When Prince Charles and Princess Diana tied the knot, millions around the world watched their storybook wedding. But not all princes and princesses live happily ever after and a few years later, the public learned that their marriage did not resemble a fairy tale at all.
Instead, it was marred by lies and the infamous affair Charles had with Camilla Parker Bowles. That was something the princess actually knew about early in their relationship. However, after her divorce, a letter the princess reportedly wrote to her butler revealed who Diana really thought the Prince of Wales wanted to marry and it wasn’t Camilla.
How Princess Diana knew Camilla and Prince Charles were having an affair
During her explosive Panorama interview, Diana admitted: “There were three of us in this marriage so it was a bit crowded.”
Biographer Andrew Morton noted that the princess learned Camilla and Charles were having an affair when she found a package that was wasn’t for her.
“Someone in his office told me that my husband has had a bracelet made for her,” Diana reportedly said at the time. “I walked into this man’s office one day and I said, ‘Ooh, what’s in that parcel?’ And he said ‘Oh, you shouldn’t look at that’. So I opened it and there was the bracelet … I was devastated, and I said ‘Well, he’s going to give it to her tonight.”
Morton said Diana attributed being “immature” as to why she stayed with the prince after that.
Diana called Camilla a ‘decoy’ and thought Charles wanted to marry the nanny
After the affair became public knowledge, not everyone believed the future king and Camilla were that serious including Charles’ father, Prince Philip. The duke was said to be stunned by his son’s actions with a woman who was nothing like Diana and did not come from a sufficient aristocratic background.
“We never dreamed he might feel like leaving you for her,” Philip reportedly wrote to his then-daughter-in-law. “I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind leaving you for Camilla. Such a prospect never even entered our heads.”
Although Diana knew all about their affair and had confronted her husband’s mistress, she apparently wasn’t convinced that Charles ever had any intentions of actually marrying Camilla either.
According to the princess’s former butler, Paul Burrell, Diana became paranoid believing Charles wanted to harm her and was just using Camilla when he really wanted to marry Prince William and Prince Harry’s nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke. Burrell claims that Diana wrote him a letter stating this.
“My husband is planning ‘an accident’ in my car, brake failure or some serious head injury in order to make the path clear for him to marry Tiggy. Camilla is nothing more than a decoy so we are being used by the man in every sense of the word,” the princess allegedly wrote.
Despite these claims, there has never been any evidence or confirmation of an affair between Charles and Tiggy.
Princess Diana died following a car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997. On April 9, 2005, Prince Charles married Camilla.