Prince Charles Once Forced a Staff Member To Scrub His Clothes After He’d Snuck Out With Camilla While Diana Slept

It’s long been known that Prince Charles and Princess Diana didn’t have a happy marriage. But at the time, nobody realized how bad things actually were between the two. Charles and Diana wed after hardly getting to know each other, and after several years of trying to make it work, Charles re-entered an affair with his longtime love, Camilla Parker Bowles. But one former palace employee detailed just how bad it was.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Prince Charles and Princess Diana were engaged after 12 dates

When Charles and Diana were first introduced, Charles was actually dating Diana’s older sister, Sarah. The relationship didn’t last long, though, and Charles didn’t start anything with Diana until several years later. He’d spent time in the Navy, only to learn upon his return that his real love, Camilla Parker Bowles, had married. At 30 years old, it wasn’t a good look for the future king to be single, so the prospect of marrying a teenage Diana was appealing.

The two hardly got to know each other before Charles proposed; they reportedly only went on 12 dates. And Diana revealed in her recordings to Andrew Morton that she was so shocked when Charles proposed that she began laughing. The couple wed in 1981, but within a few years, their marriage was in shambles.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

RELATED: Princess Diana Once Revealed She Didn’t Speak to Prince Charles the Day After Their Wedding: ‘We Were So Shattered’

Prince Charles required a staffer to wash his clothes after he snuck out with Camilla

Charles and Diana both had affairs during their marriage, though they did remain faithful to each other for the first few years. But once Charles rekindled his romance with Camilla, there was no going back for him. The prince’s former valet, Ken Stronach, revealed in a 1995 interview that Charles would sneak out with Camilla in the middle of the night. The former employee said that he was responsible for scrubbing Charles’ clothes clean after he’d come back from a night in the garden with Camilla.

“There was mud and muck everywhere,” Stronach said in the interview, according to Spokesman. “They’d obviously been doing it in the open air.” Stronach revealed that he’d done other things to hide Charles’ affair, even going as far as messing up Charles’ bed for him, so it looked like he’d slept there. “It was very elaborate, but it didn’t fool anyone for a minute,” he added.

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles | Paul Ellis/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Charles has spent more than three decades rebuilding his reputation

Charles and Diana’s relationship unraveled when the media learned of Camilla and Charles’ affair. His reputation sunk, with his approval rating hitting an all-time low. And for the past 30 years, Charles has worked on rebuilding his reputation. He has built a better relationship with his sons and worked hard to regain the public’s trust. Still, not everyone is on board with Charles and Camilla’s marriage, and his approval rating still isn’t as high as Prince William’s, but he has certainly come a long way from the days after his affair leaked.