An explosive biography, of Camilla to mark her 70th birthday next month lifts the lid on her affair with Charles. Yesterday we revealed how the Prince was driven to the brink of a breakdown by his marriage to Diana. Today she tells how Dianna menaced Camilla before to unprecedented television interviews to blew apart their marriages and rocked the monarchy. This is the third extract of Camilla’s biography written by penny Jenner by the end of 1986.
The time Camilla came back into Charles’s life initially as a platonic friend Dianna had already produced an heir in a spare. Dianna was nobody’s fool, she soon realized she could feed stories to the newspapers, herself using them as a way of punishing her husband, while controlling what they said about her. Eventually she found out that Charles was seeing his former lover again and although Dianna was having affairs of her own, she grew increasingly obsessed with the woman she considered her rival. In 1989 the Princess famously confronted her at a party thrown by Lady Annabelle, Goldsmith at her home in Richmond. Camilla said I would just like you to know that I know exactly what is going on between you and Charles, I wasn’t born yesterday. For her part Camilla was furious that Dianna should have made such a public scene, two years later the Princess agreed to be the prime source for the book about her life. Diana her true story, when it was serialized in a paper and later published it, which caused a furor you can listen to. Our selections of this book in our channel just check out our playlist called Dianna’s secret tapes. Suddenly the whole of Britain was reading shocking revelations about Dianna’s suicide bids, her bulimia her husband’s indifference to her, his defects as a parent and his obsession with Camilla Parker-Bowles. Eleven years into her marriage Diana was very angry, very bitter and very unwell. The War of the Wales’s was at its height, they were living largely separate lives, both had lovers in Dianna who waged war far more effectively than her husband, was prepared to do and say anything to damage him.
The most important revelation in the book was that she suffered from bulimia. A disease that involves secret binging followed by self-induced vomiting. Such binges are often followed by strong mood swings, expressed as guilt, depression, self-hate and even suicidal behavior. And while the roots of the illness lie in childhood and a disordered family background, uncertainty and anxiety in adult life can provide the trigger, significantly sufferers can appear to be happy even spending their lives trying to help others. Yet there is rage beneath the sunny smiles, anger that they’re often afraid to express. This is why the Morton book was Dianna’s truth, but may not necessarily have been everyone else’s truth. Richard a lord Charles’s private secretary, told me the prince and one or two others mentioned in the book were baffled because the stories were true in essence, but most of them had been given a spin, which meant they weren’t quite like how anyone at the time remembered them be.
That as it may from the moment people started reading Diana her true story, life as they’d known it was over for Diana, for Charles, for William and Harry, for Camilla and for the entire parker-Bowles family. The young prince’s then aged ten and eight were boarding at lunch Rove a boy’s prep school, and Berkshire. Although the people who ran the school tried to shield the boys from newspapers there was only so much they could do, William and Harry couldn’t help but hear the rows between their parents or notice that their father was seldom. There however they spent most of their time with nannies who did their best to distract and insulate them from what was happening the parker-Bowles children on the other hand had been far less aware of trouble on the home front. If asked Tom and Laura would probably have said they had a very happy home life, both Andrew and Camila had been discreet about their extramarital activities, always making sure that the children came first. Indeed both their children were blissfully unaware, that anything was amiss. The Prince of Wales sir as they called him, was a regular visitor but he always had been, he was Tom’s Godfather and they both loved seeing him.
Their absence for large chunks of the year at boarding school also helped preserve their mother’s secret. Plus she was always there for them at half term and in the holidays. Yet now having been an entirely private wife and mother, Camilla was suddenly a household name she was painted not just as a Scarlet woman, but as one who had caused the Princess of Wales years of torment and pain. From then on, it became impossible for Camilla to leave her home without being photographed and then the poisonous letters began to arrive on December 9th 1992. Prime Minister John Major announced that The Prince and Princess of Wales had opted for separation but had no plans to divorce. The following month the Sunday Mirror published the transcript of a tape recording that was immediately dubbed Camilla Gate, it was a telephone conversation between Charles and Camilla, recorded in 1989. The sort of late-night chat that should never be overheard, it lasted 11 minutes and was undeniably genuine, but the recording wasn’t of one single conversation, it included bits of several conducted on different nights and spliced together. Charles would often phone Camilla late at night no matter where he was in the world, he felt better if he could hear her reassuring voice before he went to sleep.