Long after her death, Diana continues to be many people’s favourite royal.

With Queen Camilla now firmly settled on the throne, you’d think she’d finally have a sense of security. But behind those coronation smiles, she can’t shake the feeling that no-one, except her husband, wanted her crowned, with a line-up of contenders considered far more suitable.

“I don’t believe Camilla ever wanted this for herself either,” royal author Phil Dampier tells New Idea exclusively. “For many, she will always be the woman who ruined the King’s marriage to Princess Diana. Camilla knows that’s how some people feel, but there is nothing she can do about it.”

We will never truly know if the late ‘People’s Princess’ had the mettle to rule, but one thing is for certain – Diana would have been an extremely popular choice in Britain and the Commonwealth.

Sadly, her strong will meant she’d never meet the firm’s expectations, leading her to famously declare: “I’d like to be a queen of people’s hearts … but I don’t see myself being the queen of this country.”

Camilla, of course, became the “third person” in Charles’ doomed marriage to Diana. When the lovers were finally free to take their romance public, so too began an extensive PR campaign to rehabilitate Camilla’s reputation – and boy did it need repairing. Having dissolved her own union and that of the future monarch, the divorced mother of two was viewed as a royal homewrecker; a persona non grata.

‘It has not been easy for Camilla’

“It has not been easy for Camilla, but she has stuck at it,” shares Phil.

As if having Diana’s legacy looming over her head wasn’t enough to contend with, Camilla has also dealt with the fact her husband doesn’t consider her the woman who knows him best.

Instead, Charles awarded that honour to an Australian baroness: Dale Tryon.

The Melbourne-born socialite and former Australian Women’s Weekly reporter was famously nicknamed ‘Kanga’ by Charles. They met briefly in Victoria in 1966 but it was via her husband, 3rd Baron Tryon, that Kanga properly entered Charles’ inner circle. She too became the royal’s mistress, and he reportedly once declared she was “The only woman who ever understood me.”

Eventually, Charles and Camilla married in 2005. However, given their scandalous history, it was announced at the time that she would be known as Princess Consort when Charles ascended the throne.

This decision was changed in February 2022, when the late Queen Elizabeth II marked the 70th anniversary of her reign with her wish for Camilla to become Queen Consort.

“The Queen realised Charles could only reign successfully if he was happy and that’s why she came round to Camilla,” explains Phil. “She was content to stay in the background and support Charles, but he was the one who insisted Camilla become his wife and eventually his queen.”

Due to her love of partying, Camilla wasn’t deemed ‘princess material’ when Charles was hunting for a bride back in the 1970s.



Charles’ first serious girlfriend was Lucia, but as she was Roman Catholic, it never would’ve worked. Lucia was actually the one who originally introduced Charles to Camilla in 1970!


Amanda and Charles were on the cusp of an engagement until the 1979 IRA bombing that killed her grandfather, and Charles’ mentor, Earl Mountbatten, put her off royal life.


Under pressure to find a wife, Charles dated Diana’s older sister, Lady Sarah, for nine months in 1977. By 1980, he and Lady Di were an item.


Kanga wasn’t exactly discreet when it came to her royal fling. She died in November 1997, three months after Diana.