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

Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Richard Kay

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.

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