Meghan Markle compared with Princess Diana by Tom Bower
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The life of the woman dubbed the People’s Princess will once again be placed under the microscope, as the third and final instalment of Diana’s Decades airs tonight on ITV. During the late Eighties, the Princess of Wales began to grow more suspicious of Charles’ involvement with his former flame. It eventually emerged that the Prince of Wales had been having an affair with Camilla and, Charles and Diana divorced in 1996.
The Prince of Wales then married Camilla in 2005, eight years after Diana tragically died in a car crash in Paris.
Multiple accounts claim Diana became preoccupied with Camilla during the first few years of her marriage to Charles.
Camilla received gifts from the Prince and kept in contact with him throughout his marriage to the People’s Princess.
“She became obsessed with Camilla, probably a little more than she should have done,” royal biographer and the editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, Ingrid Seward, said in the Channel 5 documentary, ‘The Royal Family At War’.
Diana’s worries were apparently compounded by Charles’ “insensitive” behaviour during their marriage, such as when the Prince gave Camilla a bracelet.
Charles designed the piece for his former girlfriend and had it engraved with ‘F&G’, which some insiders claimed stood for the pair’s nicknames for one another, ‘Fred’ and ‘Gladys’.
Diana had discovered the gift, which arrived at Charles’ office, and reportedly flew into a rage, demanding answers from her husband.
Other reported incidents included that during Charles and Diana’s honeymoon, he had worn gold cufflinks given to him by Camilla and that a photograph of Camilla had fallen out of his diary.
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The Princess’ former butler Paul Burrell also claimed that Diana was even wary of Camilla during the ceremony of her wedding to Charles.
Speaking for The Royal Family At War, the former member of staff said Diana had told him years later that she had turned her head as she walked down the aisle to look for Camilla.
However, it is claimed that the moment tensions between Diana and Camilla really boiled over was at a party in 1989.
Ken Wharfe, Diana’s royal protection officer for five years, attended the bash with the Princess and said he remembers Diana confronting Camilla.
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Speaking on the same documentary, he recalls his “shock” that the two women were at the same event and said he had to intervene an hour after arriving.
Mr Wharfe claims Diana said she was unable to find Charles or Camilla, before they were eventually tracked down having a conversation.
“I didn’t quite know what Diana was going to do next, but she went up to Camilla and said, ‘Look, don’t treat me like an idiot’,” Mr Wharfe said.
Charles was said to be “shocked” and “embarrassed” by the confrontation, which according to Mr Wharfe was the “beginning of the end” for the couple’s marriage.
He added: “I don’t think even Diana at that point saw any real chance of any reconciliation, on the journey back to Kensington Palace there wasn’t a word passed between either of them.”
In April Charles and Camilla passed 16 years of marriage, but the date of their wedding anniversary, April 9, was marked by a sombre mood, as it was the day Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, passed away.
This week the couple have been on a tour of South West England, visiting Cornwall, including the Isles of Scilly.
Diana’s Decades airs on ITV from 9pm tonight.
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