Princess Diana 'imagined' Fred and Gladys names says expert
Princess Diana’s accusation that Prince Charles gifted Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, a special bracelet before their 1981 wedding has been labelled as a “figment of imagination”. Vanity Fair contributing editor and royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith spoke to the Royally Obsessed podcast about the truth behind the “bracelet story”. Diana’s discovery of the bracelet was depicted in Netflix’s controversial Season 4 of The Crown.
Ms Bedell Smith told the podcast: “The bracelet story was told to me by the man who was in charge of the bracelets. Solid source.
“This is kind of typical Prince Charles. Before he got married, he decided to have a bunch of gifts made for special people in his life.
“There were maybe a dozen. One went to Kanga Tryon, with whom he also had a little fling, and one went to Camilla.
“It was a very simple bracelet, a little gold bracelet, with a blue disk on it.”
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She continued: “It just said ‘GF’ and ‘GF’ meant ‘Girl Friday’.
“That’s what he jokingly called her.
“So the whole idea of ‘Gladys and Fred’ and the pictures of this monogrammed G and F with an ampersand in the middle just didn’t happen.
“‘Gladys and Fred’ was a figment of Diana’s imagination. It really was ‘Girl Friday’.”
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‘Gladys and Fred’ are widely known to be the nicknames Charles and Camilla used for each other when they started dating in their 20s.
The joke originated from British radio comedy series ‘The Goon Show’.
Princess Diana herself spoke to biographer Andrew Morton about finding the bracelet, claiming that it was one of the early warning signs about her doomed relationship with Charles.
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In tapes, she said: “Someone in his office told me that my husband has had a bracelet made for her [Camilla].
“I walked into this man’s office one day and I said, ‘Ooh, what’s in that parcel?’ And he said ‘Oh, you shouldn’t look at that’.
“So I opened it and there was the bracelet. I was devastated, and he said ‘Well, he’s going to give it to her tonight’.
“So rage, rage, rage. You know, ‘Why can’t you be honest with me?’ But no, absolutely cut me dead.
“It was as if he’d made his decision, and if it wasn’t going to work, it wasn’t going to work.”
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