The Queen has been branded 'utterly ruthless' for her treatment of the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles, in the years following the death of Princess Diana.
Channel 5's new Royal documentary The Windsors: Inside the Royal Dynasty explained how Her Majesty and her then husband, the late Duke of Edinburgh deliberately distanced themselves from Camilla in a bid to keep the damaged monarchy on track.
Explaining the delicate situation that unfolded after Diana's tragic death aged just 36, journalist Richard Kay said: "The public were still madly in love with Diana and Diana's memory and every time they heard mention of Camilla it brought back a bad memory.
"The Queen was utterly ruthless.
"In that period she and Philip made it absolutely clear that Camilla was not welcome and they would not be seen with her."
Echoing the reality behind palace walls, biographer Penny Junor said: "The Queen knew precisely how damaging Charles' relationship with Camila had been for the Monarchy.
On Charles' 50th birthday The Queen gave a party for him at Buckingham Palace, to which Camila was not invited.
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"Charles was being told by by his mother the way the whole situation is solved is that Camila must go. "
Despite The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh cutting her adrift, less than 18 months after Diana's death he openly deified his mother and monarch.
Charles's team are said to have tipped off the media about a photo opportunity of himself Camilla.
The duo were photographed leaving a hotel together in what was seen as a very public declaration of their unity.
In 2002, Camilla was started to be introduced into pubic royal life.
She was present at The Queen's golden jubilee.
Charles and Camilla eventually tied the knot on April 9, 2005.
The couple had a stripped back civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall.
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The Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, did not attend the ceremony however, they did attend a Service of Prayer and Dedication later on.
Her Majesty also hosted a reception for the couple in Windsor Castle following the marriage
Since then Camilla has been by Charles and The Queen's side at countess royal engagements – most recently at the G7 summit in Cornwall.
- Royal Family
- Prince Charles
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