Charles and Camilla's reported plot to slur Diana as a scheming hysteric

Mar 24, 2018
02:15 P.M.

The couple were in hot water after news broke of their affair and her involvement in the royal divorce.


After her split from Prince Charles in the early 1990's, Princess Diana made some explosive statements that firmly placed the blame of the divorce on Charles and his mistress, then-Camilla Parker-Bowles.

As reported by Daily Mail, the couple instantly went into damage-control mode, trying to vilify Diana as a hysterical woman.

When their marriage fell apart, Diana used the media attention to her advantage to blame Camilla for the breakdown of her relationship. In an explosive interview, she explained that there had been three people in her marriage, and that it was a bit crowded.

Camilla, for her part, made sure to make no fuss in the public eye. But in private she was livid about the implications.

Initially, she called Diana a mouse. Later on, she graduated to calling her a "mad cow." She also turned around and told friends that at least she had only had one affair, while Diana was "making her way through the Life Guards."

Charles' approval ratings had dropped to a dismal low, and Camilla was gearing up for battle to save them both. In 1996, she turned to Hilary Browne-Wilkinson, who had recently handled her own divorce, for advice.


Camilla was furious that Diana was refusing to adopt a "dignified silence," and wanted something to be down about the situation.

Browne-Wilkinson suggested hiring Mark Bolland as a spin-doctor, and the couple agreed. Their purpose? To make Charles' mistress into a likeable figure in the eyes of the public.

Charles tended to be a more silent partner in the arrangement, but would also have outbursts of anger towards his ex-wife, making nasty remarks about Diana's sanity. He complained that she was uneducated and uncultured, despite evidence to the contrary.

Despite the couple's best efforts, a poll a short while later showed Charles to be the most hated member of the royal family.

So the prince decided to cooperate with Penny Junor, a journalist who wanted to write a book sympathetic towards Camilla's plight. The mistress was also set to host a fundraiser on September 13, 1997.

But as the preparations for the fundraiser were underway, news came of Diana's car crash in Paris. Charles immediately felt he would be blamed for her death, and he and Camilla knew that their campaign to make her likeable would have to be suspended.


Rather than being saddened by her loss, Charles instead became angry over how she was elevated even further by the public, despite "being a nutter."

Charles and Camilla also had to cool off their relationship, but just 10 months later she became frustrated with Charles over being left out in the cold.

Bolland and Camilla arranged for a journalist at The Sunday Times to write a flattering article about her, which implied that she was becoming a part of the royal family.

Then the couple met with Bolland, and started planning a campaign to portray Diana as a manipulative hysteric.

They were now being seen in public together again, and Camilla arranged for a solo four-day tour to Manhattan to make herself likeable among the Americans, something Diana had achieved so easily.

But it wasn't destined to have the same results Diana had, and Robert Higdon, chief executive of Charles’ charity foundation in America, even admitted it didn't feel right and that it was too soon.

When she returned home, every effort was made to make Camilla look like a princess who belonged at Charles' side. The couple were first photographed together in 1999, 17 months after Diana's death, after they strategically leaked their location to the press.

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