Two major polls of the British public have revealed a turning of the public tide against Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, with the majority of respondents saying they would not accept Camilla as Queen.
An Express survey found 67 per cent of Brits did not support the Duchess of Cornwall becoming Queen, while a poll by The Sun found more than half would prefer Prince William to be King over his father.
In the lead-up to the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, it seems Charles and Camilla are dealing with a public relations catastrophe as they battle headlines born out of revealing documentaries, books and family recollections of the late Princess of Wales.
One such documentary is Diana: In Her Own Words, from US Network National Geographic, which aired in Australia on Foxtel on Tuesday night.
If the British public were feeling chilly towards Charles and Camilla before, they’ll be feeling downright frosty after watching this film, based on wide-ranging interviews secretly recorded (with Diana’s blessing) for Andrew Morton’s explosive 1992 biography.
In it, Diana goes from what she called “the Virgin, the sacrificial lamb” to finally confronting Charles’ mistress at Camilla’s sister’s “ghastly” birthday party in London.
At the party, Diana noticed Charles and Camilla were missing and found them having a “happy little threesome” chat with a man she didn’t know.
She asked Camilla for a word in private.
“I said to her, ‘Camilla, I’d just like you to know that I know exactly what’s going on’,” Diana recalled in the tapes.
“And she said, ‘I don’t know what you are talking about’.
“I said, ‘I know what’s going on between you and Charles and I just want you to know that I know’.
“And she said to me, ‘You’ve got everything you’ve ever wanted. All the men in the world fall in love with you. You’ve got two beautiful children, what more do you want?’
“So I said, ‘I want my husband’.”
Diana talked openly about her suicide attempts, media pressure and her bulimia, but it was the depth of her despair at Charles and Camilla’s relationship that was most powerful.
She revealed she went to her wedding knowing about it, having eavesdropped on a private conversation between the now-married pair.
“I heard him saying on the telephone [to Parker Bowles] that, ‘Whatever happens, I will always love you’. I told him I listened at the door. We had a filthy row.”
She then discovered a bracelet he had had made for Camilla and felt “rage, rage, rage”.
She told her sisters: “I can’t marry him. I can’t do this.”
“Bad luck,” they said. “Your face is on the tea towels, so you’re too late to chicken out.”
On their honeymoon, Diana recalled, two photos of Camilla dropped out of Charles’ diary and he was sporting cufflinks with two Cs entwined.
“I said, ‘Camilla gave you those didn’t she?’ He said ‘yes, so what’s wrong? They’re a present from a friend’.
“And boy, did we have a row. Jealousy, total jealousy,” she recalled.
We all know how this story ends but, later in the film, Diana revealed her own dream outcome.
“If I was to write my own script, I would say that I would hope my husband would go away with his lady and sort that out and leave me and the children to carry the Wales name until the time when William ascends to the throne and I would be behind them all the way.
“I can do this job better on my own.”
Britons, it seems, wished the same.