Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles have had an unusual love story. In the past, some royal biographers have stated it was love at first sight for these two lovebirds. They met each other in the early 1970s.
Charles and Camilla had to overcome a lot of hurdles before getting married. They tied the knot in 2005. Continue reading further to know everything about the unconventional relationship of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.
Scroll down to take a look at Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles’ relationship timeline
For those of you who are unaware, let us tell you Charles and Camilla first crossed paths in the year 1970 at a polo match and they began dating. The two of them pulled the plug on their relationship when he traveled overseas to join the Royal Navy in early 1973.
But things took a turn when Charles returned from serving in the Royal Navy. Camilla got engaged to Andrew Parker Bowles and the pair went on to marry in 1973. Charles tied the knot with Princess Diana in 1981. Despite the fact, that they had moved on in life with their respective partners, Charles and Camilla shared a close bond during their time apart.
1970: Charles meets Camilla for the first time
As per the reports of BBC, Charles and Camilla met each other for the first time at a polo match at Windsor Great Park. Some reports have claimed that Camilla’s first line to Charles was, “My great-grandmother was the mistress of your great-great-grandfather. I feel we have something in common.”
Historian and The Crown advisor Robert Lacey wrote in his book The Crown: The Official Companion Volume 2 that Charles met Camilla via their mutual friend Lucia Santa Cruz, which was something Lucia later on confirmed as well.
Soon afterward, Charles and Camilla began dating. During the early days of their relationship, the pair used to spend a lot of time together. Their relationship came to an end in 1973 when Charles was sent off to sea for the Royal Navy.
July 4, 1973: Camilla marries Andrew Parker Bowles
In July of 1973, Camilla tied the knot with her longtime beau Andrew Parker Bowles. Let us tell you an interesting fact, back in the day, before being romantically linked to Camilla, Andrew dated Charles’s sister, Princess Anne.
Camilla met Andrew Parker Bowles in the late 1960s through his younger brother, Simon Parker Bowles. Over the years, Camilla and Andrew had an on-again and off-again type of relationship. The news about the pair’s engagement saw the light of the day in 1973 and they got married in the same year.
Camilla and Andrew got married on July 4, 1973, in a Roman Catholic ceremony at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks, in London. The pair welcomed two children: Tom and Laura Parker Bowles. However, Charles and Camilla still remained close despite her new relationship and Charles even became Tom’s godfather.
1981: Princess Diana enters the story
Charles started dating Diana in the year 1980. He popped the big question to Diana on February 6, 1981. She accepted his proposal. A few weeks after their engagement, in a media interaction, Charles and Diana were asked whether they were in love. Diana replied, “Of course,” meanwhile Charles responded, “Whatever love means.”
Diana and Charles got married on July 29 of the same year. Camilla also attended the wedding of the pair. As per royal biographer Andrew Morton, Camilla instantly caused a feud between Charles and Diana when Diana found an engraved necklace intended for Camilla while opening her wedding gifts.
At that time, Charles told Diana that “a certain amount of time would always be put aside for Camilla.” The couple welcomed their first child, Prince William, on June 21, 1982. The pair’s second child, Prince Harry joined them earthside on September 15, 1984.
1986: Charles begins an affair with Camilla
According to People magazine, Charles and Camilla started their affair in the year 1986, despite being married to different people at that time. After a while in 1995, Diana spilled the beans on Charles and Camilla’s relationship during an interview with BBC One’s Panorama.
Then, Diana told the media outlet, “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.” Around the same time, many sources reported that Diana was seeing different men from 1986 until the end of her marriage. In her Panorama interview, Diana accepted that he had an affair with James Hewitt.
1989: The Confrontation
As per Telegraph, an audiotape that Diana made for Morton, her biographer, revealed that she had confronted Camilla about her affair at a party. She went on to say, “I know what’s going on between you and Charles and I just want you to know that.”
Diana further added, “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, ‘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.’”
1993: The Phone Call leak
In 1993, Mirror published the complete transcript of a leaked intimate phone call that took place between Charles and Camilla in 1989. The whole incident was known as Camillagate.
In the transcript, the two of them discussed their physical relationship and stated how they wanted to be with one another and cared about one another. The leaked tapes led to a big scandal for the royal family and the tapes subtly confirmed the persistent affair rumors between Charles and Camilla.
June 1994: Charles shares his side of the story
In June of 1994, Charles made an appearance in a TV documentary about himself named Charles: The Private Man, the Public Role. In the documentary, he was asked about the rumors swirling in the air about his affair with Camilla.
Charles was also asked whether he had been faithful and honorable to Diana during the course of their relationship. He said, “Yes, yes…until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried.”
When questioned about Camilla, Charles said, “She has been a friend for a very long time—and will continue to be a friend for a very long time.”
January 11, 1995: Camilla’s divorce gets finalized
By the end of 1994, Camilla and her then-husband Andrew Parker Bowles headed in the direction of divorce after living separately for more than 2 years. The judge heard their petition at the High Court Family Division in London in January of 1995.
Camilla and Andrew’s divorce got finalized on March 3, 1995. Soon afterward, Andrew Parker Bowles married Rosemary Pitman who passed away in 2010.
August 28, 1996: Charles’ divorce
Charles and Diana had gone their separate ways in the year 1992. Within the blink of an eye, the news was all over tabloids. Their marital difficulties were a widely discussed topic back then. Diana and Charles’ divorce got finalized on August 28, 1996.
August 31, 1997: Diana dies
Diana died in a car accident in Paris in August of 1997. She wasn’t the only one who passed away due to the car crash, her significant half at the time, businessman Dodi Fayed, and the driver, Henri Paul also died.
As per The Guardian, there was a campaign that was created to introduce Charles and Camilla as a couple to the people but it was put on hold due to Diana’s sudden death.
July 10, 1998: Camila meets Charles’ son Prince William
According to a report in The Guardian, the royal aides stated that Camilla met Prince William for the first time in 1998 and she would be meeting Prince Harry later on. During the same year, Charles rang into his 50th year with a big birthday party.
As per the Los Angeles Times, Queen Elizabeth II refused to attend the party due to Camilla’s presence at the party and she disapproved of the pair’s relationship.
1999: Camilla and Charles make their first public appearance
In 1999, Charles threw a grand birthday party for Camilla’s sister at the Ritz Hotel in London. Camilla’s sister turned 50 at that time. This was the first time that Camilla and Charles were photographed together.
The two of them arrived at the party separately but they left the party together. From that year on, the couple started attending events together.
2000: The Queen gives an approval to Camilla
As per BBC, Queen Elizabeth II met Camilla for the first time in the year 2000 when she attended a 60th birthday celebration for the King of Greece at Highgrove, Charles’s residence. Many saw it as approval from the Queen’s seal of approval.
2003: Camilla and Charles move in together
Yes, you read that right. Camilla and Charles moved into the Clarence House in August 2003. It was previously stated by BBC, that from the very beginning the royal family was clear that the money paid by the British taxpayers would not be used to decorate Camilla’s rooms.
April 9, 2005: Camilla and Charles tie the knot
The pair announced their engagement in February of 2005. Nearly 35 years after they first met, Camilla and Charles got married in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall on April 9, 2005.
Prince William was the best man at Charles and Camilla’s wedding ceremony. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip did not attend the wedding nuptials of the pair, but they marked their presence at the wedding reception that took place at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
2015: Charles speaks about their relationship
Charles and Camilla celebrated their 10th marriage anniversary on April 9, 2015. At that time, a photo was posted on the official page of Clarence House, which showed the two of them in their garden at Birkhall, Scotland.
The caption of the picture read, “The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary today. This photograph of them was taken in Their Royal Highnesses’ garden at Birkhall, Scotland in January 2015 by Oliver Dann.”
In that same year, during an interview with CNN, Charles spilled the beans on his relationship with Camilla. He said, “It’s always marvelous to have somebody who, you know, you feel understands and wants to encourage. Although she certainly pokes fun if I get too serious about things. And all that helps.”
2017: Camilla talks about the affair
During an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Camilla talked about how she was treated from the side of the media and the public when the news of her affair with Charles broke.
Camilla told the media outlet, “I couldn’t really go anywhere…it was horrid. It was a deeply unpleasant time and I wouldn’t want to put my worst enemy through it. I couldn’t have survived it without my family.”
2020: Camilla and Charles complete 15 years of marriage
Ahead of the 15th wedding anniversary of Charles and Camilla, Clarence House shared a picture of the pair with their two dogs Bluebell and Beth. The photo was taken at the Birkhall. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the pair quarantined together. Charles tested positive for Covid-19 around the same time.
In an interview with Sky News, Charles talked about his coronavirus journey and said, “I was lucky, in my case, and got away with it quite lightly. I’ve had it and can still understand what other people are going through.”
Charles further added, “I feel particularly for those, for instance, who’ve lost their loved ones but were unable to be with them at the time. That’s, to me, the most ghastly thing. But in order to prevent this from happening to so many more people, this is why I’m determined to find a way out of this.”
February 5, 2022: Queen Elizabeth II says Camilla will be Queen Consort
Earlier this year, Queen Elizabeth II stated that Camilla will be Queen Consort. During Her Majesty’s 70th anniversary on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II said that once Prince Charles is crowned King, Camilla will take the title of Queen Consort.
In a message shared on the eve of Accession Day, Queen wrote, “when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”
June 2022: Camilla talks about her marriage
During a rare interview with British Vogue, Camilla put some light on her relationship with Prince Charles and stated how she prioritizes her marriage. She said, “It’s not easy sometimes, but we do always try to have a point in the day when we meet.”
Camilla further added, “Sometimes it’s like ships passing in the night, but we always sit down together and have a cup of tea and discuss the day. We have a moment. It’s lovely to catch up when we have a bit of time.”
During the same month, Camilla and Charles celebrated the queen’s Platinum Jubilee, marking her 70 years on the throne. During the festivities of the big event, the couple stood next to Her Majesty, William, Kate, and their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
All members of the royal family were spotted waving at the crowd from the balcony of Buckingham Palace and they were also seen looking up at the sky during the celebratory flypast.
September 8, 2022: The Reigning Monarchs
The royal family confirmed the passing away of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022. Buckingham Palace put out a statement on the social media platform Twitter that read, “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Charles further added, “I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”
He concluded by saying, “During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”
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