Up until then, thanks to Camilla and Andrew’s concerted efforts, Tom and Laura Parker Bowles thought they had a perfectly happy family. They also got along great with Charles, whom they had known all their lives.
After the Morton book came out, the queen insisted that Diana and Charles still take a planned trip to Korea together that November. When they got back, Diana refused to drop William and Harry off with Charles for a planned shooting weekend with various friends, including Andrew and Camilla. It was an annual trip and the boys were looking forward to it—subsequently, Charles was livid.
That was the last straw, and on Dec. 9, 1992, British Prime Minister John Major announced in the House of Commons that the Prince and Princess of Wales had separated. Their official split followed the separation of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson and the divorce of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips earlier in the year. (Anne then married Timothy Laurence on Dec. 12.)
In January 1993, the Daily Mirror published snippets of leaked phone conversations between Charles and Camilla, the infamous “Camillagate,” or, less delicately, “Tampon-gate,” due to the prince’s expressed desire to “live inside [Camilla’s] trousers or something.”
“What are you going to turn into, a pair of knickers?” she joked as they both laughed, per reports of the conversation, which you could also dial a phone number and listen to at the time, courtesy of the tabloids. “Oh, you’re going to come back as a pair of knickers.”
“Or, god forbid, a Tampax,” he quipped. “Just my luck!” Camilla jested back, “You’re a complete idiot. Oh, what a wonderful idea!”