Queen Consort ‘did not leak first private conversation’ with Prince William to the press

Camilla - Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Camilla – Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The Queen Consort did not leak a story about the time she first met Prince William to a newspaper, royal sources have insisted.

The Duke of Sussex uses his memoir, Spare, to accuse his stepmother of leaking stories about her first private conversation with the teenage prince to the press.

The accounts contained “pinpoint accurate details”, he writes, “none of which had come from Willy, of course. They could only have been leaked by the one other person present.”

However, the details of that meeting were actually leaked, inadvertently, by Camilla’s own private secretary, who was eventually sacked over the incident.

A royal source said: “Harry has created a very crisp narrative which in parts is a conflation of different versions of stories.”

The Queen Consort, or Camilla Parker Bowles as she was then, was said to have been “furious” when she discovered that details of her first meeting with William had been leaked.

She had told Amanda MacManus, the top aide who she had hired shortly after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, about the 1998 meeting.

Mrs MacManus told her husband, a media executive, who in turn was said to have told a former colleague, who told a newspaper.

Camilla, Queen Consort Amanda MacManus - Will Oliver/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Camilla, Queen Consort Amanda MacManus – Will Oliver/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Camilla took the unusual step of releasing a public statement, announcing that Mrs MacManus had “resigned” following an investigation. It said: “Mrs Parker Bowles agrees that her position had become untenable.”

Mrs MacManus, said she was “very sorry”, adding: “It is a matter of great regret to me that chance remarks of mine led to the disclosure in the press of the private meeting between Mrs Parker Bowles and Prince William.

“I am so very sorry for the distress this has caused. Above all, my shame is that I have failed those who demand loyalty and trust, particularly my remarkable employer Mrs Parker Bowles.

“I am very sorry to be leaving but as the person responsible for this unhappy chain of events, I cannot with honour remain in this position.”

South African-born Mrs MacManus, a mother of two, had worked three and a half days a week for Camilla. She was later reinstated, going on to work as her private secretary until just last year.

Elsewhere in the Duke’s book, the Duke discusses his father’s marriage to the now Queen Consort.

“Willy and I would see less of our father and that made me feel mixed emotions,” he writes.

“I was not happy about the idea of losing a second parent, and I did not know how to feel about the idea of having a stepmother who, as I thought, had sacrificed me on the altar erected by her PR.”

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