Now, however, one of the couple’s former royal protection officers has come forward to present a startlingly different version of events.
Allan Peters claims Charles did not start seeing Camilla romantically again (they had first met in their early 20s) until after he discovered Diana had been having a fling with fellow protection officer Barry Mannakee.
And Peters was the one who informed Charles of his wife’s affair.
Viewers of Netflix hit The Crown are left in no doubt who was to blame for the collapse of Prince Charles and Diana’s marriage: he’s shown sneaking off to renew his love affair with Camilla Parker Bowles while the Princess is left crying at the Palace
Now, however, one of the couple’s former royal protection officers has come forward to present a startlingly different version of events
‘The popular perception is that the Prince of Wales was straying all the way through his marriage — and that is definitely, unequivocally, not the case,’ insists Peters, who worked for Diana for almost a decade.
‘The first person that strayed was the Princess. He went back to see Mrs Parker Bowles after he learned about her affair with Mannakee.’
This backs up Jonathan Dimbleby’s version of events. In his authorised biography of Charles, published in 1994, Dimbleby stated that Charles and Camilla renewed acquaintances in 1986.
Mannakee had started protecting Diana in 1985. Their affair is said to have begun during a fishing expedition at Balmoral that year.
In 1986, he was transferred from his royal role to the Diplomatic Protection Squad. A year later, Mannakee, then 39, was killed in a mysterious road accident.
He was reported to have been struck by a 17-year-old driver while riding on a motorbike in East London, leading Diana to suggest he’d been ‘bumped off’.
Allan Peters claims Charles did not start seeing Camilla romantically again (they had first met in their early 20s) until after he discovered Diana had been having a fling with fellow protection officer Barry Mannakee
Speaking in a new CNN documentary, Peters says of Diana: ‘I started to notice her behaviour was unusual whenever we were anywhere near Mannakee, so I decided to talk to her about it.
‘For the first 20 minutes, she categorically denied it. But then she told me exactly what was going on: she was having some sort of relationship with Mannakee.
‘The Prince of Wales approached me and said: ‘Why is the Princess behaving in the way she is? What on earth is the matter?’
‘So I said: ‘You’ve got to talk to her.’ And he said: ‘Well, I’ve tried all that, and the only thing that seems to be upsetting her is that Barry Mannakee is going back to uniform. And, if she’s that upset, Barry can stay.’
‘At that stage, I was forced to say: ‘Well, Sir, if he stays, then I’m afraid I’ll have to leave.’ And, I think, at that point the penny dropped. He was utterly shocked and was clearly very upset.’
Peters adds of the finger-pointing of blame: ‘Nobody is the villain. In my view, everyone is the victim. [Charles] was under a lot of pressure to get married and she, too, was the victim of this whole process.’
Game of bones! Birthday treat for Emilia’s pup
She made her name as the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, in Game Of Thrones, but Emilia Clarke is more concerned with furry creatures in real life.
The actress, 35, baked her dachshund, Ted, a very tasty-looking cake to celebrate his second birthday. And she dressed the pampered pooch in a pale blue ruffled collar and party hat (above right) for the celebration.
‘Yes, I am now this lady,’ jokes Emilia. ‘Baking ain’t just for humans — I mean, look at him.’ Emilia, who is currently single, used to go out with film director Charlie McDowell, but now affectionately calls Ted, ‘my main squeeze’.
She made her name as the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, in Game Of Thrones, but Emilia Clarke is more concerned with furry creatures in real life
The actress, 35, baked her dachshund, Ted, a very tasty-looking cake to celebrate his second birthday
BORIS Johnson’s wife, Carrie, is often portrayed by her enemies as his Lady Macbeth.
So guess which play she and the Prime Minister went to see on Tuesday?
The Tragedy Of Macbeth, of course, at London’s Almeida Theatre.
Heavily pregnant Carrie is currently preoccupied by the ‘rewilding’ of elephants from Kent to Africa in her role as head of communications for the Aspinall Foundation, so perhaps The Jungle Book will be her next night out.
Gemma’s got bottle . . . and a crazy rich party bag
AS ANY member could tell you, Annabel’s has a strict policy of no alcohol being brought in from outside.
So Crazy Rich Asians star Gemma Chan raised eyebrows when she turned up for a party at the private Mayfair club carrying what appeared to be a bottle of fizz.
‘On closer inspection, it turned out to be a handbag,’ a fellow reveller tells me.
It was also considerably more expensive than even the finest vintage: the Judith Leiber Champagne Bottle Big Bubbles clutch bag costs £4,650.
So Crazy Rich Asians star Gemma Chan raised eyebrows when she turned up for a party at the private Mayfair club carrying what appeared to be a bottle of fizz
Chan, 38, who is going out with Mamma Mia! star Dominic Cooper, completed the party look with a green Oscar de la Renta taffeta mini-dress.
At least super-fit Gemma will have had a clear head the next day. ‘I try to do exercise every morning,’ she has explained.
‘A combination of yoga and Pilates. It’s worth having that ten to 15 minutes to stretch, have a cup of tea and then launch into the day. I find my posture is different and the tension is gone.’
BBC star Amol Rajan appears to be spending too much time making dubious royal documentaries and not enough on his day job, presenting Radio 4’s Today programme.
Yesterday he couldn’t remember the name of his esteemed fellow host Martha Kearney when it wasn’t included on his autocue.
‘You’re listening to Today on Radio 4, with . . . ,’ he told listeners before the 7.30am news bulletin.
‘[The autocue] says, ‘presenter and presenter’ — that’s you and me.’ An unimpressed Kearney interjected: ‘I’m called Martha. It’s Martha. We’ve known each other for a while now.’
Rajan has been on Today for 24 weeks. But perhaps he is getting forgetful.
After all, he didn’t even remember to button up his shirt while presenting the BBC’s supposed exposé The Princes And The Press, about William and Harry’s relationship with the media.
In fact, the most revealing thing in it was Rajal’s chest hair.
Tory grandee Sir Graham Brady scoffs at government plans to ban the boiling of lobsters alive and outlaw the sale and importing of foie gras on the grounds of animal cruelty.
‘Where does it end?’ he wails at the Restaurant Association Gala Dinner at the Dorchester.
‘I’m not sympathetic to banning the boiling of lobsters. It’s all getting a bit ridiculous.’
Brady, who’s chairman of the influential 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, adds: ‘I don’t much like the idea of having to go abroad to eat my favourite foods. And will you be allowed to smuggle foie gras on the Eurostar? For personal use?’
Taupe and glory: Kelly paints the town red
She’s the serious-looking ‘queen of taupe’ who used to make wannabe entrepreneurs quiver on Dragons’ Den, but Kelly Hoppen was all smiles after her encounter with royalty.
The interior designer, 62, visited Windsor Castle to collect a CBE from Princess Anne for promoting British creativity, and commerce.
She’s the serious-looking ‘queen of taupe’ who used to make wannabe entrepreneurs quiver on Dragons’ Den, but Kelly Hoppen was all smiles after her encounter with royalty
To celebrate, she held a party at Langan’s Brasserie in Mayfair, where she was embraced by funnyman Alan Carr (left with Kelly), who made her roar with laughter.
Perhaps he made a joke about her jumpsuit beng not taupe but scarlet.