Diana once famously said, “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded”.
She was of course referring to Prince Charles’ now wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, whom he reportedly cried over the night before he wed Diana.
Camilla’s relationship with the prince throughout his 11-year marriage to Diana has been much talked about, but Diana herself has revealed the moment she first confronted her rival about it.
The confession is part of a series of tapes the late royal recorded in secret prior to her tragic death in 1997. They are being published in the re-released version of Andrew Morton’s book Diana, My True Story, and serialised by the Daily Mail.
It all took place on the night of Camilla’s sister’s 40th birthday party in early 1989.
Diana recounts that Charles was surprised she waned to attend, but she had resolved to go and make a point of shaking Camilla’s hand instead of kissing her on the cheek.
She succeeded in doing that, but says that an hour and a half later, she noticed both Charles and Camilla had left the room.
“They tried to stop me going. ‘Oh, Diana, don’t go down there,” she says in the tape, but she went in search of them anyway.
Diana found him downstairs chatting to Camilla and another man, and after joining the conversation, asked to have a private word with Camilla.
“She (Camilla) looked really uncomfortable and put her head down,” Diana recounts.
“I was utterly terrified of her, and I said: ‘Camilla, I would just like you to know that I know exactly what is going on.’”
Camilla replied that she had no idea what she was talking about, but Diana pressed on.
“I said: ‘I know what’s going on between you and Charles, and I just want you to know that.’ And she said: ‘Oh, it’s not a cloak-and-dagger situation.’ I said: ‘I think it is.’”
Diana then recalls, “She said to me: ‘You’ve got everything you ever wanted. You’ve got all the men in the world falling in love with you, and you’ve got two beautiful children. What more could you want?’
“So I said: ‘I want my husband.’”
At this point she says someone from the party came down to interrupt them, and while she was satisfied that she had said her piece, she cried and cried in the car on her way home.
Diana’s recordings are a harrowing look into the unhappy side of her life. She details her struggles with bulimia and mental health, and even recounts episodes of self-harm, including one time she threw herself down a flight of stairs while four months pregnant with William.
Unfortunately for Diana, she felt as those she was contending with Camilla from the very day she married Charles, and says in another tape that she was looking for Camilla in the crowd as she walked down the aisle on July 29, 1981.
“I knew she was there of course. Walking back down the aisle, I spotted her – pale grey, veiled pillbox hat, saw it all, her son, Tom, standing on a chair,” she says.
“To this day, you know – vivid memory.”