Princess Diana’s Terrifying Confrontation With Camilla Over the Prince Charles Affair, Revealed

When Princess Diana first found out about Prince Charles’ affair with his longtime love interest Camilla Parker Bowles, she was horrified. But what Diana did next still has people reeling; She confronted the mistress. Here’s everything you need to know about the night Diana confronted Camilla about the affair.

The confrontation took place at a birthday party

Left: Princess Diana in Australia in 1996 | Patrick Riviere/Getty Images, Right: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in 2017

Left: Princess Diana in Australia in 1996 | Patrick Riviere/Getty Images, Right: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in 2017 | WPA Pool/Pool/Getty Images

Camilla’s sister was celebrating her 40th birthday party, thrown by Lady Annabel Goldsmith in 1989. Although Diana had not received an invite, she decided to show up unannounced to speak with Camilla. “I decided I’m not going to kiss Camilla hello anymore. I was going to shake hands with her instead,” Diana revealed in a series of tapes later reported by Daily Mail. It was her “big step” in doing something about the affair.

Next: Diana pulled Camilla away from Prince Charles to speak her mind.

Diana pulled Camilla away from a conversation with Prince Charles

Princess Diana and Camilla

These two have had plenty of awkward moments together. | Express Newspapers/Getty Images

Diana’s tapes revealed she was aware Charles did not want her to show up that night. She had been upstairs alone when she realized Camilla and Charles were not around. She later found them downstairs having a conversation with another man, the tapes revealed. Diana pulled Camilla away from Charles and asked to speak to her. “She looked really uncomfortable and put her head down,” Diana said.

Next: Diana was shockingly calm during the confrontation.

Diana remained ‘deathly calm’ during the conversation

Diana, Princess of Wales, converses during the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute fund raising dinner in Sydney 31 October. Diana was the guest of honour at the USD 800-a-head gala dinner - her first official engagement during her four-day visit. AFP PHOTO. (Photo credit should read POOL/AFP/Getty Images)

Princess Diana will always be thought of as poised and mild-mannered. | POOL/AFP/Getty Images

Diana admitted to feeling terrified about confronting Camilla. However, she noted that she put on a display of remaining “deathly calm” just before and during the confrontation. Even when she pulled Camilla away from Charles, she did so with poise. “The voice inside me had said, ‘Just go for it,’” she said.

Next: Diana demanded to be treated well.

‘Don’t treat me like an idiot’

Prince Charles and Princess Diana are walking side by side.

Princess Diana expected more respect from Prince Charles. | Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Diana told Camilla she knew what was going on between Camilla and Charles. But Camilla didn’t immediately admit anything. At first, she denied having any clue what Diana was talking about. Diana fired back, and the two went back and forth. Finally Diana said, “I’m sorry I’m in the way. It must be hell for both of you, but I do know what is going on. Don’t treat me like an idiot,” Daily Mail reported.

Next: Camilla’s reply was enough.

Camilla’s reply was ‘very interesting’

Princess Diana and her family in London

Camilla seemed to have no problems with knowing she was breaking up a family. | Johnny Eggitt/AFP/Getty Images

In her tapes, Diana recalled how interesting Camilla’s response was. At first, Camilla denied any involvement, but then she got defensive. She said Diana never let Charles see the children. She then told Diana that she had all the men in the world she could ever want, and she had two beautiful children. Camilla asked Diana, “what more could you want?” Diana swiftly replied, “I want my husband.”

Next: The aftermath weighed on Diana.

The aftermath brought Diana to tears

Princess Diana in November 1992

It was time for Princess Diana to mourn her relationship. | Vincent Amalvy/AFP/Getty Images

Diana admitted to crying like she had never cried before. She blamed it on years’ worth of pent-up anger. Diana’s tapes revealed she did not sleep that night, as she was crying too much. However, when she woke up the next day, she admitted to feeling a “tremendous shift” as if a huge weight had been lifted. A few days later, she told Charles what she had said to Camilla, but he didn’t believe her.

Next: Diana sought affection in other men.

It led her to affairs of her own

Diana Princess of Wales in Japan

Princess Diana could easily fall into the arms of another man. | AFP/Getty Images

Diana began having affairs out of frustration over her marriage. Most notably, she paired up with James Hewitt, the family’s riding instructor. To this day, some people think Prince Harry is the son of James Hewitt. Charles reportedly found out about the affair but did not concern himself with it. Princess Diana was linked to multiple men during her marriage.

Next: There was a dark secret in the aftermath of Charles’ affair. 

She attempted suicide when she learned of the affair

Princess Diana exhibit

Princess Diana reached a dark place. | Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Diana attempted suicide multiple times in her life. The first was up at Balmoral, when she tried to cut her wrists to put herself out of the misery that was her marriage to Charles. Another attempt happened when she was pregnant with Prince William. Diana threw herself and her unborn baby down the stairs. She revealed in tapes that it was to get Charles’ attention, so he would notice how much she was struggling. She remained in a dark place for years.

Next: Their marriage was doomed from the beginning.

Charles led Diana to develop bulimia while engaged

Princess Diana and Prince Charles on their wedding day.

She felt triggered by his comments. | STR/AFP/Getty Images

A comment Charles made to Diana while the couple was engaged “set something off” in her, according to released tapes. When Charles grabbed Diana’s waist and made a comment about her weight, it led her to bulimia. She claimed it felt like she was releasing her stress. She went from a 29-inch waist all the way down to 23.5 inches before her wedding day.

Next: Another factor tore apart the marriage.

Diana’s mental state had an effect on the couple’s marriage

Prince Charles and Princess Diana on their wedding day.

They didn’t start off their marriage on a happy note. | AFP/Getty Images

Among issues including Charles’ affair and the couple’s false love, Diana’s mental and emotional instability also took a toll on the couple’s marriage. Diana was prescribed Valium for her condition but refused to take it. She was paranoid that the royal family was trying to sedate her. She constantly cried, and although she eventually agreed to see a therapist, she only had eight sessions, which did not help her overcome her paranoia and depression.

Next: Charles had choice words about his feelings for Diana. 

There was a big sign right from the beginning

Princess Diana and Prince Charles kiss at their wedding.

Their love was not obvious to those around them. | Getty Images

It could be the most famous line Charles ever said. When the two announced their engagement in 1981, a reporter asked if they were in love. “Of course,” Diana said, yet Charles replied with a deceiving, “Whatever ‘in love’ means.” At the time, it wasn’t seen as too much of a red flag. However, as years went on and the recordings were rediscovered, it quickly made sense that it was a telltale sign the two were not happily engaged.

Next: This gift said it all.

Prince Charles gave Camilla a bracelet just before his wedding to Diana

Camilla Parker holds an umbrella.

Right before his wedding, Prince Charles gave a token of love to Camilla. | Patricia Del Melo/AFP/Getty Images

Charles and Camilla had nicknames for one another: Fred and Gladys. A couple of weeks before his wedding to Diana, Charles gifted Camilla a bracelet with a G and F inscribed on it. Diana was aware, which made her apprehensive to follow through with the royal wedding. But Diana was about to become a royal, and the royal reputation needed to be upheld. So she went through with the wedding.

Next: Those closest people to Diana refused to help her.

Diana told her sisters she did not want to go through with the wedding

Lady Sarah McCorquodale wearing black clothes and looking straight ahead.

She confided in her sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale. | Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Before the wedding, Diana confided in her sisters over her second thoughts about the marriage, especially after she found out about the bracelet. Her sisters encouraged her to go through with the wedding, and at this point she had no choice. Diana recalled them saying it was “too late to chicken out.” Plus, Diana needed to keep up a certain appearance, and calling off the wedding would surround the royal family in drama.

Next: There were also red flags on the honeymoon.

Problems unfolded on their honeymoon

Prince Charles and Princess Diana sit together while outdoors at an event.

There was trouble in paradise very early on. | Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

Diana wrote letters about her honeymoon to her secretary in confidence, and their recent release shows that marriage problems were present as early as the honeymoon. Diana wrote, “The honeymoon was a perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep …” Reports have also said that Diana was prescribed Valium while the two honeymooned in Balmoral, Scotland. There was no word on whether or not she took the medication.

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