How Princess Diana Is Still Haunting Camilla

As any royal fan knows, the conflict between Princess Diana and Camilla Parker Bowles that effectively tarnished their relationship has endured over time, even though Diana tragically passed away in 1997 (via History). The women were pitted against each other early on — Camilla had dated the then-Prince Charles in 1970 before parting ways shortly thereafter (per Brides). It appeared as though their animosity toward one another lasted until Diana's death. The late Princess of Wales famously went on the record with the BBC's Martin Bashir in 1995, stating that "there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," in response to a question posed about King Charles' alleged affair with Camilla, who was named queen consort in 2022 (via Newsweek).

Charles had confirmed the affair two years prior during an interview with British journalist and author Jonathan Dimbleby, according to Tatler. Due to these shocking revelations, Camilla was essentially painted as the villain in the scenario, particularly because Diana was so beloved by the British public. It's this underlying love for the late princess that has ultimately caused Camilla, who was previously known as the Duchess of Cornwall, to be haunted by her husband's former paramour for many years.

Jack Royston, who serves as a royal correspondent for Newsweek, offered some insight into the resentment toward Camilla. He explained how, even though Camilla's been a staple in the British royal family since the early 2000s, a new generation of Diana fans are continuing the trend of indignation toward the queen consort.

Two authors discuss why Diana and Camilla are inextricably linked

In an interview conducted for "Good Morning Britain," royal correspondent Jack Royston offered a unique perspective on the resentment geared toward Camilla Parker Bowles, Queen Consort. Royston pointed to polls conducted by YouGov, which indicated that "People in the 1990s took Diana's side in this dispute and actually the younger generations growing up now feel just as strongly I think as people did back then," (via Newsweek). He credits Princess Diana's "warmth and kindness," in addition to her humanitarian efforts, as the primary reasons behind this unending love and devotion.

Camilla has taken on important royal duties since marrying King Charles III in 2005 (per Town & Country), in addition to several humanitarian projects of her own. Despite her best efforts, though, many dedicated royal fans remain firmly on Diana's side due to the secretive and harmful nature of Charles and Camilla's affair. Julie Bindel, who is described as a "feminist author" by Newsweek, spoke to Royston about this negative image. In her opinion, the unshakeable feud between Princess Diana and Camilla, Queen Consort, comes down to one thing.

"This is down to sexism in my view," Bindel said during the discussion. She aptly added, "Blaming the woman for an affair that a man has" is the source of that sexism and, by consequence, is what's fueling the lasting conflict between the women as well.

People still have a lot of love for Princess Diana

Although it's been 25 years since the death of Princess Diana, the public remains besotted with the people's princess. In the immediate aftermath of her death, mourners showed their outpouring of love, grief, and support for her two young sons, Prince William, Prince of Wales, and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. The ferocity of that love and support for the pair has never dulled. On the 25th anniversary of Diana's passing, those honoring her legacy placed banners, flowers, and photographs outside of her former home, Kensington Palace, while others gathered at the scene of the car accident that ultimately killed her in Paris, per Metro

In the years following her death, Diana has become immortalized in a variety of ways — more recently, the public witnessed a resurgence of hostility directed at King Charles III for his treatment of his first wife when Season 4 of "The Crown" dropped on Netflix. The famed drama depicted Diana and Charles' courtship, wedding, and deteriorating marriage, sparking many viewers to call out the royal for his portrayed behavior. Comments and backlash increased so dramatically that the Clarence House Twitter account turned off comments

Princess Diana didn't think she would be queen

Despite Britain's enduring love for Princess Diana, a poll found that 55% of respondents were in favor of Camilla Parker Bowles becoming queen consort after Queen Elizabeth II passed away, which is something that has since come to fruition as King Charles III ascended to the throne in September 2022. According to the Mirror, about 28% of those polled oppose the decision to give Camilla the title, and most of those people are said to believe that Diana would have been more fitting for the role. Princess Diana, for her part, famously declared in her 1995 BBC interview that she did not think she would become queen. Her declaration and subsequent follow-up statement — "I'd like to be the queen of people's hearts" — feels particularly poignant now, given Camilla's recent ascension to queen consort following Her Majesty's death (via YouTube).

However, according to Jennie Bond, who is a royal expert and was reportedly friends with Diana, the people's princess wasn't necessarily opposed to the idea of Camilla becoming queen consort one day (via Cosmopolitan). "In one of my long conversations with Diana, she told me that she thought Camilla had been loyal and discreet and deserved some form of recognition," Bond said. She added that Princess Diana allegedly believed that Camilla, Queen Consort, was "the love of King Charles' life."