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Though they had a fairytale wedding when they married in July 1981 –it has become clear over the years that Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ marriage was disastrous. The pair wed without really knowing each other and the Prince of Wales was significantly older than his 20-year old bride. In addition to having totally different personalities –the prince was still in love with his ex-girlfriend, Camilla Parker Bowles.

In the end–the marriage between Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ crumbled because as the princess put it, the marriage was “crowded.” Though Princess Diana knew about Prince Charles relationship with Parker Bowles by the late ’80s –the prince was careful to hide his affair at first.

This is how Prince Charles hid his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles from Princess Diana

Though she was lovely and charming –Princess Diana could have a pretty volatile temper. To keep his wife in the dark about his affair –Prince Charles instructed his staff to help him cover it up. In his book Diana: Her True Story royal biographer Andrew Morton wrote,

Charles’ bodyguard was forced to accompany the prince on illicit nighttime visits to see Camilla, while his chef and butler were instructed to cook dinner even though they knew Charles would be out with his lover. Charles’ valet was instructed to mark up the TV listings guide to make it look like the prince had spent the night at home watching television. When Charles broke his arm in a polo accident, his staff was responsible for listening to police radios to track Diana’s journey to the hospital, so they could get Camilla out of Charles’ room before the princess arrived.

How did Princess Diana find out about Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles?

Princess Diana always had her suspicions about Parker Bowles and Prince Charles’ relationship. During their engagement –the prince brought the Duchess of Cornwall a piece of jewelry with an inside joke engraved on it. Princess Diana was immediately alarmed. However, she was assured that her suspicions were foolish. The Queen Mother even called her a “silly girl” for questioning Prince Charles’ fidelity.

In the end –Princess Diana knew she wasn’t crazy, and in the late ’80s the princess confronted Parker Bowles herself saying, “I said, ‘I know what’s going on between you and Charles and I just want you to know that.”

Camilla then replied, “You’ve got everything you ever wanted. You’ve got all the men in the world fall in love with you and you’ve got two beautiful children, what more do you want?’” The princess said, “I want my husband. I’m sorry I’m in the way … and it must be hell for both of you. But I do know what’s going on. Don’t treat me like an idiot.’”

Things all came to a head after a kinky phone call between Prince Charles and Parker Bowles leaked to the press in 1992. During the phone convo, the future King of England said he wanted to “live inside [Camilla’s] trousers as a pair of knickers” or, “a Tampax.” The Prince and Princess of Wales were finally allowed to separate before eventually divorcing in 1996.

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