“Camilla’s role in all of this, I think, still has to be explored,” Robert, a historical consultant on Netflix drama, The Crown, exclusively tells New Idea.
For years, Camilla and Charles carried on an affair while she was married to Andrew Parker Bowles and Charles was married to Diana. Eventually, Camilla and Charles married in 2005.
Battle of Brothers examines the factors which have led to the souring of the relationship between William and Harry. While researching the book, Robert claims he uncovered a shocking secret about Camilla, the wife of the future king.
“We’ve discovered that all through the years she was courting Charles, she was talking to The Sun [newspaper] every week,” he says. “She was the one who leaked the story of the Queen insisting that the couple [Charles and Diana] should divorce.”
Also, while Robert didn’t speak to Camilla for his book, she is, according to him, the source of revelations that William has a fiery temper.
“That comes from Camilla,” he says. “Camilla was shocked when she married Charles, at the way that William would sometimes talk to his father, and how cross and angry he could be.
“I think, just out of natural horror, she told her family and friends how shocked she was by this aspect of William’s character.”
Charles and William were said to have had a fractious relationship, particularly during his parents’ marriage breakdown. And William would often take his mother’s side.
In Battle of Brothers, it’s claimed William once screamed at his father, “I hate you, Papa. I hate you so much. Why do you make Mummy cry all the time?”
However, Robert says father and son have since patched things up. “That’s in the past now,” he says of tensions between the pair. “The elder brother and Charles have come back together. They’re allies in the new set-up.”
Indeed, William’s relationship with his stepmother is on firm ground. After Diana died in 1997, William, despite Diana’s friends saying he was “betraying her memory”, according to Battle of Brothers, reached out to Camilla.
“It was William who was the first of the boys to realise that whatever they felt, they had to make things up with Camilla,” Robert stresses. “And he made the effort.”
But how do the dukes, William and Harry feel about seeing Camilla on the throne?
“I think that just as the world feels uneasy at the prospect of a Queen Camilla, the boys are not entirely thrilled about it. Those old scars remain open, sadly.”
Interestingly, Camilla’s popularity with the public seems to have ballooned since Meghan came into the royal family. Some royal fans have blamed Meghan for ‘Megxit’ – the Sussexes’ decision to split from the royal family.
“Meghan is like the Yoko Ono of the royal family,” Robert says. “She’s a mesmeric, fascinating woman who is not everybody’s cup of tea, but was clearly John Lennon’s … And with Meghan, there is a sense in which she’s captured Harry.”
The author describes Meghan as “overflowing with self-confidence” and, unlike the rest of the royal family, “a self-made millionaire”.
But, Robert acknowledges Meghan caused “friction” when she initially joined The Firm because she brought her own advisers in to help her.
“No-one’s ever said: ‘Thanks very much for your advice, but I’ve got my American crisis management team and PR team here as well,’” Robert explains. “No-one’s ever done that in Buckingham Palace. That’s not the way they’re used to doing it at all.”
He adds that Meghan upset the royal courtiers, but that their role in Harry and Meghan’s decision to leave the UK for the US can’t be underestimated.
“I think they’ve been partisan and I say rather punitive towards Meghan and Harry,” he continues. “I think they should be reaching out to welcome them back.”