What’s the Deal with Camilla, Diana, and Prince Charles’s Bathroom Warfare?
Can anyone explain why they used well-placed cartoons to snipe at each other?
Tom Bower’s new exposé, Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles, is appearing via lengthy excerpts in the Daily Mail ahead of its release in the U.K. tomorrow. The latest installment covers Prince Charles and Camilla’s attempt to spin their relationship as more loving and less home-wrecking in the press, in the wake of Diana’s legendary Panorama interview in 1995, and through their eventual marriage a decade later. There are many intriguing dinners over which the pair allegedly cracked their plan with the help of a solicitor, a professional spin doctor, and eventually a journalist, Penny Junor, who was commissioned to portray Camilla well at Diana’s expense. The overall goal was to “demythologize Diana by portraying her as a manipulative hysteric,” as Bower writes.
But amongst all the intrigue and the back-and-forth-and-back-again of the triangle, there is this one reported tidbit that I can’t stop thinking about: “Indeed, Camilla’s true feelings about Diana could be gleaned simply by asking to use the guest lavatory at her home, Ray Mill, in Wiltshire. While Charles’s loo in nearby Highgrove featured cartoons of himself, her own was festooned with unflattering cartoons of his wife.”
This is curious first because, what? And second because apparently Diana had taken the same tack toward Camilla. Her friend, the handbag designer Lana Marks, said in the 2001 book Diana: Story of a Princess, “Diana’s way of dealing with it was putting an unflattering cartoon of Camilla in her bathroom. She did the same later on with Elton John when she had a disagreement with him. She said, ‘Oh, he’s in the bathroom with Camilla.’”
Why are these people consoling themselves with bathroom decor? Is this some sort of entrenched British tradition? One that falls somewhere between a small joke to oneself and voodoo? Any Brits out there who know what’s going on, please let me know.
The Life of Princess Diana, in Moments Big and Small