Diana and Charles’ marriage deteriorated astonishingly quickly after they wed, and many believe it is because the Prince of Wales still held a candle for his former love, Camilla Parker Bowles. Diana would later claim she had been worried about their relationship carrying on when she went on her honeymoon in 1981. Charles claimed in an eye-opening interview with Jonathan Dimbleby that he only resumed his relationship with Camilla in 1986, when his relationship with Diana had “irretrievably broken down”.
But the love triangle was truly exposed during Diana’s bombshell BBC Panorama interview in 1995, when she claimed “there were three of us in this marriage so it was a bit crowded”.
This milestone event has returned to the limelight as Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, has just called for a new inquiry into whether fake documents were used to trick the royal into doing the interview, amid questions as to how the BBC secured the interview in the first place.
Some believe Diana only agreed to the interview because she thought she was being spied on.
However, many believe Charles had another significant relationship with a married aristocrat, Lady Dale Tryon — affectionately known as Kanga — before he wed Diana.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles
Charles is known to have been very close with Lady Dale Tryon
She then remained a close friend to Charles after his wedding, and competed for his attention with Camilla.
Kanga then set up her own fashion line in 1983, which drew her closer to the Princess of Wales.
Speaking in Channel 4’s 2008 documentary ‘Prince Charles’ Other Mistress’, royal commentator Christopher Wilson said: “I think Diana, in the end, came to realise that Camilla was the main opposition.
“That she was the enemy and on the basis that my enemy’s enemy is my friend, she could see that there was some purpose in having an alliance with Dale.”
The documentary’s narrator added: “Being Diana’s friend not only brought great publicly, it also secured her [Kanga’s] place back in Charles’ life.”
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Charles and Camilla pictured in 1979
Royal commentator Eve Pollard remarked: “I think there is a photo of Diana and Dale going to lunch in San Lorenzo once and once again, just down the road from Kanga, and then when Diana wore Dale’s dresses, we all thought, ‘well, that’s good’.
“Clever Kanga, she’s got the Princess of Wales, who was becoming well known for her fashion, to wear one of her outfits.”
The documentary also commented that during this time, “Diana herself was no stranger to becoming tacit public statements”, and when attending Live Aid in 1985 she wore one of Kanga’s outfits.
Mr Wilson added: “Nobody was better at delivering a subliminal messenger than Princess Diana.
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Diana wearing one of Kanga’s dresses on two different occasions in 1985
Diana pictured in the same Kanga dress at Live Aid in 1985
“She was colossally good at it, and Live Aid when she turned up with a very doleful looking Prince Charles, she was wearing a Kanga dress.
“This was a deliberate snub to Camilla.”
At this time, Camilla appeared to have been pushed out of the picture.
Charles had originally decided to be loyal to his wife, Diana, when they first wed.
Therefore it was mainly through Diana that Kanga could stay close to him — whereas, without the Diana connection, Camilla was cut adrift.
Diana with her ally Kanga in 1990
Charles even described Kanga as the “only woman who ever understood me” at one point.
Mr Wilson said there was then “an unspoken but incredibly bitter rivalry” between Camilla and Kanga over the “heart and soul of Prince Charles”.
This all changed in 1986 when Charles admitted his marriage was not working, and sought comfort in the arms of former flames.
Kanga then appeared to overexploit her proximity to the Royal Family and went on to appear on TV quiz shows, which left Charles frustrated and pushed him towards Camilla once again.
Kanga died from septicaemia on November 15, 1997.