Since September 8, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the former Prince of Wales has become King Charles III. When Charles became monarch, his wife Camilla was given the title of queen consort. Although Charles and Camilla first met in their twenties, their relationship is not a straightforward love story. We list all the facts.
Watch: The final portrait of Queen Elizabeth unveiled at Buckingham Palace >
Timeline of Charles and Camilla’s relationship
For starters, they didn’t get married until decades after they first met – and it was a second marriage for both of them. Charles’ first wife was Princess Diana, who died tragically in 1997. For many, Charles and Camilla’s relationship will always be associated with Diana, as the two began an affair while Charles was still married to Diana.
As a result, the public never really accepted Charles and Camilla’s relationship. Over the years, the attitude towards Camilla has generally softened, and Queen Elizabeth said before she died that it was her “sincere wish” that Camilla became Queen Consort, rather than Princess Consort, as was previously the case. We dig into their complicated relationship history.
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Charles attended a polo match in Windsor and met Camilla Shand there at the age of 22. Shortly after meeting the two began dating.
A year later Charles joined the Royal Navy and ended their romance.
Charles was away for an extended period, so Camilla moved on to Andrew Parker Bowles. The couple became engaged in 1973 and married in July of that year. Charles and Camilla remained friends.
Charles met Diana Spencer at the age of 16.
Charles and Diana, who was 18 at the time, began dating in 1980. A year later they announced their engagement and in July of that year they were married in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Camilla was also present at the wedding.
According to the biography Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes The affair between him and Camilla started in 1986.
In 1989, Diana decided to confront Camilla about the affair. She is said to have said: “I know what’s going on between you and Charles and I want you to know.”
Camilla’s response was: “You’ve got everything you’ve ever wanted. You’ve got all the men in the world falling in love with you and you’ve got two beautiful children. What more could you want?”, to which Diana replied : “I want my husband.”
Diana and Charles were officially divorced in December 1992.
In June 1994, Charles publicly announced that he had an affair during his marriage to Diana. He did so in a TV interview with Jonathan Dimbleby. He revealed in November 1994 that the person Charles was having an affair with was Camilla Parker Bowles.
Camilla and Andrew Parker Bowles divorced in January 1995.
Princess Diana is killed in a car accident in Paris. Her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed and the driver Henri Paul are also killed.
Charles and Camilla were first seen together in public at Camilla’s sister’s 50th birthday party at The Ritz in London.
Camilla moved in with Charles and lived at Clarence House, the former home of the Queen Mother.
Camilla and Charles announced their engagement in February 2005, 35 years after they first met.
Charles and Camilla married in April 2005 in a ceremony at Windsor Guildhall. The Queen was not present at the ceremony but was at the reception.
In June 2016, Camilla, together with Prince William, was appointed to the Privy Council. The Queen’s most senior advisers.
In April 2020, Camilla and Charles celebrated their fifteenth anniversary.
The Queen refers to Camilla and her future title when Charles is king.
She said: “And when my son Charles becomes king in the fullness of time, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support as you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that Camilla, when the time comes, will be known as Queen Gemalinde while she continues her own faithful service.”
This was a big change from the previous official statements which said that Camilla would be known as Princess Consort.
Queen Elizabeth dies aged 96. As a result, Charles is now King Charles III and Camilla will henceforth be called Queen Consort.
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