Charles' pre-wedding gesture to Camilla enraged Diana

 

A biographer has described the moment Diana flew into a rage after finding a gift from Charles to Camilla.

It was just a fortnight away from their wedding and Charles has decided to gift pieces of jewellery to a number of women who had shaped his life before marriage.

One of them was of course, his former girlfriend Camilla Parker-Bowles, whom he’d initially introduced to Diana as just an old friend.

Diana and Charles had a big row over Camilla two weeks before their wedding. Photo: Getty

Camilla and Charles met at the polo in 1972. Photo: Getty

Her gift was a beautiful gold bracelet inscribed with the initials of their pet names for each other, 'Gladys' and 'Fred'.

It was something Charles apparently thought was endearing, and perhaps didn’t recognise the anguish and jealousy it would spark in his bride.

Diana described the moment to her biographer Andrew Morton, as part of her secret tapes.

“Anyway, someone in his office told me that my husband had had a bracelet made for her, which she wears to this day. It's a gold chain bracelet with a blue enamel disc,” she said.

“I walked into this man's office one day and said: 'Oh, what's in that parcel?' He said: 'Oh, you shouldn't look at that.' I said: 'Well, I'm going to look at it.'

Diana was jealous of Camilla the day she got married and looked for her as she walked down the aisle. Photo: Getty

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“I opened it and there was a bracelet, and I said: 'I know where this is going.' I was devastated. This was about two weeks before we got married. He said: 'Well, he's going to give it to her tonight.'

“So rage, rage, rage! 'Why can't you be honest with me?' But no, [Charles] cut me absolutely dead. It's as if he had made his decision, and if it wasn't going to work, it wasn't going to work. He'd found the virgin, the sacrificial lamb”.

The man whose office Diana was in was Michael Colborne, one of the prince’s aides, and he recalls things slightly differently.

His account is featured in a book by royal author Penny Junor, and says that he was inspecting the jewellery that arrived in his office when he was called away to speak to someone. By the time he returned, Diana had been seen rushing out, visibly distressed.

Diana's bulimia started after she got engaged to Charles. Photo: Getty

The idea of Camilla haunted Diana before she married. Photo: Getty

RELATED: Prince Charles calls marriage to Princess Diana a ‘Greek tragedy’

Diana was already in a very fragile state; she was suffering from bulimia, felt betrayed that Charles hadn’t been upfront with her about his history with Camilla from the start, and was likely afraid that he didn’t love her as much as his ex.

He reportedly wept over Camilla the night before he married Diana, and she walked down the aisle scanning the rows for her rival’s face.

Things only got worse on their honeymoon when Diana noticed that Charles was wearing cufflinks engraved with two ‘C’s for ‘Charles’ and ‘Camilla’. Of course they’d been a gift from his lover.

Diana just couldn’t escape her, at another moment on their holiday she noticed a photo of Camilla fall out of Charles’ diary.

Charles had resolved not to continue his affair with his ex after marrying Diana, but it was clear that the damage it caused his wife in her fragile mental state was done regardless.

One example of her instability is recorded in Junor's book, Charles was going out for the day and he asked his aide Michael Colborne, to stay with Diana.

Junor explains in that in the six hours following Michael's arrival at the house, Diana was in a constant state of distress; crying, kicking the furniture, ranting and pacing around the room.

Diana had just turned 20 when she married Charles in 1981. Photo: Getty

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