Princess Diana’s short-lived friendship with Camilla Parker Bowles before affair

Camilla Parker Bowles turns 75 today (July 17). It's has been a big year for the Duchess of Cornwall as it was announced that she will take on the title of Queen Consort when Prince Charles takes the throne.

Charles and Camilla have been married for 17 years, but long before their marriage the Duchess played a key role in the future king's relationship to the late Princess Diana.

It's one of the most famous love triangles in history and in a now infamous 1995 interview with Martin Bashir, Diana opened up about the role that Camilla played in the breakdown of their marriage.

She revealed: "Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."

But before the controversial affair came to light, Camilla and Diana were actually on good terms.

Here's everything you need to know about their short-lived friendship and how it all came to a sudden end.

Were Camilla and Diana ever friends?

Diana and Camilla might have never had a close friendship, but when Charles and Diana started dating the pair were friendly with each other.

At the time Camilla was married to Andrew Parker Bowles and had two children with him.

After their break-up, Camilla remained a close friend of Charles and so the pair met early on in their relationship, at first Camilla even approved of 19-year-old Diana.

According to The Duchess: The Untold Story, a book by Penny Junor, Camilla thought that Diana was "very sweet and funny" and that she interacted well with her children.

Diana and Camilla even spent time together, most notoriously the women kept each other company while they both watched Charles at the Ludlow Races in 1980 and they were photographed chatting amicably.

They spent more time together when Charles took Diana to the Parker Bowles' family home, Bolehyde.

Why did Diana and Camilla's friendship end?

It was during her visit to Bolehyde that Camilla's short-lived friendship with Diana began to crumble when she became aware that Charles was having an affair.

Diana recalled the time that she became suspicious in recordings for Andrew Morton's 1992 book, Diana: In Her Own Words.

She said: "By that time, I’d realised there was somebody else around,

"I’d been staying at Bolehyde with the Parker Bowles' an awful lot, and I couldn’t understand why she kept saying to me, ‘Don’t push him into doing this, don’t do that.’ She knew so much about what he was doing privately and about what we were doing privately.

"Eventually, I worked it all out and found the proof of the pudding, and people were willing to talk to me."

In February 1981 Charles and Diana got engaged and after the proposal he revealed to Diana that he and Camilla used to date.

Camilla invited Diana out to lunch after the engagement and while no one knows exactly what was said during their conversation, this is where their friendship came to a final end as Diana realised what was happening.

In his book, Andrew Morton wrote: "It was during that meeting, arranged to coincide with Prince Charles’s trip to Australia and New Zealand, that Diana became suspicious.

"Camilla kept asking if Diana was going to hunt when she moved to Highgrove. Nonplussed by such an odd question, Diana replied in the negative.

"The relief on Camilla’s face was clear. Diana later realised that Camilla saw Charles’s love of hunting as a conduit to maintaining her own relationship with him.”

Source: Read Full Article