Royal author Penny Junor, in her 2017 book “The Duchess”, explains: “The Queen had wanted [Camilla] gone. [Charles] made it perfectly clear to anyone who would listen that Camilla was a non-negotiable part of his life.”
In his 2006 book “William’s Princess”, veteran royal author Robert Jobson argues that, during this time, Prince William was sensitive to how his father and stepmother were perceived – and learned from Charles’ tenacity.
Mr Jobson writes: “Charles’ apparent need for there to be a public acceptance of Camilla placed the identity of the Prince of Wales’ consort firmly in the public spotlight, inviting the press to take notes but strictly on Palace terms.
“Where Prime Minister Baldwin had simply insisted that no public would tolerate Wallis Simpson on the throne, Prince Charles set out to convert a nation to his will through spin.
“Breaking the mould when it comes to matters of the heart, and struggling to find a comfortable co-existence with the press are traits Charles would pass on to his son.
“After all, Prince William is an impressionable and intuitive young man who has always taken keen interest in the press coverage of his parents’ divorce and affairs.
“He was there to witness the story unfolding on both sides, seeing what made it into the newspapers and onto the screens, knowing what was really going on behind closed doors and, to some extent, gaining an insight into how events were presented by [Charles’ Press Secretary] Mark Bolland.
“It would make a lasting impression on the young prince, as witnessed later on in his own attempts to lead the press a merry dance when it came to his private life – particularly in his blossoming and deepening relationship with Kate.”
The author points towards William’s famous words in 2005 as an instance of the prince hiding his true feelings for his future bride form the world’s media.
Prince Charles and Camilla timeline (Image: DX)
When on a skiing holiday with his family and the then-Miss Middleton, William appeared to rubbish any thoughts of marriage, saying: “Look, I’m only 22 for God’s sake.”
However Mr Jobson writes: “William is no fool.
“The denial of any serious thoughts of marriage blurted out so apparently carelessly was, in fact, a smokescreen designed to cool the media frenzy about William’s steady girlfriend.
“It was for show; a way of dampening down speculation about him and Kate; a way of protecting her from the press.”