No one can disagree that the heir apparent’s marriage to Princess Diana was the fairytale wedding of the century, but she wasn’t the true love of his life – Camilla is. While the pair may be happily married today, it took withstanding years upon years of tabloid drama and an epic tragedy to get to where they are now. Keep going to dig into the scoop of Prince Charles and Camilla’s tumultuous affair and how the latter went from being the other woman to the Duchess of Cornwall.
How Did Prince Charles Meet Camilla?
Forget about romantic comedies, Prince Charles and Camilla’s relationship has more twists and turns to rival even the best of them. They might not be the most popular members of the royal family, but their love story is one for the ages, considering that it has spanned about five decades and counting. Despite the scandals that have rocked their relationship and the disapproval of family members that have followed them from the onset, Prince Charles and Camilla have persevered and are thankfully still together.
It was love at first sight for Prince Charles and Camilla. The star-crossed lovers met on the polo field in 1970, after being introduced by Lucia Santa Cruz, their mutual friend. The Prince was immediately taken by Camilla, especially because she didn’t fawn or become overjoyed by his presence.
Interestingly, Camilla joked that her great-grandmother was the mistress of his great-great-grandfather King Edward VII, so she felt they had something in common. Both of them were 23 years old at the time and began dating shortly after. However, their relationship had to be put on hold when the future king had to report to the British Navy and assume his duties.
Due to the traditions at the time, the relationship between Prince Charles and Camilla was frowned upon as they felt her family was not high up enough in the royal circle. Tired of waiting for the man she loved to come back and make up his mind about her, Camilla accepted a proposal from her ex-boyfriend, Major Andrew Parker Bowles.
By the time Prince Charles returned from his stint in the navy, Camilla was already married. They remained close friends over the next couple of years and she even encouraged his relationship with Lady Diana, whom he met in 1977, began dating in 1980, and married in 1981. Camilla was present at the royal wedding which took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Things to Know About Their Scandalous Affair
The years drifted by, Prince Charles and Camilla remained in their respective marriages and had children of their own, but they continued to keep in touch. However, barely five years into his marriage with Princess Diana, the future king began a covert affair with Camilla. They even had special nicknames for each other: Gladys and Fred.
The affair became public knowledge after a phone conversation between Prince Charles and Camilla leaked, leading to the end of his marriage in 1992. Even after the criticisms and controversies that followed the affair, the pair continued with their tryst until 1995.
It seems that the break they had was so they could both finalize their divorces. Their plans of getting back together were derailed when Princess Diana died in a tragic car accident. It wasn’t until 1999 that Prince Charles and Camilla stepped out for the first time in public as a couple.
By 2000, it seemed all the immediate members of the royal family had met Camilla and accepted her into their fold. In 2003, she moved in with Prince Charles at Clarence House, and the displeasure that followed their adultery was starting to wane.
How Long Have Prince Charles and Camilla Been Married?
After decades of their on-and-off relationship, the couple announced their engagement in 2005. A few months later, 35 years after they first laid eyes on each other, Prince Charles and Camilla finally became husband and wife. They exchanged vows in a civil ceremony which was followed by a wedding ceremony and reception.
Both families have accepted that the worst has already happened and now welcome the royal couple as one of their own. As of 2019, Prince Charles and Camilla have been married for 14 years, and it’s obvious to anyone who sees them together that they are still clearly smitten with each other.