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What’s the Deal with Camilla, Diana, and Prince Charles’s Bathroom Warfare?

Kenzie Bryant
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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

1963

Diana outside her childhood home, Park House, in Norfolk. It was 1963 and she was around 2 years old.
From Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

1970

A childhood photo of Diana on vacation in Itchenor, West Sussex.
From Bettmann Collection.

1980

Diana walking in Chelsea a year before she was to marry Prince Charles, whom she’d met three years prior when he attended a country weekend at the Spencer ancestral home, Althorp.
By Bob Thomas/Popperfoto/Getty Images.

1981

Prince Charles asked Diana to marry him in early February 1981, and they kept the news private for a few weeks. The palace made an official announcement on February 24.
From Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images.

1981

The pair were married in St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was a break from the traditional Westminster Abbey wedding (St. Paul’s had more seating).
From REX/Shutterstock.

1981

Now Princess of Wales, Diana accompanied Princess Anne in the glass coach used for her wedding to the state opening of Parliament, tiara in tow.
By Anwar Hussein/Getty Images.

1982

The princess attended a polo match in Windsor with Queen Elizabeth II while pregnant with Prince William.
By Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images.

1982

Princess Diana once again at a polo match—now pictured with her husband—while pregnant with Prince William.
By Bob Thomas/Popperfoto/Getty Images.

1982

Prince William was born on June 21, 1982. Here he poses at his christening ceremony with Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II, and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
From Fox Photos/Getty Images.

1983

Prince Charles and Princess Diana go on their first major tour of Australia and New Zealand.
By Tim Graham/Getty Images.

1983

Once again at a polo match in Windsor.
By Anwar Hussein/Getty Images.

1983

Greeting Australian children in a Sloane Ranger look, head-to-toe pink.
By Anwar Hussein/Getty Images.

1983

The family poses in the courtyard of Kensington Palace for press. Prince William is about a year and a half old here.
From Bettmann Collection.

1984

Still more polo at Windsor. Princess Diana speaks to Prince Charles while pregnant with Prince Harry.
By Tim Graham/Getty Images.

1985

The royal family (now including Prince Harry) watch a military procession from Buckingham Palace in honor of the Queen’s birthday.
From Popperfoto/Getty Images.

1985

A family portrait at Kensington Palace.
By Tim Graham/Getty Images.

1985

Princess Diana famously danced with actor John Travolta at a White House State Dinner at the request of Nancy Reagan. Travolta frequently speaks fondly of the moment.
From Pool Photograph/Corbis/Getty Images.

1986

The royal family take a walk in the gardens of Highgrove House.
By Tim Graham/Getty Images.

1986

This is what ski style is. She’s on holiday in Klosters, Switzerland.
By Tim Graham/Getty Images.

1987

The couple arrives at the Cannes Film Festival, she in blue silk chiffon gown by Catherine Walker.
By Tim Graham/Getty Images.

1988

A group of Australian lifeguards in Speedos under Diana’s spell during one of her many trips to the continent.
By Anwar Hussein/Getty Images.

1988

Princess Diana and Prince Charles met Michael Jackson before his show at Wembley Stadium on his Bad World Tour. Jackson later recalled that she requested the song “Dirty Diana,” about a crazed groupie, but the performer had already taken it off the lineup out of respect for her.
By Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/Vcg/Getty Images.

1986

On one of her hospice visits in London.
By Brendan Beirne/Rex/Shutterstock.

1988

Meeting actor Bob Hoskins and a rabbit during a charity premiere of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
By Richard Blanshard/Getty Images.

1990

Prince Harry helps bury his mother in sand on Necker Island in the British Virgin Isles.
By Tim Graham/Getty Images.

1990

Princess Diana meets a group in traditional dress in Lagos on a royal tour of Nigeria.
By Anwar Hussein/Getty Images.

1991

On the royal tour of Canada, Princess Diana goes in for the hug with Prince William and Prince Harry. They’re on the deck of the Britannia in Toronto.
By Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images.

1992

Princess Diana made a Taj Mahal stop while on a tour of India.
By Tim Graham/Getty Images.

1992

Having a chat with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman at the premiere of Far and Away. She’s wearing Catherine Walker.
By Tim Graham/Getty Images.

1993

The princess signs her official portrait. Royals aren’t generally allowed to sign their autograph due to the risk of their signature being forged.
From Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images.

1994

Queen Elizabeth II with Princess Diana in matching looks at the unveiling of the Canada memorial monument in Green Park. She and Prince Charles would announce plans to divorce the following year.
From Pool Photograph/Corbis/Getty Images.

1997

Diana vacationing in the South of France with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed. They spent time on his family yacht, the Jonikal, though they could not escape the paparazzi.
By Anwar Hussein/Wireimage.

1997

Princess Diana made a final trip to Australia after her divorce, just before her death on August 31, 1997.
By Anwar Hussein/WireImage.