While Charles is using the 234-year-old blue-blood firm of Farrer and Co. to handle his divorce, Diana has turned to the left-leaning lawyers at Mishcon de Reya, who have represented author Jeffrey Archer and who charge upwards of $500 an hour. Heading up Di's team is Julius, 39, the firm's scholarly head of litigation. Described by the Daily Telegraph as "charming and flinty with a quiet manner," he won Diana's trust in 1993 after securing an injunction to stop the Daily Mirror's publication of unauthorized photos of her at the gym.
Therapist and author of Fat Is a Feminist Issue, Orbach, 49, treated Diana for bulimia in November 1994 and has since become one of her most trusted confidantes. The princess calls Orbach her savior and in recent weeks has rushed to her North London home whenever trouble brewed. It was there that she spent Boxing Day (after a lonely Christmas without Wills and Harry, who celebrated with their father), and there that she headed immediately after her return from a holiday trip to Barbuda. It was also at Orbach's that Diana gave the most visible sign yet of the strain she has been under. After an evening visit to the therapist on Jan. 8, the princess burst into tears as she passed photographers. "Clearly troubled by the decisions she has to make over her divorce, she cried helplessly for a full minute before getting in her car and driving off," reported the Daily Mirror. Added one photographer: "We could all hear her sobbing."
"Nothing happens without his knowledge and approval," one insider says of Jephson, 39, Diana's reported $55,000-a-year private secretary. The princess has leaned on Jephson, a former lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy and the married father of an infant daughter, during the darker moments of her separation. The day after Charles appeared publicly for the first time with Camilla Parker Bowles last fall, Jephson was the one Di chose to lunch with.
The Duchess of York
Still grappling with royal marriage problems of her own, Sarah Ferguson, 36, understands all too well what Diana is going through. And though the two have had an on-and-off friendship in recent years, Di's impending divorce has drawn them closer than ever. The princess even consulted Fergie before doing her now-infamous Panorama interview on the BBC in November. At the duchess's Wentworth, Surrey, home, "the two women, outlawed from the royal family, laughed and giggled as they discussed Diana's plot to tell all," said the Daily Mirror. Indeed, notes Di biographer Lady Colin Campbell, "they use each other as sounding boards to chat over their respective woes."
A property developer and former polo pal of Charles's, Peter Palumbo had a falling-out with the prince in 1984 after Charles publicly ridiculed a Palumbo-proposed skyscraper as "a great glass stump." Palumbo, 60, introduced the princess to her team of lawyers. Says one royal watcher: "Their friendship is based on their mutual dislike of Prince Charles."
Since his appointment as Charles's private secretary in 1991, Aylard, 43, has made it his mission to make the the prince more accessible to the media, encouraging Charles's decision to participate in the controversial 1994 TV bio during which he confessed to adultery. Such royal glasnost raised eyebrows in some quarters, but Charles has steadfastly defended Aylard. As the only senior member of the prince's staff who has been through a divorce, Aylard may repay that trust with valued perspective in the months ahead. Says a friend: "They have a deep respect, affection and friendship between them."
Camilla Parker Bowles
Friend, lover and longtime confidante, Camilla, 48, has been there for Charles through good times and bad—even at the cost of her own marriage. That kind of loyalty may have fueled the prince's fury last month when staffers released a statement implying he would not remarry. "Charles wants to become King, but he also wants to marry Camilla," says a royal insider. Whether public sentiment allows such a wedding or not, Camilla likely always will be in Charles's corner. Said an old friend: "She will do whatever the Prince of Wales asks of her."
The well-known TV journalist chosen by Charles as his official biographer, Dimbleby, 52, and the prince have become close friends in recent months. The two share a passion for organic farming and protecting rural England, and Dimbleby's dismissive treatment of Diana in his book The Prince of Wales: A Biography put him squarely in the prince's camp. "I think [Charles] is a man of distinction," Dimbleby said this summer. "He does have a spiritual dimension and a sense of public duty which far exceeds that of most people."
The daughter of Charles's beloved great-uncle, Earl Mountbatten of Burma (who was killed by an IRA bomb in 1979), Patricia Mountbatten, 71, is said to "absolutely worship" her godson the prince. Throughout his separation, she has acted as a liaison between the Queen and her oldest son. Says one palace insider: "She is totally trusted and loved by both the Queen and Prince Charles, but at the same time is completely in Charles's camp."
Known as "Fatty" to his friends, Soames, 47, has been a chum of Charles's since boyhood and has been happy to disparage Diana (a friend of his ex-wife, Catherine) in the media. After the princess claimed on TV that her husband's friends had portrayed her as "unstable" and "sick," Soames—a grandson of Sir Winston Churchill and currently minister of state for the armed forces—appeared on newscasts to confirm the accusation, claiming that she seemed to be in "advanced stages of paranoia." Though Soames's remarks provoked a public outcry and a rebuke from Prime Minister John Major in the House of Commons, Charles took, his friend's behavior in stride. Days later, the two were photographed walking together at Sandringham.
The Man in the Middle
As the Queen's private secretary, Sir Robert Fellowes, 54, would seem a sure bet to be in Charles's camp. But the Eton-educated Fellowes has loyalties to Diana as well: since 1978, he has been married to Lady Jane Spencer, 38, the princess's older sister. (The couple has three children.)
So where will the twice-knighted Fellowes come down? So far, it seems, squarely in the middle. "Any gentleman of the old school, like Fellowes, would disapprove of Diana's washing her dirty linen in public," says Lady Colin Campbell, adding that Lady Jane has also frowned on Di's recent behavior. "At times," she says, "there has been outright hostility between them."
But Fellowes has shown a similar distaste for Charles's public confessions. And he is believed to have had a hand in penning the Queen's mid-December letter to both Charles and Di urging "a quick divorce." Indeed, with his impeccable dress and manners, the tall, thin, bespectacled Fellowes—who is often compared in the press to P.G. Wodehouse's mildly twittish Bertie Wooster—seems increasingly pained by the entire messy scene. "Sir Robert Fellowes is totally loyal to the Queen," says royalty chronicler Brian Hoey. "No matter what family connections there may be, he sees his duty as protecting the sovereign. And that is just what he will do, come what may."