How Camilla Said She Was a Prisoner After The Affair With Prince Charles Was Uncovered
It was one of the biggest scandals that had hit the royal family. Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles’ affair had an impact on almost all members of the family - and the attention and pressure of the media just made things worse. Although the relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana was well-documented, not many have had to hear Camilla’s side of the story.
Naturally, the Duchess has received most of the blame for breaking up the marriage between the Prince and Princess of Wales and hasn’t received much sympathy. Regardless, Camilla has opened up and admitted that the media storm truly was a nightmare to deal with. The Duchess essentially felt as if she was a prisoner. We’re going to reveal the details from Camilla’s side of the story and look into how Princess Diana came to find out about the affair.
WHEN IT ALL BEGAN
Many might not be aware of this, but Prince Charles and then-Camilla Shand met each other in the early ‘70s, which was years before Charles knew Diana. The two were introduced by a woman named Lucia Santa Cruz, who Charles was also romantically involved with at one point in time. Upon meeting each other, Charles and Camilla instantly hit it off and began dating. But, the pair separated once Charles went to the Royal Navy. Camilla ended up connecting with her former flame, Andrew Parker Bowles, and the ended up marrying in 1973.
Charles was distraught and devastated once he heard the news. However, he always kept in contact with Camilla, even after their separation. And this is where the drama begins. In 1986, which was five years after Charles married Diana, the prince and Camilla rekindled their romance - despite the fact that both of them were married at the time.
HOW THE DUCHESS FELT AFTER THE AFFAIR WAS REVEALED
The affair between the two was revealed in the most cringe-worthy way possible. In 1989, a vulgar conversation between Camilla and Charles was recorded. But it wasn’t until a few years later, in 1993, when the tape was leaked to the press. The recording, dubbed the “Camillagate” or “Tampongate”, revealed the prince talking about living inside Camilla’s underwear. The future king said he wanted to “live inside [Camilla’s] trousers as a pair of knickers” or, “a Tampax.” Honestly, we just can’t help but think how heartbroken Diana must’ve felt during this time.
After the shocking tape was leaked, Camilla shared that she endured horrible public scrutiny and was made to feel like a prisoner in her home.
“I couldn’t really go anywhere,” she told The Mail on Sunday‘s You magazine. “It was horrid. It was a deeply unpleasant time and I wouldn’t want to put my worst enemy through it. I couldn’t have survived it without my family.”
WHY DID CHARLES MARRY PRINCESS DIANA INSTEAD OF CAMILLA, ANYWAYS?
Apparently, Prince Charles didn’t really want to marry Princess Diana in the first place. If he was given the choice, he would’ve chosen Camilla in a heartbeat. So, what was the issue, then? First of all, Camilla didn’t come from a sufficient aristocratic background. Basically, she wasn’t a proper choice for a future king. Second of all, and this one's a little controversial, royals back then wanted the future monarch to marry a virgin - which Camilla was not. Because of these obstacles, Charles was essentially pushed to marry Diana instead. Queen Elizabeth II eventually did grant the pair permission to marry, and they did so in 2005.
One question still remains, and it has to do with how the prince managed to hide the affair? If you’re royalty, you’re under the watch of the public eye 24/7. Almost every single move is documented and tracked, so it’s hard to imagine how the pair kept the secret for so long. Let’s find out.
HOW DID PRINCE CHARLES HIDE HIS AFFAIR?
Everyone remembers Princess Diana to be absolutely lovely and charming - but the princess apparently had a pretty volatile temper, that many aren’t aware of. Because of this, Prince Charles had to take extra measures in order to ensure that his wife doesn’t find out about his affair. In order to make things run smoothly, Prince Charles forced his staff to help him cover it up. In his book Diana: Her True Story royal biographer Andrew Morton wrote,
“Charles’ bodyguard was forced to accompany the prince on illicit nighttime visits to see Camilla, while his chef and butler were instructed to cook dinner even though they knew Charles would be out with his lover. Charles’ valet was instructed to mark up the TV listings guide to make it look like the prince had spent the night at home watching television.
When Charles broke his arm in a polo accident, his staff was responsible for listening to police radios to track Diana’s journey to the hospital, so they could get Camilla out of Charles’ room before the princess arrived.”
HOW DID PRINCESS DIANA END UP FINDING OUT ABOUT PRINCE CHARLES’ AFFAIR WITH CAMILLA PARKER BOWLES?
For the longest time, Princess Diana had a feeling that something was going on. She had her suspicions even during their engagement when the prince gave the Duchess of Cornwall a piece of jewelry with an inside joke engraved on it (a pretty savage move, if you ask us). Princess Diana, of course, instantly knew that something was wrong. However, she was reassured that her suspicions were foolish. In fact, even the Queen Mother called her a “silly girl” for questioning Prince Charles’ fidelity.
As time passed, Princess Diana became more and more convinced that it wasn’t just her imagination and that she wasn’t in fact crazy. In the late ‘80s, Diana finally mustered up the courage to confront Camilla herself saying,
“I said, ‘I know what’s going on between you and Charles and I just want you to know that.”
Read more: Prince Charles was crying before his wedding day and Prince Harry may not be Charles’ son.
To which Camilla responded,
“You’ve got everything you ever wanted. You’ve got all the men in the world fall in love with you and you’ve got two beautiful children, what more do you want?’”
The princess said,
“I want my husband. I’m sorry I’m in the way … and it must be hell for both of you. But I do know what’s going on. Don’t treat me like an idiot.’”
In order to end everyone’s misery, the pair was finally allowed to separate, and eventually divorce in 1996. Although there are always two sides to the story, this situation is a difficult one to evaluate. In a way, the prince was basically made to marry somebody he didn’t love, and love isn’t a feeling that can be forced. However, the agonizing emotional pain and heartbreak that Diana had to endure - especially the embarrassment of having it all go public - isn’t anything less than unbearable.
What do you guys think about the affair? Who’s side are you leaning more towards? Explain why in the comments below! And check out our other related articles about the royals, too.