Fact Check

Are These Things True About the Years of King Charles' Weddings?

An email purported to expose a link between the years of his weddings and the deaths of popes.

Published Jan. 24, 2006

Updated Sept. 19, 2022
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster on October 14, 2019 in London, England. The Queen's speech is expected to announce plans to end the free movement of EU citizens to the UK after Brexit, new laws on crime, health and the environment. (Photo by Paul Edwards  - WPA Pool/Getty Images) (Getty Images)
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An email purporting to outline coincidences between the years of King Charles III's weddings and the deaths of popes, among other events, is accurate.

In 2005, readers asked us to confirm or deny the legitimacy of claims in an email that attempted to draw connections between the deaths of popes and King Charles III's weddings to the late Princess Diana in 1981 and Queen Consort Camila in 2005, among other events.

The email read:

Interesting Year 1981

1. Prince Charles got married

2. Liverpool crowned soccer Champions of Europe

3. Australia lost the Ashes tournament.

4. Pope Died

Year 2005

1. Prince Charles got married

2. Liverpool crowned soccer Champions of Europe

3. Australia lost the Ashes tournament

4. Pope Died

In the future, if Prince Charles decides to remarry … please warn the Pope!!

It would be difficult even for the most enthusiatic coincidence buffs to read anything of significance into these brief lists comparing events from the years 1981 and 2005, but since curious readers have been asking us about this item, we’ll give it a rundown here:

  • The years of Charles' weddings are accurate. As the Prince of Wales, Charles and Lady Diana Spencer wed on July 29, 1981. After the couple divorced in 1996 (and Diana was killed in an automobile crash the following year), Prince Charles married again, this time to Camilla Parker Bowles, on April 9, 2005.
  • The claims about Liverpool’s soccer (i.e., football) team are factual. The team won the European Cup in both 1981 and 2005 (as well as in 1977, 1978, and 1984).
  • The assertions about the Ashes cricket match series are true. Australia lost the Ashes tournament in both 1981 and 2005. (This item is something of an inside joke to cricket fans, since the Ashes is a biennial cricket series waged between England and Australia.)
  • The email's claim about the pope dying in 1981 is untrue. Pope Paul VI died on Aug. 6, 1978, and John Paul I passed away just a month after being selected as Paul VI's successor. However, although the next pope appointed that year, John Paul II, was wounded in an assassination attempt in 1981, he survived the shooting and remained the pontiff for another 24 years, until his death in 2005. No pope died in 1981, as claimed above.


This article was updated to meet Snopes' current formatting and editing standards, as well as to reflect the royal family's titles as of September 2022.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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