Diana’s jealousy over Camilla’s relationship with Charles has been well-documented. The Princess of Wales later claimed she had known from her honeymoon that the Prince of Wales was still emotionally attached to his former flame. Charles, however, has maintained that he only resumed his romance with Camilla in 1986 — when he knew his marriage had “irretrievably broken down”.
Even so, Diana was aware of their affair and once confronted her husband’s mistress in 1989, on the night of Camilla’s sister’s 40th birthday.
She later said this was “one of the bravest moments” of her 15-year marriage and caused Charles to run off like a “headless chicken”.
In tapes secretly recorded for journalist Andrew Morton in 1991, Diana explained: “I walk into the house and stick my hand out to Camilla for the first time, and think, ‘Phew got over that’.”
This was a move away from their usual kiss hello, and a “big step” for Diana.
Later on in the party, the Princess of Wales found Charles and Camilla in conversation with another man and quickly asked if she could have a private word with her husband’s mistress.
She claimed: “I was terrified of her.”
However, Diana recalled that she had told Camilla she knew of the affair.
She reportedly said: “Camilla, I would just like you to know that I know what is going on between you and Charles, I wasn’t born yesterday…
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However, Camilla had reportedly heard about Diana’s outbursts from those in the royal circles.
Mr Hodgson continued: “Camilla said nothing in reply, limiting herself to a deep and over-elaborate curtsy.
“This slight act of impertinent defiance doesn’t appear to have been noticed by the future queen as she swept out of the room, but it was not lost on the other women present, who smiled to themselves; later one or two complimented the older woman on her restraint.”
Diana, however, claimed in Mr Morton’s tapes that Camilla had said: “You’ve got everything you’ve ever wanted. You’ve got all the men in the world falling in love with you, you’ve got two beautiful children, what more do you want?”
The royal also alleged that in the car on the way home, Charles had been “over me like a bad rash” and she “cried like I have never cried before”.
She explained: “It was anger, it was seven years’ pent up anger coming out.”
The Prince and Princess of Wales went on to separate in 1992.
Diana famously said there were always “three people in this marriage” during a bombshell interview with BBC Panorama in 1995, and by the following year, the couple had finalised their divorce.
Charles eventually wed Camilla in 2005.
‘Charles — The Man Who Will Be King’ by Howard Hodgson was published by John Blake in 2007 and is available here.