The British royal family has had its fair share of public scandals, but perhaps none was as vicious or as shocking as Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s disastrous marriage. What exactly happened with Prince Charles and Princess Diana? Well, the publicized affairs – Prince Charles with Camilla Parker Bowles and Princess Diana with James Hewitt – were just the tip of the iceberg. The details of the actual affairs are sordid. After all, Prince Charles actually said he wanted to be Camilla's tampon (no, really!). Alongside reports that Prince Charles cried the night before his wedding and questions of Prince Harry’s true parentage, the drama that ensued during Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage was more soap opera than fairy tale.
It is because of this disastrous marriage that many question the strange circumstances surrounding Princess Diana’s death only one year after her divorce from Prince Charles was official. Whether or not the royal family did have anything to do with Princess Diana’s death remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure: Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage sounds like an actual nightmare.
While most of the world thought the romance between Prince Charles and Princess Diana was a fairy tale, there were signs of their instability from the beginning. When the pair announced their engagement in 1981, a reporter asked if they were in love. Then-Lady Diana Spencer answered, “Of course.” But Prince Charles added, “Whatever 'in love' means.” Some argue that Prince Charles is known for ruminating on philosophical subjects and the meaning of life, so his answer was indicative of his particular mindset. Still, it seems like a dark answer to give post-engagement.
It should also be noted that the pair had only met 13 times before they married, so they actually may not even have been very well acquainted during this interview.
While married to Princess Diana, Prince Charles had an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, and the whole world pretty much knew. The affair was confirmed publicly in 1992 through leaked phone conversations during which some of the transcript is rather steamy:
Charles: Oh god. I'll just live inside your trousers or something. It would be much easier!
Camilla: [Laughs.] What are you going to turn into, a pair of knickers? [Both laugh.] Oh, you're going to come back as a pair of knickers.
Charles: Or, God forbid, a Tampax. Just my luck! [Laughs.]
This became known as "Tampongate" and was probably the first time anyone has ever referred to a feminine hygiene product while talking dirty. At the time of these leaked tapes, Prince Charles was still married to Princess Diana.
It seems that Camilla was also the third person in Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding, even on their wedding day. It’s been reported that Prince Charles cried the night before his wedding to Princess Diana, as he was still in love with Camilla but felt pressure to married Princess Diana.
Prince Charles and Camilla met in 1970 and dated, but she wasn’t considered "queen material" since she lacked an aristocratic bloodline and she wasn’t "virginal" enough. So, they broke up. Prince Charles then joined the Navy and Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles. It’s reported that the two sparked up their romance again in the late 1970s, right before Prince Charles would move with Princess Diana in 1981.
In a 1995 interview, Princess Diana acknowledged this odd love by saying, “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
Princess Diana also engaged in infidelities of her own, which actually sent the royal family into crisis mode.
Princess Diana and her riding instructor James Hewitt struck up a five-year affair. Due to the proximity of their affair and the birth of Prince Harry, as well as the stunning resemblance between Prince Harry and Hewitt, many have theorized that Hewitt is the biological father of Prince Harry. Though everyone involved has denied this allegation, even simply the theory of an illegitimate child in line for the throne supposed sent the royal family into panic mode.
Hewitt never married or had children of his own, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s pining for his lost love Princess Diana. Hewitt exploited his relationship with Princess Diana by writing a tell-all book and even auctioning off love letters she had written him.