How much do you really know about Prince Charles and Camilla’s relationship? Sure, you might know Camilla and Prince Charles have been courting each other for decades. But did you know that their love for each other lasted throughout Charles’ marriage to Princess Diana? Here’s everything you should know about Prince Charles and Camilla’s relationship.
Even though Prince Charles and Camila have been married for almost 15 years, they have been close friends since the 1970s. According to Good Housekeeping, Charles was head over heels for Camilla as soon as they met in 1971. That’s when the two bonded over their mutual love of polo games. Apparently, they had their first romantic vacation at this time, and Charles introduced his girlfriend to his family members.
However, Charles ended up joining the Royal Navy shortly afterward. That gave Camilla the chance to reunite with her ex-beau, Andrew Parker Bowles. Eventually, Camilla married Bowles in 1973, and they had two children together. By 1976, Charles was finally released from his stint in the Royal Navy. Several years later, he married Princess Diana, who gave birth to royal heirs Prince Harry and Prince William.
Why did Charles marry Lady Di in the first place? Although he already had a loving relationship with Camilla, she supposedly lacked the status that Princess Diana had in terms of the royal hierarchy. In fact, writer Carolly Erickson penned in her book Lilibet: An Intimate Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II that “To an extent, Charles’s choice of wife was affected by the longstanding struggle for influence within the royal family.”
Spilling the Tea
Despite the fact they were both married, Charles and Camilla continued their relationship throughout many years. Finally, the pair was officially wed at the Windsor Guildhall on April 9, 2005. Nevertheless, the world couldn’t help but notice that the Queen was noticeably absent from their wedding ceremony. That’s because Her Royal Highness felt like she would be betraying the church if she attended the wedding, telling a confidante that “I am not able to go. I do not feel that my position [as Supreme Governor of the Church] permits it.” Fortunately, the Queen did make it to Charles and Camilla’s after-party.
Although Camilla had waited over three decades for her special day with Prince Charles, she actually had cold feet on the day of the event. As stated by author Penny Junor in her book, The Duchess: Camilla Parker Bowles and the Love Affair That Rocked the Crown, “On the day itself it took four people to coax Camilla out of bed” Junor continued to spill the tea, saying “She literally couldn’t get out of bed.”
Even Camilla’s companion Lucia Santa Cruz shared that the bride-to-be wouldn’t leave her room until her sister threatened to steal the spotlight from her. At long last, Camilla was roused from bed and walked down the aisle with her partner. With the royal family’s blessing, Charles and Camilla happily entered days of domestic bliss. But here’s the kicker: Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are literally related.
It gets worse: Camilla knew that she had a distant familial connection with Charles on the day that she met him. Surprisingly, the book Notorious Royal Marriages: A Juicy Journey Through Nine Centuries of Dynasty, Destiny, and Desire reported that Camilla’s first words to Charles were: “My great-grandmother and your great-great-grandfather were lovers so — how about it?” What an interesting pick-up line!
As if that wasn’t enough, Ancestry.com reported found out that Prince Charles and Camilla are basically ninth cousins (once removed). Not only are they technically cousins, but they could be even more closely related if Camilla’s grandma really was the illicit daughter of King Edward VII. If that’s the case, then Charles and Camilla could even be called second half cousins.
With the drama of the previous decades behind them, Prince Charles and Camilla are now highly respected members of the royal family. In spite of the fact that Camilla was once known as the “most hated woman in Britain,” she is currently seen as a dignified and suitable partner for Charles. Thanks to a huge publicity campaign, the couple’s public image has completely transformed for the better. OBS Communications representative Roddi Vaughan-Thomas dished that “her image has been transformed, a carefully managed makeover and they have done a fantastic job rehabilitating her [reputation].”
Crazily enough, Camilla has now received Princess Diana’s title of the Princess of Wales. At first, the royal title was shelved when Charles divorced Princess Diana, followed by the death of Diana in a horrific car accident in 1997 (rest in peace, Lady Di). Nonetheless, Camilla was crowned as the Princess of Wales as soon as she married Prince Charles in the early 2000s.
Even royalty expert Marlene Koenig admitted that “Camilla is [Her Royal Highness] The Princess of Wales, but she is styled as HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.” Koenig went on to reveal that “I believe the decision to use Cornwall was done to appease the Dianamanics. I think it is silly to not style Camilla as HRH The Princess of Wales.” Of course, royalty reporter Emily Nash agreed that “She is technically the Princess of Wales but has never used the title.” In recent years, Prince Charles and Camille were spotted at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018. We can’t wait to see what they’re up to next!
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