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When Diana Nearly Caught Charles In The Act


By his own admission to Jonathan Dimbleby in his 1994 interview promoting the book, The Prince of Wales, the first officially authorized biography of Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne admitted he hadn’t started cheating on his then wife, Diana, until he felt their marriage, “had irretrievably broken down. The both of us having tried.” While Charles was nonspecific concerning precisely when he felt his marriage had affectively ended, or what final event led him to that conclusion, several biographers, at least one of whom penned her memoir prior to this fateful interview, have put the date His Royal Highness decided to get his potential Windsor babies back into circulation around 1986, when he learned his terminal mood swing having spouse hadn’t only cheated on him with her bodyguard, Barry Mannakee, and was currently spreading her legs for her favorite riding instructor, James Hewitt, but was also engaging in seasonal trysts every summer with his own cousin, King Juan Carlos l of Spain, while both families were vacationing together at the king’s estate on the Spanish island, Majorca.

Yet this whole time, as Diana revealed in her own subsequent television interview, she suspected her husband of cheating on her with his former chief paramour, Camilla Parker Bowles. Sally Bedell Smith was the first non-Charles approved biographer to reveal in her book, Diana In Search Of Herself, which also posited the conjectural theory that she suffered from borderline personality disorder, that the former Princess of Wales was in fact the first partner in their doomed marriage to break their wedding vows. Certainly, one of the reasons why former Vanity Fair editer-in-chief, Tina Brown, characterized Charles by the mid ’80s as being pussy whipped from here to eternity was because of his determination to conduct a faithful, storybook marriage, so unlike that of his jaded parents, and was constantly accommodating Diana’s every emotional demand no matter how much it pained him. From alienating himself from some of his best friends, to firing some among his most trusted and qualified courtiers, to constantly chasing after his mercurial spouse with a readily available box of Kleenex whenever she ran away from him while in the midst of one of her frequent crying outbursts, His Royal Highness appeared hell bent on being a male nanny to his hopelessly immature wife, no matter how miserable he became in the process. And then he discovered, by ’86, she’d been cheating on him for at least the previous year. He clearly decided all bets were off after that.

As Lady Colin Campbell writes in ,Diana In Private, The Princess Nobody Knows, by the late ’80s Charles wasted no time in making up for those several years he’d spent not philandering behind Diana’s back. Aside from reentering Camilla’s warm embrace, a place where so many men had gone before, and reinstating her as his maitresse en titre, he also began prowling the waters for other, fresher extramarital ports of call. Charles’ general criteria for a mistress was that she be married, this throwing off suspicion from naive observers, and a few years older. As Tina Brown states in The Diana Chronicles, British royal males rarely psychologically exit their nurseries. According to Brown, Camilla supposedly advised Charles when they first had sex to think of her as a rocking horse.

Among the Prince of Wales’ late ’80s confidantes there was the Florentine aristocrat Bona, the Marchesa di Frescobaldi. Long wed to the head of one of Italy’s oldest noble dynasties and a decade older than her lover, Bona was renowned among high society circles for the artistic and intellectual salon she hosted at her fabulous palazzo. While the tabloid press soon caught wind of the Prince of Wales having become a frequent guest of hers, they ignorantly assumed Charles was banging her pretty, twenty something daughter, Fiametta, instead of her. Not wishing to dampen their daughter’s marital prospects by allowing her to be speculated upon by the tabloids as being the heir to the British throne’s latest side chick, but unable, for obvious reasons, to clarify the truth with the Fleet Street press, the Frescobaldis breathed a sigh of relief when their daughter became safely married off to a prince of the d’Arenberg family. Once the ’90s dawned, Charles and Bona’s friendship endured, but their romantic relationship fizzled out.

Another of the Prince of Wales’ paramours was Candida Lycett-Green, daughter of Sir John Betjemen, and like her one time royal lover, a religious architecture enthusiast. There was also Patti Palmer-Tomkinson, the wife of one of his oldest friends and the mother of the recently deceased former “It Girl,” Tara Palmer-Tomkinson. She was among the skiing party, along with Charles, who fell victim to a sudden avalanche in Switzerland that took the life of their friend, Major Hugh Lindsey in 1987. Patti was badly injured in the accident, and Charles visited her several times in Klosters during her recovery. His tenderness towards Patti was in marked contrast to the coldness with which he brushed aside Diana’s attempts at comforting him. Few close observers, writes Campbell, however viewed the princess’s actions as anything more than a theatrical attempt on her part to demonstrate what a caring (sic), devoted (sic) and loyal (really sic) wife she was, particularly when others were around to witness Di in all her theatrical glory.

Since the author’s returned to the subject of Diana, one might’ve suspected, like so many other royal and aristocratic wives who’d cuckholded their husbands in the past, that she took a sophisticated, jaded view of her husband’s retaliatory philandering, and would’ve been happy enough for him to be distracted while she continued riding in the saddle with her favorite cavalry officer. The Princess of Wales, however, was cut from a different cloth. Specifically, she descended from a branch of the older English aristocracy that regarded the House of Windsor as nothing more than glorified, foreign originated parvenus. Ghislain de Diesbach writes in Secrets of the Gotha that throughout the 18th century many a Whig political party supporting aristocrat, like Diana’s immediate ancestors, lived in far grander style than the royals, and only deferred to the newly arrived German House of Hanover, whose surname was Guelph, as a mere constitutional necessity. Jonathan Dimbleby writes in his authorized Charles bio that as late as the ’40s certain elements within the truly old nobility still snickered at the self importance of the House of Windsor, given their fairly recent historical ascendance. Even Diana inadvertently revealed the extent of her arrogance when she told Andrew Morton in his notorious, dictated practically verbatim hagiography, Diana: Her True Story, the oft repeated, delusional quip about her ancestry being almost as royal as her husband’s.

Allied to her special brand of English aristocratic entitlement was a genuine belief that she’d fooled Charles, and their social circle, into believing she was a faithful spouse who had every right to publicly claim her territory when she felt the sanctity of her marriage being violated. Such an occasion arose in the late ’80s at the royal box at Covent Garden when Diana found herself sharing said box with her husband and his mistress of the moment, Lady Sarah Keswick. A daughter of the Earl of Dalhousie, she was yet another older, married, classical music loving matron that turned the Prince of Wales on in a manner his wife hadn’t in years. Despite Charles at that time still willingly accompanying Diana to her annual summer trysts with the king of Spain, under the cover of a joint family vacation, on the island of Majorca, and even begging off to spend time with an aristocratic friend of his while he allowed his wife to discreetly slip away for some private amusements with her favorite distant in-law, Diana still felt insulted that Charles dared bring his latest whore around his spouse and have her seated near Diana in the hallowed royal box at the opera!!!!

With her false sense of martyrdom suitably ignited, the Princess of Wales, according to one eyewitness that spoke with Lady Campbell, proceeded to cuss her husband and his mistress the f**k out in full audible range of all sitting near them. Diana, however, didn’t save her indignation for the opera. For she knew, as well as anyone, that it was Guards Polo Club that served as the go to place for many a tryst, or the arrangement of an illicit tryst, among her husband’s circle. As such, by the late ’80s she made it a point to occasionally drop in unannounced to the grounds after she knew her husband had played his last chucker. On one such occasion Diana’s rumored to have very nearly caught Charles red handed in the changing rooms with another well healed, classical music lover: a sultry, German, jet setting multiple divorcée named Eva O’Neill.

Some readers of this blog might recognize her as the mother of Chris O’Neill, Princess Madeline of Sweden’s, rumored alcoholic, current husband. Recently divorced from American multi-millionaire financier, Paul O’Neill, by the late ’80s, and long before she played matchmaker to her children among Europe’s royals and aristocrats, she was yet another menopausal maiden who kept loving company with Britain’s heir to the throne in between his weekend visits to Mrs. Parker Bowles. During one blissful afternoon following a match when Charles and Eva were presumed by all to be squeezing in a quickie in the changing room, Diana unexpectedly showed up to the club and immediately demanded to see her husband. It still remains a mystery whether she arrived there because her women’s intuition told her to do so, or because a friend spying on her husband for her simply tipped Diana off, but at any rate she arrived just as her prince and his new favorite hausfraus were getting it on, and she was determined to catch them!

Although it still remains a mystery how Charles and Eva might’ve been tipped off concerning Diana’s presence, given cellphones didn’t exist at the time, tipped off they nonetheless were, and Eva had no other means of escape aside from climbing, assisted, out of a window, which is exactly what she did. Had Diana expected to gather enough evidence that day to initiate separation proceedings, she was greatly disappointed. By the time she encountered her husband he was quite alone, and probably explained his sweat and fatigue as resulting from his just finished polo match.

Of course Diana wasn’t finished yet. Charles soon tired of his harem and settled down with his main, married side chick: Camilla. Diana soon gathered enough evidence to contact first Lady Colin Campbell with the proposal she write the mother of all secretly authorized royal tell alls, totally indicting her husband’s infidelity while skipping over her own, then when she began doubting Lady Campbell’s loyalty, she turned next to Andrew Morton and had delivered to him several hours of tapes he transcribed practically word for word into a poorly written memoir. The rest is history.

This story, however, contains one final anecdote. By 2003 Charles and Diana were divorced, Camilla and her husband were the same, Diana was dead, and the Prince of Wales was by then openly keeping his long term favorite mistress at his grandmother’s former London residence, Clarence House. During the summer of that year he accepted an invitation from Eva to attend the Mozart Festival, which she hosts every year in Salzburg. Also in attendance with HRH was his soon to be second wife, Camilla, walking obediently several steps behind him while he warmly greeted his hostess. The assembled paparazzi caught Mrs. Parker Bowles’ facial expressions as she winced while her lover was embracing his former paramour. There are dark rumors that the Cornwalls, as they’re sometimes laughingly referred to behind their backs, still enjoy an accommodating relationship whereby Charles, while his wife is away at her private country estate on the weekends playing with her grandchildren and catching up on her voluminous correspondence, mostly with polite, deferential strangers she’s never actually met, her husband amuses himself with the casual, no strings attached, stress relieving company of mostly married lady friends. One of the many reasons why Camilla is now one day slated to become Britain’s next queen consort is because she’s, to put mildly, not the jealous type. All’s well that ends well!!!!

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Comments (23)

I’d heard of most of Charles and his paramours but not Eva O’Neil. Didn’t he have a relationship with Kanga Tryon ?

Yes. She was his second favorite long term mistress until he married Diana. Kanga then became friends with Diana. When Charles started screwing around again, he avoided Kanga for that and other reasons. Poor dear, she eventually lost her marbles and died.

If I remember correctly, didn’t Kanga fall out of a window ?

Holy Moly!! My jaw dropped at least twice during my reading: the very sad one was about Chris O’Neil prospective alcoholism. I hope is just a rumor, as I would hate to see Madeleine screwed again. I am utterly astonished in learning that Diana actually got into action with the Spanish Douche bag. I have read about the rumors, but still cannot believe she had the stomach to bed him.

Although I did not hate Charles, I used to be a Dianista until I began reading the books: the butler, the bodyguard, the private secretary, the psychic,Morton, Tina Brown and can-no-longer-remember-whom-else. Indeed, she was a “wretched girl”. I totally despise her actions, her immaturity, her stupid thirst for cheap vengeance. Had she been a tad smarter, she would still be alive, living an incredible privileged life, burning thousands of pounds on cloths and jewelry, and perhaps happily remarried. Your very well written article only affirms what a cunning cunt she was. I am thrilled that Charles found his place. He is the man that shoved on the world’s face that beauty and happiness are not above love; and they can happen at any stage of life. How many man have left their young and beautiful glamazons for an older and ugly woman?! Only for this, he earned my uttermost admiration and respect. I find him a great father, an incredible and competent environmentalist, compassionate and genuinely interested in others, and I look forward to the day that he becomes King. Thank you for another incredible post!

Cunning Cunt!!!! Darling, that’s the most fabulous description of a human being I’ve read all day!!!!! Hilarious!!!! May I please use that term in the future, with proper attribution given, of course?

Of course you can! I am honored to abide to the request of the most prolific writer I ever read 🙂


Enjoyable as always – thank you! I had heard about Eva O’Neill but had no idea Charles was still dallying *sigh* I actually like Charles and, after read about the whirlwind of crazy that was Diana, I was on his side. Plus I actually like what he’s done with the Prince’s Trust. But honestly, I just don’t get all this upper class bed hopping. WHY???? Seems to make life unnecessarily complicated if you ask me.

And I’m going to express a possibly unkind thought but it has to be said. And maybe you can shed some light on this because I could be wrong. Based on what I’ve read in Lady Colin Campbell’s works, it seems, in my opinion, that Frances Shand Kydd never would have lost custody of Diana and her siblings if she hadn’t dallied with a married man. I’m not faulting her for wanting to get away from an allegedly cruel man (Earl Spencer). But it seems (I could be wrong) that she gave no thought to how her actions would impact her children, Peter Shand Kydd’s children, Mrs. Shand Kydd. From what little I’ve read about her, Mrs. Shand Kydd was devastated. And if Peter hadn’t been married, Frances couldn’t have been name an adulteress by Peter’s wife. And that might have left Ruth Fermoy’s testimony against her own daughter (what the hell is WRONG with these people) legally harmless.

If Frances had had an affair with a single man, a divorced man or a widower, she might not have lost her kids. And Diana might not have turned into the mess that she did. Yet no one seems to be willing to say that about Frances. Why is that?

What do you think?

Anyway, keep up the great work!

I think we can carry on with the what-ifs for the rest of our lives, if we had to. But sadly, the only things we have to deal with are the things that happened. Baroness Fermoy did testify against her daughter. Frances Spencer did lose custody of her children. And that may have had an impact on the manner of their raising and their lives later on.

If there’s anything to be gleaned from either ordeal, it is that older, richer men who are far too used to being catered to and who are light years away from their younger, more glamorous wives in terms of their mindsets and waypoints in life do not make a good pair. You’d think anyone would have learned that lesson from the first go-around re Frances Spencer and her marriage. But then again, when have humans ever learned from our histories?

Good Point!

The only person who, surprisingly, comes off favourably in this whole ordeal is Camilla. I think she gave an interview recently, which might explain how she’s weathered the majority of her upheavals so far. She seems to take most things in a stride, and that likely stems from a certain confidence on her part that even when the world around her and the people in it are setting themselves on fire, everything will still be okay in the end so there’s no use carrying on a pity party for oneself.

I wonder where Diana might have found herself later in life if she’d lived. The press at the time of her death were starting to tire of her antics. But I like to imagine that she would have pulled herself together at some point, and that she would have found a sort of happiness. Or at least a confidence in her own self and her life that would have been a cushion against the upheavals that she was constantly lashing out against. Hypocrisy is a front that people often use when they don’t want to face the unwitting consequences of the decisions that they take as a result of poor judgement. Who knows. Maybe she would have weathered it just as well as Charles did and the War of the Wales’ would have ended with a truce. We’ll never know.

I love the way you write!!! Dare I suggest you start your own blog! 🙂 But back to Diana, it appears she was just as sporadic at the end of her life as she’d been all along. Her relationship with Dodi was proof enough of that. I doubt much would’ve changed had she lived. Regarding Camilla, she’s strong indeed!!!!!! And that’s just one of the many reasons why I like her!!!! Just as an FYI, should you want to receive a handwritten thank you note from her, simply send her a book for her birthday. She’s a voracious reader, and actually takes out the time to thank each person who sends her a gift for birthdays/Xmases personally!!!! She’s extremely gracious!!!!!! I can only imagine how long it takes her to so it!!! I’ve sent her two books in the past, and she wrote me back thanking me both times. She’s very down to earth and knows what it means to be an ordinary person, albeit an ordinary rich one. I think she’ll make a good queen.

Preface: Since the writer of this blog is anonymous, I think for the sake of clarity we need to assign him a name and title for his contribution to plain speaking and entertainment of the masses. I am opting for “Sir Royal Foibles,” but “Duke of Royal Fobiles” is another option.

Anyway, I am so enjoying these posts and the subsequent discussions among the loyal subjects of Sir/Duke of Royal Foibles. I have read a lot of the same books about the Diana/Charles relationship and frankly don’t know how he lasted as long as he did in the marriage. While I respect her for being a loving mother and helping to raise what appear to be two decent adults, I can’t help but think that, had she lived, she would not have changed. Case in point: This is a woman who was addicted to attention, glamour, adulation, and publicity (even as she ran from the cameras). She may have truly loved Hassnat Khan, but does anyone really think she would have lasted as a devote Muslim wife in Pakistan, which she reportedly wanted, going all the way to his homeland to win over his family? I think the last fling with Dodi Fayhed (of all people) was just another childish attempt to reek vengence and embarassment on the Royal Family, one, sadly for her loving children, had unforeseen fatal consequences.

Oh, Thank You for your compliment and your sustained support!!!!! As I don’t possess a title in real life, there’s no need to bestow one upon me on this blog. Everyone here calls me RF, and that’s just fine by me!!!!! 🙂

Once out of love with Charles, or perchance as revenge, Diana hopped indiscrimately (except perhaps for the Pakistani dictor) from bed to bed, from lover to lover ending up with the worst. However and according to excellent Mallorca sources, she did not bed King Jun Carlos. His wife Sofía and her sister, Irene, made sure of that. Among other reasons.
And… What wonderful and well written RFs you write! Thanks.

There are also excellent sources who claim they did have an affair on Majorca , and there might be photos, that Juan Carlos paid a substantial ransom to a paparazzo for, to prove it. It’s important to remember that Juan Carlos and Sophia, by many an authoritative account, were living almost completely separate lives by the early ’80s, and she was certainly powerless to stop his wandering eye. While I can’t reveal a name, I happen to be a friend of a cousin of both Juan Carlos and Sophia who was a blushing young party girl in the late ’80s, and had at least one tryst with him on his yacht in the summer of ’86 while his wife was also on board. I won’t reveal more than that, but needless to write, Juan Carlos and Diana shared a love of romantic intrigue, mixed with a certain trashiness, that made them irresistible to each other.

I love your blog, it is very entertaining, but a question.. How was the relationship between Charles and Diana at the end? I have heard that it was cordial, that at the funeral arrangements Charles was very considerate, ordering her favorite flowers, that the cold one was the Queen who was more worried about the jewels that Di had, I though at the very end the war of the Waleses had a truce, or am I wrong? About Di and JC ewww, Felipe was cute at the time (still is), but JC?? Poor Wills and Harry with that crazy mother of them, she was just so unstable and young when she married Charles, but come on, coming from the aristocracy she should have known how was the game.. Again congratulations on your witty writing, I admire and envy you because Im not a good writer, I speak 4 languages but my redaction is not that great 🙁 Keep doing!

As always another wonderful post. Your insight is something to be admired.
I was wondering given Charles apparent view on marriage, how do the princes actually feel about their father?

Based upon the published evidence made available, which is admittedly scant and filtered, it would appear they genuinely love and respect their father. Because William has always been more temperamentally compatible with Charles, and he was in fact William’s favorite parent, Will is inclined to forgive his father and accept the fact that both parents were equally to blame for their marriage’s breakdown. While Harry loves his dad as well, his personality is more like his mother’s, she was his favorite parent, and it’s rumored it took him awhile before he truly forgave his dad and came to accept Camilla. Nowadays everyone appears old and mature enough to love and accept each other’s foibles unconditionally and move on. But then again, that’s just based on the limited evidence that’s been made available to us. I will say, also, that the Wales clan appears to be growing apart as of late. It’s no secret that William’s closer to his in-laws than to his actual family, and he’s also too involved with his wife and children to be as close to Harry as he once was. I hope that somewhat answered your question.:-)

A big !!!!!!!!! re William’s drift to the Middleton’s camp. I wonder how true the rumours are about Charles being limited in his interactions with his grandchildren? Or is that more to do with William’s (supposed) distaste for the royal family’s dynamic? Does he even find that dynamic distasteful? Ahh, so many questions.

As always, your post was fascinating. I am so tired of the deification of Diana and denigration of Charles and Camilla, which is unfair on both counts. I do wonder however, if Diana were alive, would she have tried to steer William away from the lazy waity one? But, given his apparent obstinance, she may not have been successful, and I don’t think he had many options anyway.

The Eva O’Neil connection was a surprising twist! I will say it seems the Swedish press takes great delight in printing scurrilous stories about Chris an Madeline. I guess they’d rather target them than the lazy 4th in line Carl Phillip and his sleezy wife, who happily live on the taxpayers’ dime. Ooh, and Sophia’s is a salacious past you could sink your teeth into, RF! Her past has probably been wiped clean by now. ?

Thanks for the compliment!!!!! I wrote a post concerning Sofia around the time the engagement was announced. It was called “Like Father, Like Son.” She seems to have worked out for the time being. Of course, only time will tell!!!!

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