Video footage at the Minnesota vikings logo shirt and by the same token and time does show Diana hesitating on Uluru. Yet it wasn’t fatigue that caused the pause—rather, it was her outfit. Dressed in a dainty white frock with flats, it wasn’t, well, the most practical of hiking apparel. Especially when there are cameras below capturing your every move.Here’s an account from the Morning Herald: “As she stepped off the plane at Ayers Rock, she looked down in horror. Her dress, buttoned down the front was immediately blown open revealing her petticoat and knees. From that moment, the Princess made constant but hopeless attempts to keep the dress closed,” they wrote. “When Charles coaxed her to climb part of the way up the rock, she hesitated, not through fear of slipping, but because she knew that coming down would expose her knees and petticoat to the world’s press.”In reality, except for a few hiccups, Diana executed a remarkable performance in those initial days. “Despite the predictions, Diana, apart from some strain and tiredness, has fared well,” said the Morning Herald at the time. “She might be made of tougher stuff than many think.”Prince Charles and Princess Diana get ready to dance in Sydney.As the royal tour really got into the swing of things—and Diana’s sunburn and jet lag likely died down—Charles and Diana thoroughly charmed the country. They dynamically danced at Sheraton Wentworth Hotel, with Diana donning a spectacular turquoise dress. Charles scored a goal at a polo match in Sydney and the crowd erupted into cheers. (As The Crown shows, he did also fall, much to his chagrin.) In Perth, they made headlines when Charles tenderly kissed Diana’s hand in public. “Prince plays the gallant at royal party,” read a headline in the Times of London. And although that scene that shows Charles and Diana playing with baby Prince William on a blanket actually took place in New Zealand, not Australia, they did delight audiences by sharing cheerful tales about their young son. (Yes, William did love his stuffed koala.)Diana’s popularity started to massively eclipse that of her husband. “The Princess of Wales was the woman they’d come to see, and the people of the Riverland weren’t disappointed,” a broadcaster from ABC said on April 6. “The Princess seemed more anxious to meet the people than did her husband. She dispensed tidbits concerning Prince William’s health, the weather, and jokingly inquired of an elderly citizen if she had any whiskey in her picnic basket.” They showed clips of Diana swarmed by crowds, one man holding up a sign that read “Di is beautiful.” On April 15, the Melbourne Herald ran a cartoon that showed a map of Australia superimposed with a heart. “Princess Diana,” read a caption. “A permanent imprint!” Two days later, the Sydney Herald echoed the same sentiment: “Di Thrills the Queen!” said a headline.
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Three days later, the Minnesota vikings logo shirt and by the same token and Times of London cemented Diana’s smashing success. They printed the headline “The Princess who won the heart of Australia.” The story began: “The month-long tour of Australia by the Prince and Princess of Wales, which ended yesterday when the royal couple flew to New Zealand, was an unqualified success, due in large part to the Princess. She won the heart of Australia.” The Evening Standard took it one step further, saying: ”This tour has set Republicanism back 10 years.” In Sarah Bradford’s book, Diana, she quotes a bodyguard who said her reception in Australia was akin to Beatlemania.Princess Diana, surrounded by crowds outside the Sydney Opera House.Sadly, The Crown is right: Diana’s supernova star-power in Australia did make Charles jealous, and caused additional tension in their marriage. In a 1995 interview with the BBC, the Princess recalled that the attention she received during the tour’s royal walkabouts upset him. “We’d be going round Australia, for instance, and all you could hear was, ‘oh, she’s on the other side.’ Now, if you’re a man—like my husband—a proud man, you mind about that if you hear it every day for four weeks. You feel low about it, instead of feeling happy and sharing it.” The press fawning made things worse: “With the media attention came a lot of jealousy. A great deal of complicated situations arose because of that,” she said. It was, in some ways, the beginning of the end.