Princess Diana and Prince Charles' marriage ended after secret tapes of him talking with Camilla Parker Bowles, now Duchess of Cornwall, were released to the media. The royal couple's union ultimately dissolved because of an affair between the Prince of Wales and Camilla.
In 1980, Prince Charles, 31, began dating Lady Diana Spencer, 18. Before that, he briefly dated her older sister, Lady Sarah Spencer, who later took credit for introducing the Prince and Princess of Wales.
The future King of England proposed to the People's Princess in February 1981. After their engagement news made headlines, Prince Charles left a rather shocking comment concerning his relationship with Diana.
Charles, Prince of Wales and his wife, Diana, Princess of Wales during their tour to Ottawa in Canada. / Source: Getty Images
When a TV interviewer asked him and his wife-to-be whether they were in love, Princess Diana blushed and said, "Of course," while he added:
"Whatever love means."
However, Prince Charles oddly gushed over their romance in a newspaper interview, saying, "I feel positively delighted and frankly amazed that Di is prepared to take me on."
Diana, Princess of Wales, with her newly-wedded husband, Charles, the Prince of Wales, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day on July 29, 1981. / Source: Getty Images
In July 1981, the royal couple got married at St. Paul's Cathedral, with reportedly 750 million people worldwide tuned in to witness the wedding of the century.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles welcomed two sons, Prince William in 1982 and Prince Harry in 1984. Soon after, things started getting sour between them.
The Prince of Wales had begun an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles in 1986. In 1989, his wife confronted his mistress, approaching her at a party.
Princess Diana told Camilla, now Duchess of Cornwall, that she knew what was going on between her and her husband. In response, the future Queen Consort said:
"You’ve got everything you've ever wanted. You’ve got all the men in the world fall in love with you, and you've got two beautiful children. What more do you want?"
The Princess of Wales replied: "I want my husband. I'm sorry I'm in the way, and it must be hell for both of you. But I do know what's going on. Don't treat me like an idiot."
In November 1992, secret tapes of Prince Charles and Camilla's telephone conversations were brought to the public's attention, wherein they expressed intimate details of their mutual affection.
In December that year, the Prince and Princess of Wales announced their separation. Then-Prime Minister John Major made the announcement confirming the breakdown of the royal marriage.
Come June 1994, Princess Charles admitted to being unfaithful to the princess during a televised interview with Jonathan Dimbleby. Meanwhile, Camilla and her spouse Andrew Bowles announced their divorce in January 1995.
Subsequently, a year later, Prince Charles and Princess Diana also announced a divorce, more than three years after their formal separation in August 1996.
Only eight months before her untimely death, Princess Diana watched a program with her kids that held a debate on the monarchy's future.
Things became intense when 3,000 people who served as an audience were asked whether Camilla could ever be Queen one day, and the majority voted no.
Curious enough, 12-year-old Prince Harry turned to his mother and asked who Camilla was. The princess said to her son that it was something he had to ask his father about.
PRINCE CHARLES STARTS LEGITIMIZING HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH CAMILLA
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker-Bowles seen leaving the Ritz Hotel in London. / Source: Getty Images
Soon enough, Prince Charles began to legitimize his romance with Camilla. The Guardian reported in July 1998 that the royal introduced his lover to his oldest son, Prince William, for the first time.
Notably, The Sun held off on the story for 24 hours as Prince Charles had requested that he wanted to inform his child beforehand about the article.
The meeting reportedly took 30 minutes at St. James's Palace, with the Prince of Wales present. Since that encounter, 16-year-old Prince William had met Camilla twice more for tea and at a shared lunch.
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles pictured leaving the Royal Festival Hall on May 6, 1999 in London. / Source: Getty Images
With Prince Charles' clear intentions with Camilla, he invited her to join him and his sons on a family vacation in Greece in August 1999.
Not long after, in June 2000, the heir to the British throne introduced his companion to his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Interestingly, the royal matriarch previously failed to attend her son's 50th birthday celebrations because of Camilla's presence in 1998.
Only a year later, the monarch accepted an invite to King Constantine of Greece's 60th birthday party at Highgrove, where her future daughter-in-law was present.
DESPITE A PICTURE-PERFECT FAMILY PORTRAYAL – THE PRINCES NEVER WARMED CAMILLA
Prince William and Prince Harry during the launch of the Sixteenth Air Assault Brigade, at RAF Wattisham, Suffolk. / Source: Getty Images
Regardless of how Prince Charles tried to create a harmonious environment for his children and Camilla, it did not mean she would become their favorite person.
There was once a misconception that Prince William and Prince Harry had warmed up to their future stepmother, but they only tolerated her.
Even when all grown up in his thirties, the Duke of Sussex still complained to his friends that the Duchess had converted his old room at Highgrove, his father's Gloucestershire estate, into a dressing room for herself.
Prince Harry and his father, Prince Charles photographed while driving away from the Vancouver International Airport in Canada. / Source: Getty Images
Prince Harry got introduced to Camilla when he was 13 years old, and insiders revealed the meeting was rather unbearable. By then, his mother had passed, and he longed for her, an aide disclosed:
"Harry wanted his mom and was missing her terribly. He just didn't want to be there."
As adults, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and his younger brother Prince Harry were reportedly beyond "sick" regarding their father's persistence in trying to negotiate full Queen status for Camilla.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex during the commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 2017 in Lille, France. / Source: Getty Images
However, their grandmother agreed to give the Duchess of Cornwall the status. Buckingham Palace released a statement in February 2022, marking the 70th anniversary of the monarch's reign. In thanking Britons for their unwavering support over the years, Her Majesty wrote:
"And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me, and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort."
CAMILLA ALLEGEDLY TRIED TO BREAK UP PRINCE WILLIAM & KATE MIDDLETON
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, actress Meghan Markle, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attending a Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 12, 2018 in London. / Source: Getty Images
The Duchess of Cornwall became a Royal Family member when she married Prince Charles in 2005. Stunningly, she did not approve of one daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton.
In September 2018, Express reported that a bombshell book called "Game of Crowns: Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate and the Throne," by Christopher Anderson claimed that Camilla once attempted to break up the couple.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met while studying at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Even though the rest of the world fell in love with Middelton, one royal member was not impressed.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Isla Phillips on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour 2018 on June 9, 2018 in London, England. / Source: Getty Images
Camilla reportedly believed that the future Duchess of Cambridge was "pretty, but rather dim" and "too lowly" to marry into the Royal Family. Anderson further claimed she even asked her spouse to convince his son to split with Middleton.
But that did not happen right away. After six of being together, Prince William and Middleton parted ways in 2007, and apparently, Camilla said the decision was "wise."
However, to her dismay, the lovebirds reconciled. After their engagement announcement, the Duke of Cambridge revealed why he and his wife-to-be had broken up. He shared they were both young and were trying to figure themselves out, and, in the end, it worked out for them.
Prince Charles supposedly asked Prince William to stand up for Camillia ahead of Prince Harry's revealing memoir despite that eye-brow-raising revelation.
In January 2022, Instyle reported that the Prince of Wales expects a full-blown attack from his youngest son regarding his wife. A source told The Sun:
"Charles has shared his concerns with William and is keen he somehow goes on the record and sticks up for Camilla, should the book attack her."
Camilla also reportedly impacted Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's marriage. In the beginning, the Duchess warmly welcomed Markle into the Royal Family and even gave her advice on handling media scrutiny.
The two royal women had a lot in common as they entered into royalty as divorcees, and both loved fine wine and yoga. However, their relationship became rocky when their royal engagements clashed.
The Mirror reported in October 2021 that Camilla became upset after Markle insisted photos of her at a theatre appeared the same day she gave an important address. The Duchess of Cornwall planned to give a speech on the 10th anniversary of the Women of the World Festival in London.
However, the American native allegedly overshadowed Camilla's campaign against abuse by getting photos of her private visit to the National Theatre published the same day.
The unprecedented move from Markle caused a row behind Palace walls as insiders disclosed that she blatantly "refused to listen" to pleas of staff.
Meanwhile, former royal butler Paul Burrell claimed in 2021 that Markle's husband would target Camilla in his book and may even name the "royal racist" because publishers "want their money's worth."
Burrell revealed the Duke of Sussex would reveal his stepmother's secrets after she technically took his mother's place by becoming Prince Charles' wife.
PRINCE HARRY ALWAYS WANTED TO LEAVE THE ROYAL FAMILY
Prince Harry during the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games at Zuiderpark on April 22, 2022 in The Hague, Netherlands. / Source: Getty Images
Prince Harry and Markle stepped down from their royal duties in March 2020 and moved to the US. Royal biographer, Tina Brown, claimed palace advisors knew that it would eventually happen.
Brown stated she was told the Duke "was so fragile, so combustible, he was so unhappy, frankly, in the constraints of the Royal Family."
In the New York Times podcast, "Sway," Brown noted Prince Harry leaving his homeland created hollowness in the Royal Family because he was beloved, especially by the Britons.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle during a visit to Titanic Belfast maritime museum on March 23, 2018 in Belfast, Nothern Ireland. / Source: Getty Images
The Sussexes departed from the UK to start a new life in North America after experiencing ill-treatment from the Royal Family. In a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, Markle revealed her mental health suffered while living in the UK.
The Duchess said she was refused help when she desperately needed it and even considered suicide. However, she refrained from doing that because she did not want her husband to lose "another woman in his life."
As for Prince Harry, his wife avoided committing suicide because she knew how unfair it would be. "The thing that stopped her from seeing it through was how unfair it would be on me after that happened to my mom and to now be in a position of losing another woman in my life, with a baby inside of her, our baby," he said.
The Duke of Sussex said his family was of no help as they chose to be oblivious to their unbearable situation in the palace. They were merely silent about his concerns for his own family and neglected them.
As such, Markle was the one that gave her spouse the tools to exit the Royal Family because he had always wanted out. Brown claimed the actress "understood the world of agents and deals" and gave Prince Harry the "tools to leave."
PRINCE HARRY NOW "CAN'T STAND" CAMILLA
Prince Harry attending the Adam Tower project introduction and global partnership on September 3, 2019 in Amsterdam. / Source: Getty Images
In addition to the animosity between the Sussexes and the Firm, Prince Harry cannot stand his stepmother and does not even want her to be Queen Consort.
While his older brother has accepted Camilla into their lives, he, on the other hand, has a hard time with it. Brown, "The Papers Palace" author, told the Telegraph that Prince Harry is angry about Camilla becoming Queen, adding:
"He has not made his peace with it, and he probably never will."
Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex pictured watching the RAF flypast on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018 in London, England. / Source: Getty Images
Brown shared that the Duke would aim at his father, Prince Charles, and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, and maybe his brother, Prince William, in his book.
Despite Prince Harry's rift with his father and stepmother, he lowkey misses his family. In an interview with Hoda Kotb in April 2022, the Duke of Sussex admitted he yearned for his loved ones.
However, his response was indirect when asked if he missed Prince Charles and Prince William. "Look, I mean, at the moment, I'm here focused on these guys and these families and giving everything I can, 120% to them to make sure that they have the experience for a lifetime, he said while referring to the Invictus Games.
Once again, Prince Harry emphasized his focus, revealing he would eventually go back and visit his family: "That's my focus here. And when I leave here, I go back, and my focus is my family, who I miss massively." The Duke now wants his kids to see his grandmother.