natal Venus and forming a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with implications for disappointment and deception (Neptune) as well as power plays and devastation, but also self-empowerment (all Pluto). Transit Saturn at 9 Libra exactly squares Diana’s Sun, signaling on the one hard her unofficial entrance into adulthood, as a married woman, but also the hardships and trials she would bear as a result of the union.

 

Not an auspicious beginning, but the essential “rightness” of the moment is borne out by PNA contacts. Transit Diana at 6 Taurus is exactly opposed transit Juno (marriage and partnership) at 6 Scorpio, which is itself exactly conjunct Charles’ natal Mercury (his decision about whom to partner with, as well as the Press explosion in the aftermath), while transit Diana exactly conjoins her natal asteroid Child, emphasizing her youth, inexperience, and unpreparedness for the role that was about to be thrust upon her. Transit asteroid Spencer at 24 Pisces feeds into Charles’ natal Hera at 29 Pisces, another indicator of his matrimonial choice, and is also directly connected to the Neptune/Pluto sextile of the day, and Diana’s Venus.

 

Perhaps most telling are Charles’ PNAs. There is no “Charles” asteroid; “Charlotte” is the closest English equivalent, and we can also look to “Carla” (feminine form of Charles in Italian and Spanish) and “Carol” (Romanian for Charles, based in the original Latin “Carolus”). Incredibly, both Carla and Carol are at station, depicting a very literal “turning point” for the heir to the British throne. And at 27 Libra and 17 Libra respectively, both conjoin Pluto, highlighting the major transition about to occur, and foreshadowing the devastating consequences. Additionally, Carla exactly squares Diana’s natal Saturn at 27 Capricorn, establishing Charles as her spouse (as well as a potential father figure), while Carol conjoins his natal Venus/Neptune at 16 and 14 Libra, suggesting a confused romantic connection and deception in the relationship, introduced by Charles (Carol). Transit Charlotte at 4 Leo fills in a T-Square of the Diana/Juno opposition, and prefigures the conflict (square) between them in their marriage (Juno).

 

When the engagement became official on February 24th, the Sun had moved to 5 Pisces, highlighting Diana’s natal Mars/Pluto conjunction in Virgo by opposition (as well as Charles’ natal Saturn) and forming a T-Square with Charles’ natal Diana at 4 Sagittarius. Venus had moved to 25 Aquarius, exactly on Diana’s natal Moon, certainly a less inimical combination than Mars there for the proposal, but still in square to her natal Venus at 24 Taurus, suggesting conflicts in values. Transit Carla and Carol, being stationary, are essentially unmoved, but Charlotte has retreated to 1 Leo, and Spencer has advanced to 2 Aries, putting these into a harmonious trine aspect with each other. Spencer is also aligned with both Charles’ natal Juno and Hera, again reiterating the theme of marriage with someone of that name. Transit Diana has moved to 14 Taurus, squaring Charles’ Pluto at 16 Leo and hinting at the obsessive jealousy she would later display, broadly opposing his 22 Scorpio Sun, and aligning with her natal polarity of asteroid Carla at 13 Taurus and Diana at 15 Scorpio. Transit Diana is also conjoined her natal asteroid Icarus at 10 Taurus, suggesting this might be a rash act entered into without due consideration on her part.

 

Intimations of a less-than-perfect pairing were almost instantaneous. In their first joint Press interview, when asked if they were in love, Diana promptly replied “Of course!” with an almost petulant tone and a flirtatiously demure glance at her spouse-to-be. Charles’ response was a contemplative and noncommittal, “Whatever ‘in love’ means.” Be still my heart! Such ardency is giving me the vapors!

 

Their marriage on 29 July 1981 was viewed by an estimated 750 million people (a huge audience, but barely a third of those who witnessed her funeral in 1997). “Fairy tale” doesn’t begin to describe it. Wearing a gown designed by Brit couturiers David and Elizabeth Emmanuel, an ocean of taffeta and antique lace adorned with hand embroidery, sequins and some 10,000 pearls, Diana absolutely floated down the aisle in a three and a half minute procession, accompanied by five bridesmaids to manage her 25 foot train, to meet her Prince, clad in his full dress naval commander uniform. It was a stunning image of royalty, beauty and innocence, and privilege, but it was also the highlight of their marriage, as things went downhill almost immediately.

diana wedding dress

Diana’s wedding gown: Fairy Tale Princess come to life.

Commencing at 11:20 AM BST with a bell signaling Diana’s arrival at St Paul’s Cathedral, the wedding chart well reflects the moment, and its aftermath. The Sun at 6 Leo is accompanied by asteroid Diana at 2 Leo, appropriately showcasing her for the day, while asteroid Spencer at 5 Gemini is in close sextile to Sun/Diana, is exactly squared Venus, and is also conjoined asteroid Rey, Spanish for “King”, at 7 Gemini. As if to drive home the point, asteroids King and Queen’s are conjunct each other, at 19 and 22 Gemini, trine Juno at 26 Libra – this is a royal match, and well received by the public (trine). Charles is also well represented, with asteroid Charlotte at 1 Virgo conjunct Venus at 5 Virgo (exact on Charles’ Saturn! What an image of loss of affection!); asteroid Carol at 11 Libra conjunct the Ascendant at 8 Libra and Jupiter, ruling royalty, at 5 Libra; and asteroid Carla at 22 Libra conjunct Juno at 26 Libra.

 

But Mars at 7 Cancer is conjoined by the Moon at 13 Cancer, both culminating on the 10 Cancer MC, indicating argument and conflict (Mars) in the home (Moon), potentially involving another woman (also Moon), while Moon/Mars’ alignment with the MC signals strife for the couple, played out in very public ways (MC). Mars is also squared exactly by asteroid Nemesis at 7 Aries, and truly, the downfall (Nemesis) of the union was Charles’ continued sexual attachment (Mars) to Camilla. Mars/MC/Moon also highlights Diana’s natal Sun at 9 Cancer, bringing this energy home to her very personally.

 

The seed of their conflict and the source of marital strife is easy to identify, with asteroid Camilla at 6 Virgo conjunct Venus/Charlotte. As Diana herself later opined, “there were three in this marriage”, and Camilla in such proximity to Charlotte, bound by Venus, shows exactly where Charles’ true affections lay. Moreover, in an almost unbelievable cosmic body blow, this grouping exactly overlays Diana’s natal Mars/Pluto conjunction at 1 and 6 Virgo, with Venus itself exactly conjoined Diana’s natal asteroid Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead.   Without doubt, it was Charles’ (Charlotte) continued affection (Venus) for Camilla (Camilla) that fostered the anger (Mars) and jealousy (Pluto) that ultimately led to the end (Requiem) of their marriage (Venus). Additionally, asteroid Parker at 9 Taurus squares the Sun and Diana, showing just where Camilla Parker Bowles stood as spoiler.

diana charles balcony kiss

The obligatory post-ceremony Buckingham Palace balcony kiss, but this was to be no Romeo & Juliet.

One more point to ponder in the marriage chart: transit asteroid Aphrodite turned direct that day at 11 Sagittarius, exactly conjunct asteroid Achilles. Aphrodite represents affairs and flirtations, relationships that are more fleeting or not grounded in the legalities of marriage, while Achilles is a point denoting weakness and vulnerability. As the still points upon which the chart revolves, these factors clearly identify the underlying dynamic of the union, doomed from the start by conflicting romantic loyalties, later actualized by extramarital affairs (Aphrodite) on the part of both Charles and Diana.

Diana and Charles, honeymoon

Halcyon Honeymoon: Balmoral Estate, September 1981

At first things seemed to go well. In less than a year Diana had produced the required heir, but soon after his brother followed a little over two years later, cracks were beginning to show in the marriage. In Part One we mentioned how Diana’s children showed in her chart, with asteroid Wil (for “Wills”, her pet name for Prince William, her eldest) at 15 Gemini on the 18 Gemini Descendant, and Henry (Prince Harry’s given name) at 24 Aries on the 23 Aries IC. Diana’s evolving role as mother is also shown in the data for her sons’ births.

 

When Prince William was born on 21 June 1982, asteroid Wil at 15 Aries was conjunct asteroid Child at 8 Aries, and exactly sextile its natal degree in Diana’s birth chart. Asteroid William in Diana’s chart, at 15 Capricorn, was exactly squared transit Wil for his birth, with transit William at 13 Cancer forming a T-Square, opposed natal William and conjoined Diana’s natal Sun at 9 Cancer. TNO Haumea, named for the Hawaiian goddess of childbirth, appears at 18 Virgo, exactly squared Diana’s Horizontal Axis, effectively changing how people saw her, no longer a young ingénue, but a new mother. This is reinforced by asteroid Artemis, named for the Greek goddess of childbirth, which at 18 Taurus opposes Diana’s natal asteroid Diana at 15 Scorpio and is also exactly inconjunct her Ascendant.

 

Additionally, transit asteroid Ceres at 12 Scorpio, named for the Roman goddess of motherhood, conjoins natal asteroid Diana. Transit Diana at 19 Libra and transit Charlotte at 12 Libra are conjunct each other and bookending transit Saturn at 15 Libra, establishing the couple as parents, with Saturn exactly opposed transit Wil. (Incidentally, Diana is itself named for the Roman goddess ruling childbirth, so its inclusion in this pattern represents not only Diana herself, but the biological function she had just performed.)

diana charles baby william

Proud new mother: Diana and Charles emerge from the hospital with baby William, 1982

When Prince Harry was born on 15 September 1984, similar aspects were in effect. Haumea at 21 Virgo is still squaring Diana’s Horizontal Axis, and is now exactly conjunct asteroid Child, with the new baby’s Sun at 23 Virgo. Asteroid Henry at 29 Leo trines its natal place in Diana’s chart, and is conjoined her natal Mars at 1 Virgo (identifying Harry as her “problem child”) and inconjunct her natal Saturn at 27 Capricorn, again establishing her as a parent. Transit Artemis at 9 Scorpio is exactly trine her natal Sun, while asteroid Ceres at 25 Taurus closely conjoins natal Henry at 24 Taurus. Transit Diana at 12 Aries is exactly inconjunct transit Saturn at 12 Scorpio, itself conjunct natal Diana, bringing a double dose of parental authority to the Princess of Wales.

 

It’s uncertain just exactly when Charles returned to Camilla physically, although emotionally, he appears never to have left her. As the ‘80s wore on, so did Charles’ patience with his wife’s distressing inability to turn a blind eye to his relationship with his erstwhile lover. He and his mother had chosen Diana in part because they considered her to be malleable, as an inexperienced naïf who could be easily governed. They hadn’t banked on Diana’s Mars/Pluto conjunction, with its core of steely determination, combativeness and never-say-die attitude.

 

As she began to understand the depth of her husband’s affection for his former love interest, and her powerlessness to wean him from his romantic addiction to her, Diana, rather than demurely accepting their incompatibility as had generations of royal brides before her, began to chafe at what she saw as a loveless match, and the interloper who had ruined it. Press reports of their discontent with each other began to emerge as early as 1985, with the couple using friends as Media intercessors in a PR war between them. Diana was frequently photographed looking sad, pensive, even morose. The couple began to diverge, while still nominally sharing a residence and a family life.

diana charles divorce

Visible signs of strain in the marriage begin to emerge, 1985

Once Charles resumed his sexual relationship with Camilla, Diana, too, took a lover, Major James Hewitt, the family’s former riding instructor. In her birth chart, asteroid James at 14 Aquarius is an exact match for natal Damocles, the doom hanging unseen overhead, and closely squares asteroid Diana. Their five-year affair was later confirmed by Diana in an interview. Initially these amours for both partners remained largely a matter of conjecture and rumor, but by the early ‘90s the situation had become untenable.

 

In May 1992, Andrew Morton released his sensationalist biography “Diana: Her True Story”, which confirmed both affairs and alleged Diana’s deep depression and suicidal unhappiness; in August the British tabloid newspaper “The Sun” published transcripts of Diana’s intimate phone conversations with James, and Charles’ with Camilla. The Media firestorm was intense. On December 9, 1992, UK Prime Minister John Major announced the couple’s formal separation.

Diana, Time cover

Time magazine announces the royal separation, 1992

Once again the skies reflected the realities on the ground. The Sun for that date at 17 Sagittarius is closely conjunct Diana’s natal Ascendant at 18 Sagittarius, once again transforming her image for the public. Uranus at 16 Capricorn exactly squares Charles’ natal Venus at 16 Libra, symbolizing their alienation. Saturn at 14 Aquarius is now exactly on natal Damocles’ hot seat, and exactly highlighting the Sun of Charles’ original proposal, bringing the wheel of their relationship full circle. Transit asteroid Charlotte at 28 Libra opposes transit asteroid Spencer at 27 Aries, and together these form a T-Square with transit Mars at 26 Cancer, depicting their animosity and strife. This pattern becomes a Grand Cross with the addition of Diana’s natal Saturn at 27 Capricorn.

 

Transit Pluto, asteroid Carla and Mercury at 23, 24 and 27 Scorpio align with Charles’ natal Sun at 22 Scorpio and oppose Diana’s natal Venus at 24 Taurus, showing a major crisis and transitional period (Pluto) for Charles personally (Sun, Carla) and a huge change (Pluto) in Diana’s relationships (Venus), all of which makes big news (Mercury). Mercury is also semisquare Jupiter at 10 Libra, and sesquiquadrate Juno at 10 Cancer, identifying the news as affecting a royal (Jupiter) marriage (Juno), which pulls in Diana directly in the form of her 9 Cancer Sun, conjoined Juno. Asteroid Diana at 29 Aquarius is conjunct both transit Hera at 23 Aquarius and her own natal Hera at 0 Pisces, repeating the theme of Diana’s marriage.

 

It took nearly four years for the couple to hammer out the terms of their divorce, by which Diana received a lump sum settlement of 17 million pounds, with an additional annuity of 400,000 pounds. The couple kept joint custody of their children, but Diana was stripped of the title of “Her Royal Highness”, though she was still acknowledged as Princess of Wales and a member of the Royal Family, as mother of the next heir to the throne.

DIana, Time divorce cover

Time magazine cover for the divorce, 1996

The final divorce decree was registered on August 28, 1996, and incredibly, shows the Sun at 5 Virgo. This is the degree of Charles’ Saturn, Diana’s asteroid Requiem, and their marriage Venus, putting an official (Saturn) end (Requiem) to their partnership (Venus) as the focus of that day (Sun). Repeating the theme of alienation and separation is a precise Grand Trine of Mercury (news, and the decree itself) at 1 Libra, Uranus (separation/divorce) at 1 Aquarius and asteroid Spencer at 1 Gemini. This becomes a Kite pattern with Spencer’s close opposition to Pluto at 0 Sagittarius, with the planet of destruction, transformation and rebirth guiding the process. Transit asteroid Diana at 7 Aquarius opposes transit asteroids Carla at 4 Leo and Carol at 10 Leo, showing the former partners in stark opposition, as far apart as possible. When Diana died, almost a year later to the day, they were reported to not be on speaking terms.

 

In Part Three of this series, we’ll discuss Diana’s last years and her tragic end.

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Alex Miller

Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book, detailing deep space points in astrological interpretation, and the forthcoming Heaven on Earth, a comprehensive study of asteroids, both mythic and personal, due in 2018. Alex is a frequent contributor to “The Mountain Astrologer”, “Daykeeper Journal”, and NCGR’s Journals and “Enews Commentary”; his work has also appeared in “Aspects” magazine, “Dell Horoscope”, “Planetwaves”, “Neptune Café” and “Sasstrology.” He is a past president of Philadelphia Astrological Society, and currently a board member for the Philadelphia Chapter of NCGR.

One comment, add yours.

Trish

Wow, part 2 is as powerful as part 1! Nice work, Alex!

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