Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, is preparing to mark her 75th birthday in a time of transition and 30 years after the life-changing Princess Diana biography that revealed her affair with Prince Charles.
Andrew Morton’s book Diana: Her true story pushed Camilla into the scorching heat of a worldwide public scandal when it was published in June 1992.
Thirty years later, the Duchess stands at another crossroads when she was named a future queen in February in a statement of surprise from Queen Elizabeth II.
Charles and Camilla have also hired a new PR manager, and there are signs of a desire to promote her newfound status.
Andrew Mortons Bombshell Diana Memoir
Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ marriage fell apart in a very public way in the 1990s, starting with the release of Diana: Her true storypublished June 16, 1992.
At the time, Camilla Charles’ ex-boyfriend and a member of his social circle in Gloucestershire, known as the Highgrove Set, although not public knowledge, was also his mistress.
The book revealed not only the affair but also Diana’s loneliness, her battle with bulimia and several suicide attempts, including one while she was pregnant with Prince William.
A preface to the 25th anniversary edition outlined the author’s own amazement at the account of her life, which had been given to him directly by Diana on tape footage smuggled out of Kensington Palace by a middleman.
Morton described listening to her explosive testimony at a working man’s cafe in London.
He wrote: “As workers noisily tucked away in plates of eggs, bacon and baked beans, I put on a pair of headphones, turned on a battered tape recorder, and listened with increasing astonishment to the princess’ unmistakable voice as she uttered a tale of woe in a rapid flow of consciousness.
“It was like being transported into a parallel universe where the princess talked about her unhappiness, her sense of betrayal, her suicide attempts and two things I had never heard of before: bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder and a woman named Camilla. “
Among her statements to Morton, Diana described how she confronted Camilla about the affair at a party, saying, “Camilla, I just want you to know that I know exactly what’s going on.”
Diana told Morton in the tape footage: “She said to me, ‘You’ve got everything you’ve ever wanted. You’ve made all the men in the world fall in love with you, and you have two beautiful children. What more can you have? Wish you?’
“I did not believe her, so I said, ‘I want my husband.’ , and I said to Camilla, ‘Sorry, I’m in the way, I’m obviously in the way, and it must be hell for both of you, but I know what’s going on. Do not treat me like an idiot.’ “
Fallout from Diana: Her true story
At the time, Diana’s role in the book was kept secret, and some dismissed its contents as gossip and rumors.
However, Charles confirmed the affair in a 1994 TV interview with the BBC, asking if he had been “faithful and honorable” to his wife.
The prince replied “Yes”, but paused before adding, “Until it was irrevocably broken down and we had both tried.”
After Diana’s death in 1997, Morton told the world the true source of the explosive allegations, and recent editions have included the entire transcript of the tape recordings.
The book changed the course of royal history, triggering the separation of Diana and Charles in 1992 and firing the start of an era of bitter division known in the British press as the Welsh War.
However, it also led to a collapse in the future king’s popularity in Britain, after the 1991 Ipsos Mori polls showed that 82 per cent of Britons thought he would make a good king before the scandal surfaced.
When he divorced Diana in 1996, the figure had dropped to 41 percent, and the current poll, by YouGov in April 2022, shows that now only 32 percent believe he will be a good king compared to 32 percent who say , that he will not.
Charles and Camilla 30 years later
Three decades after the book’s publication, the world is a very different place for Charles and Camilla, although the scandal has set a background for much of what happened in between.
They married in 2005 but could not hold a religious wedding because Camilla had a living ex-husband. Instead, they had a legal ceremony at the Windsor Guildhall, which Queen Elizabeth II did not attend due to a personal policy that she only goes to church weddings.
Camilla also did not assume Diana’s title, Princess of Wales, which is usually given to the heir to the throne. The palace said that when Charles became king, Camilla would be known as “Princess Spouse” instead of “Queen Spouse” out of respect for Diana.
Charles has, according to historian Robert Lacey, spent years campaigning to turn this police against the wishes of his sons. He finally got his will on the eve of the start of Elizabeth’s platinum anniversary year in February 2022.
The Queen said in a statement: “When my son Charles becomes king in the fullness of time, I know that you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that when it time will come, Camilla will be known as the Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service. “
The 96-year-old queen’s words have created a springboard to a new drive to promote Camilla at a time when the royal family has, in fact, already embarked on a slow-motion success.
The Queen performs fewer of her official duties due to episodic mobility issues, which, for example, prompted Charles to read her speech at the state opening of parliament in May.
The PR campaign to rehabilitate Camilla also has a new man at the helm, though the couple’s choice was not uncontroversial.
Charles and Camilla hire a leader, Tobyn Andreae, from the same newspaper group that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sued three times, once for breach of privacy and copyright and twice for libel.
That Daily mail The deputy editor is likely to have a keen understanding of the sensitivities of Central England, and the newspaper’s readership is strongly pro-royal.
However, he may also have a little more than that to deal with as another biography lurks on the horizon.
Prince Harry’s memoirs were originally scheduled for publication in late 2022, and the British press has speculated that it could reveal some difficult feelings about his stepmother.
If the Duke of Sussex’s book starts a new round of intercontinental royal warfare, the fight against Charles and Camilla’s corner will be a leader from a publisher that Meghan said was so intrusive in the way it fought a lawsuit against her that she feared she would have an abortion.