Camilla Parker Bowles Was Afraid to Go to America After Princess Diana For This Reason

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles carried on an affair for several years while they were both married to other people and when that became public knowledge, Charles’ lover didn’t gain many fans.

Following the prince and Diana’s divorce in 1996 and the princess’ untimely death a year later, things only got worse for Camilla as she was blamed for their split and seen as public enemy No. 1. While the opinions of her in Britain weren’t favorable at first, things seemed to settle down a bit after she and the Prince of Wales tied the knot in 2005. However, Camilla was still “terrified” of going overseas to America for a specific reason.

Camilla Parker Bowles
Camilla Parker Bowles | Finnbarr Webster – WPA Pool / Getty Images

Here’s more on that and the reception she got in the states, plus how the public views her today.

Why Camilla was ‘terrified’ about going to America after Diana

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall headed to the U.S. in October 2005 for their first royal tour together in the country. But Camilla was reportedly very worried about going because of how many Americans felt about the late princess.

In the biography The Duchess: The Untold Story, author Penny Junor wrote about the trip and the less-than-warm reception Camilla received.

“She knew the eyes of the world would be on her, and that they would be making comparisons with the princess’ first trip with Charles in 1985,” Junor said. “It was to America — Diana’s heartland. No one could have devised a more terrifying initiation.”

John Travolta and Princess Diana
John Travolta and Princess Diana | Pool/Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images

Junor added that “Diana had wowed the country. Most memorable were the 15 minutes she spent on the dance floor with John Travolta at the White House. Diana had been 23, athletic, wraith-like and coy; Camilla was 58 and none of those things.”

It was true that Diana was beloved in America. There was even a band of devotees called “The Diana Circle U.S.”

“This is Diana’s country. We love Diana still,” one of the circle members told the Associated Press.

The days leading up to the trip caused Camilla angst and when she got there the reception wasn’t good.

Junor wrote that “A banner held up by a woman outside the United Nations summed it up: ‘Camilla you are not Diana.'”

How popular is the duchess today?

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

When it comes to Camilla’s popularity these days, the annual YouGov poll revealed that she ranked as the 10th most popular British royal with 29% of the votes.

While the duchess isn’t the favorite royal, much of the public has come to accept her relationship with the future king. Perhaps time has healed old wounds. Of course, Prince Harry’s comments about what he thought of Camilla just before she married his father certainly didn’t hurt.

“[She is] a wonderful woman and she’s made our father very, very happy, which is the most important thing,” the now-Duke of Sussex said. “William and I love her to bits. To be honest with you, she’s always been very close to me and William… she’s not the wicked stepmother.”

Read more: Prince Charles’ Staff Disliked Camilla Parker Bowles So Much That They Tried to Break The Couple Up