Camille Rosemary Shand
Camilla Rosemary Shand was born on July 17, 1947, in London, the daughter of Major Bruce Middleton Hope Shand and Rosalind Maude. When Camilla was only four years old, her family moved to the countryside in East Sussex County. Camilla attended Dumbrells School, then Queens Gates School in the London Borough of South Kensington.
Four-year-old Camilla with her sister Anabella
The legendary meeting between Camilla and Prince Charles of Wales took place in 1970 while playing polo in Windsor, both just over 20 years old at the time. According to witnesses, the first thing Camilla aptly reminded Charles of was the connection between her great-grandmother Alice Keppel and Charles' great-grandfather King Edward VII.
Charles and Camilla became fast friends. It wasn't the warm relationship between their ancestors - they shared many hobbies, from painting watercolours to their love of horses, polo and hunting. However, this friendship then led to nothing - in 1971, Charles joined the Navy. In addition, they say, Charles's relatives disapproved of his new girlfriend.
Prince Charles and Camilla Shand
While Charles was serving his country, Camilla began dating his buddy, a young cavalry officer named Andrew Parker Bowles. On July 4, 1973, they were married, and in 1974 Parker Bowles had his first child, son Thomas Henry. By the way, Charles became his godfather. In 1978, Andrew and Camilla's daughter Laura Rose was born.
Andrew and Camilla Parker Bowles
Despite her marriage, Camilla remained Charles's closest friend. It is believed that she influenced the choice of a bride for the Prince of Wales. Prince Charles may have even proposed to Lady Diana Spencer in a garden owned by Camilla Parker Bowles. Certainly a friend of Charles' was also present at the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer in July 1981.
Princess Diana and Camilla Parker Bowles
Camilla and Prince Charles.
It's no secret that not everything was smooth in the Prince and Princess of Wales family. Perhaps Camilla Parker Bowles played no small part in this. Anyway, in 1995, Camilla divorced her husband, and a year later the official divorce of the Prince and Princess of Wales.
Charles and Camilla tried to gradually "accustom" society to their relationship; in July 1997, the Prince of Wales even hosted a birthday party for Camilla. However, the car accident in August 1997, in which Princess Diana was tragically killed, turned society against Camilla and her relationship with Prince Charles.
It was not until January 1999 that Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles first appeared together in public. Paparazzi captured them at the entrance to London's Ritz Hotel, where Camilla's sister was celebrating her birthday. In August of that year, Camilla went on a sea cruise with Charles and his sons, and in 2000 she was officially introduced to the Queen. In 2004, Elizabeth II blessed Charles for his marriage to Parker Bowles. In February, she had a formal consultation on the occasion with Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles had their civil marriage ceremony at Windsor on April 9, 2005. The newlyweds were witnessed by Tom Parker Bowles and William, the Prince of Wales' eldest son. After the wedding, Camilla became known as "Her Royal Highness, Duchess of Cornwall. Incidentally, Camilla does not publicly use her other title - "Princess of Wales" - apparently believing that in people's minds it is too clearly established for the late Lady Diana.
Civil marriage ceremony
Stamps issued by the Royal Court on the occasion of the marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles
Princes Harry and William of Wales, Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla of Cornwall,
Camilla's children Laura and Tom, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II, Camilla's father Bruce Shand
When Charles ascends the British throne, however, Camilla will not be called "Her Majesty Queen Camilla," but merely "Her Royal Highness the Consort Princess."