Princess Diana felt “threatened” by Camilla Parker Bowles, according to her former nanny.
Mary Clarke, who recently sold a series of intimate handwritten letters the late princess had sent her, claims Diana’s husband Prince Charles’ alleged affair with Camilla – who is now known as the Duchess of Cornwall after marrying Charles in 2005 – had a devastating impact on the princess.
Mary told The Daily Mail: “She felt threatened all the time by her. Camilla was always there in the background. Whenever I’ve said this, people accuse me of having a viperous tongue, but – everything I said has turned out to be true.”
Mary branded Charles “a weak and spoilt man”, and claims he had no interest in working at his relationship with Diana – who he married in 1981 – when it became clear they were experiencing difficulties.
She said: “Charles is a weak and spoilt man who always gets his own way. Whether Charles suspended his affair with Camilla for a while or not is immaterial. His emotional attachment to her persisted, and that was as threatening to Diana as any physical relationship.”
The former nanny reveals Diana was once so upset about the lack of time she spent with Charles she considered taking up horse riding so they could share a hobby, even though she was fiercely afraid of horses.
Although Diana’s well-publicised battle against bulimia has previously been attributed to her unsettled childhood – Diana’s parents divorced when she was a child and she reportedly had a difficult relationship with her step-mother Raine, Countess of Dartmouth – Mary argues her problem with food only started after her marriage.
Mary said: “Both her parents did all they could to encourage her, to boost her confidence, but she never totally understood how much she was loved.
“She needed constant reassurance, so it was a great pity when she married Charles that he made such snide remarks about her. He put an arm around her and said: ‘You’re a bit plump.’ That nibbled away at her confidence and set her on the path to bulimia and eating disorders.”
Charles and Camilla struck up a friendship in 1970. Camilla went on to marry cavalry officer Andrew Parker Bowles, but the pair divorced in 1995.
After Charles and Diana’s 1981 fairytale wedding, their divorce was finalised in 1996.
Charles gradually introduced Camilla into his public life, with her joining him and his sons – Princes William and Harry – on a cruise in 1999.