Weird Things People Choose to Ignore about Charles and Camilla's Marriage
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles married at the Windsor Guildhall on April 9, 2005. They had an intimate civil ceremony, and after the two were pronounced husband and wife, they headed to Windsor Castle to receive a blessing from the Archbishop of Canterbury. According to BBC, approximately 800 friends and family came to show their support.
Diana was beloved by many and even recognized as the "People's Princess." Needless to say, there were loads of people who were not too pleased with the prince's shameful affair. Now that many years have passed, the details about Charles and Camilla's relationship have faded into a distant memory and with it, many have probably forgotten some of the incredibly weird things about their marriage. So, without further do, it's time to jog your memory.
It's somewhat ironic considering how much of the royal couple's decades-long romance was marred by infidelity, but Charles and Camilla vowed to remain faithful to each other. It was less than ten years preceding when Charles' marriage to Princess Diana ended after his scandalous relationship with Camilla came to light.
Their relationship goes beyond marriage
"My great-grandmother and your great-great-grandfather were lovers so — how about it?" These were the first words Camilla exchanged with Prince Charles, according to Notorious 'Royal Marriages: A Juicy Journey Through Nine Centuries of Dynasty, Destiny, and Desire'. Although the two would not marry until 2005, they first met at a party in 1970.
When Camilla made this particular introduction, she was pointing to her ancestress, Alice Keppel. Nonetheless, since then, Genealogy Today reported that Ancestry.com proved an even stronger link between the royal couple: They're actually ninth cousins once removed. Charles and Camilla both descend from Henry Cavendish, who was the second Duke of Newcastle.
Additionally, they could also be half second cousins once removed. This would be the case if Sonia Keppel, Camilla's grandmother, were indeed the illegitimate daughter of King Edward VII, as it has long been believed. No matter which way you look at it, Charles and Camilla are unmistakably related.
The Queen refused to attend their wedding
By the time Charles and Camilla married, both of them were in their late 50s. While everyone still remembered their scandalous love affair, it was no longer a shock. The repercussions, however, lingered. The most striking effect was perhaps the Queen's absence from Charles and Camilla's wedding ceremony.
According to The Telegraph, Queen Elizabeth II gave her reasons to a friend, saying, "I am not able to go. I do not feel that my position [as Supreme Governor of the Church] permits it." The friend noted, "The Queen feels she has to put her role with the Church before her role as a mother."
A senior royal aide agreed, telling the publication, "The venue was never the issue for the Queen. The civil nature of the service is the issue. She did not feel it was appropriate for her to attend." Her Majesty did, however, decide to attend their blessing after the ceremony.
Nowadays, Camilla is present at the majority of royal engagements and is often pictured standing near Queen Elizabeth II. Still, we can presume that the Queen's absence from her wedding must have hurt. There are indeed many unpleasantries when it comes to their relationship.
Camilla also has children
One thing we often hear so much about is Camilla's royal stepsons, Princes William and Harry, which make us forget that the Duchess has two children of her own from her first marriage. Son Thomas Parker Bowles was born to Camilla and Andrew Parker Bowles in 1974, and daughter Laura was born four years later in 1978.
Thomas, also known as Tom, grew up to become a productive food writer, but he hasn't always had a wonderful life. He pondered on his past "naughty" behavior, which included drug use in his teens as stated in an interview with A Current Affair. Despite being aware that he was expected to keep up appearances for his mother's sake, he revealed there was no coaching from the royal family as to how to behave.
"There was no reason to be coached for me and my sister because we're not part of the royal family," he said. "We're very much, you know, we're commoners — straight-out commoners." This, however, failed to keep him off the front pages of British tabloids. Laura seems to have kept a much lower profile, but her royal stepbrothers did attend her wedding to Harry Lopes.
Prince Charles is not only Tom's stepfather
During Tom Parker Bowles' interview with A Current Affair, he stated, "I've always adored my stepfather, and he's always been a kind and good and lovely man, and I don't give a cr*p what anyone in the press says." Tom went on to say that, if the time ever comes, Charles will make a "fantastic king".
Even though Tom accurately referred to Charles as his stepfather in the interview, he could've actually used another terminology to describe him: godfather. Let us explain this briefly. In the prince's biography, 'Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life', Charles is portrayed as a "conscientious godfather" to Tom.
Although Charles and Camilla had "virtually no contact" in the 1980s, Charles had a good reason to call Camilla infrequently to check up on his godson. As one could imagine, this proved problematic for Charles and Diana's marriage.
Camilla's first husband was close friends with Charles
Charles' biography states that "even just occasional contact [with Camilla] might have been too much for Diana, who was profoundly insecure and jealous." But, what about Camilla's first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, you may be asking? Well, that one is tough to say.
When the pair divorced in 1995, they released a joint statement via People that read, in part, "We have always tended to follow rather different interests, but in recent years we have … grown apart to such an extent that, with the exception of our children … there is little of common interest between us." There was no mention of Charles and Camilla's affair, despite it having been known to the public.
Even before Andrew's wife's affair with Charles, he was well acquainted with the prince. In fact, they were friends. According to 'Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life', Andrew was indeed at Windsor Castle on the same day Camilla introduced herself to Charles. To make things worse, he also dated the prince's sister, Princess Anne, for a time before ultimately marrying Camilla.
What prevented them from marrying in the 70s?
We could perhaps describe Prince Charles and Camilla's early relationship as "right person, wrong time." Even though they met decades ago, they've only been married for 13 years as of 2018. There are, however, a few good reasons why they waited so long.
According to 'The Duchess: Camilla Parker Bowles and the Love Affair That Rocked the Crown' via Good Housekeeping, Prince Charles was smitten with Camilla upon meeting her. They spent lots of time together at polo matches and even went on a secret getaway together. Charles joined the Royal Navy shortly after, and, with him out of the picture, Camilla reconnected with her former boyfriend, Andrew Parker Bowles.
Even if Camilla hadn't reunited with Andrew or if Charles hadn't met Diana, there was another matter at hand: Camilla wasn't very popular when it came to royal ratings. She certainly was not considered "marriage material" as far as the royal family was concerned.
"To an extent, Charles's choice of wife was affected by the longstanding struggle for influence within the royal family," author Carolly Erickson wrote in 'Lilibet: An Intimate Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II'. So, let's just leave it to history when it comes to their on-again, off-again persisting relationship.
Members of the royal family encouraged them
Though the royal family may not have wanted Charles to marry Camilla, thankfully, there was at least one member of the royal family who approved of their extramarital affair. In transcripts of a documentary about the late Princess Diana shared by International Business Times, Diana is quoted as saying, "My father-in-law said to my husband, 'Uh, if your marriage doesn't work out you can always go back to her after five years.'"
Phillip wasn't the only member of the royal family to promote Charles's sexcapades. His great-uncle and mentor Lord Mountbatten even gave the prince access to his Hampshire home for that very reason, according to 'The Firm: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor'.
"I believe in a case like yours, the man should sow his wild oats and have as many affairs as he can before settling down," a letter from Mountbatten to Charles read via The Firm, "but for a wife he should choose a suitable, attractive and sweet-charactered girl before she has met anyone else she might fall for." It surely does seem that they had a few people pushing them toward each other.
Camilla was once the 'most hated woman in Britain'
Despite the fact that both Charles and Camilla cheated on their spouses, the prince didn't receive the same backlash as his then-mistress did. NBC News reported that the public "largely blamed Camilla" for the end of Charles and Diana's marriage in the 90s. The British media also named Camilla the "most hated woman in Britain".
A public relations executive at OBS Communications named Roddi Vaughan-Thomas said Camilla was called "evil Camilla" and was thought of as the "person who was driving the wedge between the fairy tale princess and the Prince of Wales." After Diana died tragically in a car accident in 1997, the public discernment of Camilla continued to plummet.
It's been decades, and thankfully for Camilla, many no longer think of her as the villain. "Her image has been transformed, a carefully managed makeover, and they have done a fantastic job rehabilitating her reputation," Vaughan-Thomas revealed.
Camilla holds the royal title of the late Princess Diana
If someone were to ask you who the Princess of Wales is, you'd most probably say Diana, but you would be wrong. If you were to say Camilla, you'd also be wrong. With Charles and Diana's divorce, and sadly with Diana's unfortunate death, the title of Princess of Wales was no longer in use. So, when Prince Charles and Camilla married in 2005, that all seemed to change.
Royal historian and expert Marlene Koenig explained to Hello! magazine, saying, "Camilla is [Her Royal Highness] The Princess of Wales, but she is styled as HRH The Duchess of Cornwall." The expert resumed, "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."
This may seem silly, but royal correspondent Emily Nash concurred, saying, "She is technically the Princess of Wales but has never used the title." Camilla's decision to forgo Diana's former title also likely helped Camilla to restore public favor. Nevertheless, she is still a princess.
What do you think about the relationship between Prince Charles and Camilla, and did you know they were related? Let us know what your opinion is in the comments section below. Remember to share this with your royal loving friends and family and keep up-to-date with us for more exciting news on what goes on behind palace walls.
Source: The List