Princess Diana once said Camilla Parker Bowles was the “third person” in her marriage to Prince Charles. But according to The Duchess: The Untold Story, a new book by Penny Junor, their union may have been doomed from the start.
In an excerpt of the book published by the Daily Mail, close friends say the couple was always incompatible, and it was Charles’ omission of the real details about his relationship with Camilla that got things off to a rocky start.
The book claims at least three of Charles’s friends raised concerns about his relationship with Diana, and all of them simply got yelled at for doing so. One friend, Nicholas Soames, thought they didn’t have much in common and that there was an “intellectual gap” between then. Other friends, Norton and Penny Romsey, thought Diana didn’t love Charles as a person, but more as a “concept” of royalty. They also claimed she was too driven to win his affections—and the position in the family. Later on, in 1993, Diana’s grandmother, Lady Fermoy, apologized to the Queen and to Prince Charles for not warning them about Diana being a “dishonest and difficult girl.”
But one person who approved of the relationship was Camilla Parker Bowles, and though her physical relationship with Charles had ended for the time, they were still very close. Camilla thought Diana was “very sweet and funny” and interacted well with children. Their relationship went well at first, but that was when Charles was simply portraying Camilla as an old friend, not an old girlfriend.
Once she figured out the truth, she grew jealous, and their relationship deteriorated even before their wedding day. She even questioned marrying him in general once she found out he was giving her a bracelet as a gift, but it was too late.
“He made a huge mistake. You can sympathize with Diana — oh God, yes,” a close friend of Charles told Junor. “Put that way, he was the architect of the disaster . . . also he wouldn’t have had the sensitivity. He’s very interested in objective things, but not subjective, so he couldn’t have understood the complexities of her feelings.”