March 11, 2004 10:56 AM

Princess Diana confronted her husband’s longtime mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, and told the interloper that she knew about the affair with Prince Charles, according to audiotapes aired on Thursday’s “Today” show.

“I was terrified of her. And I said, ‘I know what’s going on between you and Charles and I just want you to know that,'” Diana (who was killed in a 1997 car crash in Paris) says very matter-of-factly on the tapes, which were secretly recorded in 1991 for a 1992 book that exposed the turmoil in the royal marriage.

The 1989 Diana-Camilla showdown occurred during a party as the princess interrupted a conversation between Parker Bowles, the prince and another male guest, notes Reuters.

“And I said to the two men, ‘Okay, boys, I’m just going to have a quick word with Camilla and I’ll be up in a minute.’ And they shot upstairs like chickens with no heads, and I could feel upstairs all hell breaking loose: ‘What is she going to do?’ ”

The princess recalled Parker Bowles as having a “very interesting” response. “She said to me: ‘You’ve got everything you ever wanted. You’ve got all the men in the world fall in love with you and you’ve got two beautiful children, what more do you want?’

“So I said, ‘I want my husband’ … and I said to Camilla, ‘I’m sorry I’m in the way … and it must be hell for both of you. But I do know what’s going on. Don’t treat me like an idiot.”‘

Last week, when a first set of tapes was aired on NBC’s Thursday night special “Princess Diana: The Secret Tapes,” ratings went through the roof, with 17 million people tuning in.

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