Broadlands, after the Princess managed to drag her husband away from the elusive salmon, became an idyllic and romantic spot for the newlyweds, just as it had for the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, and Prince Philip after their wedding on November 20, 1947. Charles and Diana strolled hand-in-hand across the lawns and enjoyed intimate dinners by candlelight as they chuckled over videos of their own wedding day, which had been rushed down to Hampshire by special messenger.
A couple of days later, the two of them flew off on the most exciting part of the Royal honeymoon. The 307 strong crew of the Royal Yacht Britannia took them off round the Mediterranean on a magical mystery tour designed successfully as it turned out, to throw the world's press off the scene. No one on the yacht, except the official Royal Navy photographer, had been allowed to bring a camera. Even the 4 members of Prince Charles's personal staff were given official warnings "no cameras". Of course the rule didn't apply to Princess Diana, who spent a lot of time clicking away with her auto focus taking views of the Greek islands and pictures of her Prince.
The Royal Yacht Britannia steamed towards the Algerian and Tunisian coast, then veered away for Sicily and through the straits of Messina and into the Ionian Sea. There at last, the couple found peace on a sun-kissed Greek island of gods and legends. There, the couple enjoyed a beach barbecue at Ithaca island, went scuba-diving and windsurf off Crete island. Prince Charles also brought his easel and painted.
They discovered a secret cove, which could only be reached by boat, and there, under a brilliant blue sky and with temperatures in the 90s, Princess Diana swam in a bright yellow bikini as her husband sunbathed on the beach. While the Prince slept in the heat of the day, the Princess, wearing only a skimpy wrap over a teeny weeny red bikini, wandered the maze of corridors, chatting to everyone she met. Diana didn't forget the lower decks either. She surprised everyone by strolling into the other ranks area one day, and spotting a piano, she insisted everyone for a sing-song, which could be heard over half the ship.
It was an enchanted 14 days. The Prince and Princess of Wales spent most of their evenings alone on the royal deck. Diana used the Queen's bedroom as her dressing room, and her young dresser, Evelyn Dagley, helped prepare her outfits during official dinners with crewmen and staff members onboard the yacht. On the last night at sea, the crew, including the Band of the Royal Marines, held a farewell cabaret for the honeymooners. The sailors cheered with delight and the party lasted well into the early hours. The Princess loved it and laughed the night away.
Before flying back to Scotland for the last phase of their honeymoon, the Prince and Princess of Wales made a short visit to Port Said in the Suez Canal on the President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, who entertained them to a sumptuous banquets. The honeymoon lasted nearly 3 months, but the surroundings, exchanging the warmth of the Mediterranean for the damp chill of autumn Scotland, weren't exactly romantic. Charles had taken his bride to Royal Deeside, to continue his honeymoon with the rest of the Royal Family who were holidaying at Balmoral Castle, exactly as he had spent Septembers all his life.
In Balmoral, the couple had some privacy from the rest of the family, staying at Craigowan, a house 150 yards from the Royal Estate. There were lots of things the Prince could do; fishing, stage stalking, little grouse shooting, walking and riding. It was his idea of an outdoor paradise. The problem was that Diana didn't share her husband's love of the great outdoors. So, while the Prince enjoyed himself, his bride became bored and depressed.
The Camilla factor:
The Royal Yacht Britannia
Princess Diana Dresser Evelyn Dagley. She Endearingly Called Her 'Eve'
Although it sounds magical, the honeymoon turned out to be, as Princess Diana later described it, a "nightmare". The young bride apparently discovered on her honeymoon that Camilla Parker Bowels was not just another of her husband's many friends, but someone much more dangerous; the soul mate which the thoughtful, often troubled Prince needed.
In fact, in the run up to their July 1981 wedding, Princess Diana became increasingly jealous of the hold that Camilla had over Prince Charles. She quizzed both family and friends about the nature of their relationship and even threatened to call the whole thing off when she discovered that the Prince and Camilla had exchanged "love tokens" on the eve of the big day. One of these gifts was a bracelet from Charles to Camilla. It was inscribed with the letters F and G, a reference to Fred and Gladys, their pet names for one another.
Princess Diana's suspicions continued to hunt her during the honeymoon. The royal couple had a furious row aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia when Diana noticed that her husband was wearing a pair of cufflinks given to him by Camilla. The cufflinks bore a motif of the entwined initials "CC". As Diana suspected, they were a gift from Camilla.
Another shock was to follow. When the newlyweds were sitting together organizing their schedules, two photographs of Camilla fell from between the pages of Charles's open diary. If these were really the final exchanges of an old love affair, one has to question the insensitivity of the Prince of Wales in letting his young bride see them, even though he insisted that they were merely tokens of a friendship that was over by then.
Princess Diana remembers: "Got it in one, knew exactly. So I said Camilla gave you those, didn't she? He said yes, so what's wrong with that? They're a present from a friend. And boy did we have a row. Jealousy, Total jealousy."
Since then, Camilla's presence on the royal couple's honeymoon was the trigger for the young bride's eating disorder, that became daily feature on the Royal Yacht Britannia. Certainly, staff on board were puzzled by her appetite. Princess Diana would visit the galley to eat bowls of ice cream and would ask for snacks between meals.
Describing her illness, Princess Diana said: "It was a rife, four times a day on the yacht. Anything I could find I would gobble up and then I would be sick two minutes later. I was very tired. So, of course, that slightly got the mood swings going in the sense that one minute I would be happy, the next I would be blubbing. I cried my eyes out on my honeymoon. I was so tired for all the wrong reasons."
Staying at Balmoral, which was the final phase of their three months honeymoon, was not romantic nor pleasant for the young Princess. "Nobody told me it would be like this. I said I didn't want to come in the first place," the shout echoed clearly across a bleak and cold field swept by the freezing wind from the nearby North Sea. A red faced Prince Charles pretended not to hear his bride as he checked his double-barrelled shotgun, and insisted her on accompanying him on a pheasant shoot.
An Extraordinary Life, By Weidenfeld Nicolson Illustrated. Publication Date: 14 September 1998
Charles And Camilla Leaving A Theatre Together In 1975