CAMILLA: HER SIDE OF THE STORY
Charles begged her to call off her wedding . . . Her friends and family reveal all in an explosive new biography . . . and wept tears of anguish the night before he married Diana
THE Mail today lifts the lid on the love affair between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles – telling HER side of the story for the first time. An explosive biography details the heir to the throne’s decades-long infatuation
with Camilla and his tormented marriage to the Princess of Wales.
The book is written by Britain’s top royal author Penny Junor, who was able to speak to Camilla’s family and her confidantes. Charles
is said to have begged Camilla to call off her wedding to her first husband and to have wept the night before his marriage to Diana.
The book says a lady-inwaiting to the Queen, who had known of the prince’s misgivings, had stood with him at a Buckingham Palace window watching the crowds in the Mall with tears streaming down their faces.
The story of the enduring affair that rocked the monarchy is being serialised today and all next week in the Mail.
It comes a week after this newspaper published for the first time the sensational Diana Tapes, the Princess of Wales’s own heart-wrenching account of her unhappy marriage and the misery caused by Charles’s affair with Camilla.
Significantly, the new book spells out that Camilla’s secret relationship with Charles had three stages.
The first came before either married and the second was after Camilla gave birth to her daughter in 1978 and up until his engagement to Diana in 1981. The third period began five years later. Other revelations include:
That Charles, 68, was the architect of his marriage disaster by failing to come clean about his past relationship with Camilla;
Charles saw ‘the dark side’ of Diana’s nature only after their engagement;
She had violent mood swings before the wedding;
Diana ripped apart Charles’s paintings on their honeymoon and subjected a courtier to a six- hour ordeal by crying, kicking furniture and ranting;
Charles was bewildered by Diana’s eating disorder;
Camilla began her relationship with him when her future husband Andrew Parker Bowles was ‘seeing’ Princess Anne;
Two friends persuaded Camilla to ‘go back to Charles’ in 1986 to preserve his sanity;
Diana’s grandmother, Lady Fermoy, apologised to the
‘Human frailty, love and loss’
Queen in 1993 for failing to warn her about her character. She had known, she admitted, that Diana was ‘dishonest and difficult’.
Camilla, who married Charles in 2005 and became Duchess of Cornwall, has for years said nothing about her role as the ‘third person’ in Diana’s marriage. Now, to mark her 70th birthday next month, comes the first proper insider account of Camilla’s story. Miss Junor has been close to the prince and the duchess for four decades.
Although Camilla did not give Miss Junor a formal interview, the author spent more than a year following her on engagements at home and abroad and was able to speak at length to her inner circle.
What emerges is the most comprehensive account of Camilla’s side of a passionate affair that endangered the throne. At times brutal reading, the book details a gripping story of human frailty, love, loss, sadness and tragedy.
It also dismisses one of the unfounded claims about the whole saga – that Camilla and her then husband, cavalry officer Parker Bowles, enjoyed an upper class, open marriage – each tolerating the other’s affairs. In fact Camilla was deeply wounded by Mr Parker Bowles’s serial adultery adultery, especially when he slept with her friends.
Miss Junor’s book is the last untold account of the biggest crisis to hit the royals since the abdication. It follows on from Diana confiding in Andrew Morton and Charles opening up to broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby.
Far from being the woman who nearly brought down the House of Windsor, the book suggests Camilla will be judged as ‘the woman who shored it up’.
Its publication next week, shortly before the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, carries considerable risk, however. With Diana rarely off the front pages and with William and Harry spearheading a campaign to build a statue of their mother, the role of the other woman in her marriage might provoke a backlash.