When Prince Charles found out she was having an affair with the bodyguard, he then went back to seeing Camilla Parker Bowles, the ex-aide said.
In a marriage that was riddled with problems right from the start, Prince Charles was always the one painted as the insensitive husband with a wandering eye while his wife, Princess Diana, had no choice but to accept his philandering ways. However, sources say that Princess Diana also had romantic relationships with people outside of her marriage. And she herself once called a bodyguard at the palace the "greatest love" she ever had.
Now, one of the couple's former royal protection officers, Allan Peters, is weighing in on the question of who cheated first in the marriage between Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
"The popular perception is that the Prince of Wales was straying all the way through his marriage—and that is definitely, unequivocally, not the case," Peters said in a CNN documentary, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
Peters, who worked with Princess Diana for almost 10 years, claimed he was the one who told Prince Charles that his wife was having an affair with their bodyguard, Barry Mannakee. Peters also claimed that it was after this revelation came out when Prince Charles resumed his romantic relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles.
"'The first person that strayed was the Princess," the former aide said. "He went back to see Mrs. Parker Bowles after he learned about her affair with Mannakee."
After noticing something different in Princess Diana's behavior, Peters said he confronted her about what was going on. "I started to notice her behavior was unusual whenever we were anywhere near Mannakee, so I decided to talk to her about it," Peters said. "For the first 20 minutes, she categorically denied it. But then she told me exactly what was going on: she was having some sort of relationship with Mannakee."
Even Prince Charles began noticing something strange about Princess Diana's behavior.
"The Prince of Wales approached me and said: 'Why is the Princess behaving in the way she is? What on earth is the matter?'" Peters recalled. "So I said: 'You've got to talk to her.' And he said: 'Well, I've tried all that, and the only thing that seems to be upsetting her is that Barry Mannakee is going back to uniform. And, if she's that upset, Barry can stay."
"At that stage, I was forced to say: 'Well, Sir, if he stays, then I'm afraid I'll have to leave.' And, I think, at that point the penny dropped. He was utterly shocked and was clearly very upset," Peters continued.
Mannakee was later transferred from his royal role to the Diplomatic Protection Squad in 1986 and later died after being hit by a 17-year-old driver in East London.
In the past, Princess Diana has made references about having an affair with a bodyguard and said she was "deeply in love" with him, according to The Sun.
"When I was 24 or 25 I was deeply in love with someone who worked in this environment [security]. But then he was chucked out and he was killed," Princess Diana told her voice coach in recordings that were played in the Channel 4 documentary, Diana: In Her Own Words.
"Eventually he had to go and then three weeks after he left he was killed in a motorbike accident," she said. "He was the greatest love I've ever had, and that was a real killer."
According to the Daily Mail, Peters reflected on the turbulent royal marriage and said, "Nobody is the villain. In my view, everyone is the victim. [Charles] was under a lot of pressure to get married and she, too, was the victim of this whole process."
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Patrick Riviere