Love at First Sight: Prince Charles’ ‘Great Love Story’ With Camilla Parker-Bowles Came at the Expense of Marriage to Lady Diana Spencer

princess diana
Source: MEGA

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles married in 2005.

Feb. 20 2024, Published 6:29 p.m. ET

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A then-Prince Charles loved a then-Camilla Shand "from the moment he met her," in 1970, according to acclaimed royal author, Ingrid Seward. Although circumstances prevented the pair from marrying at that time, Charles' courtship with Lady Diana Spencer in 1980 would lead to one of the most dysfunctional and tragic royal love triangles in history.

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prince charles
Source: MEGA

Prince Charles and Camilla Shand, pictured in the early 1970s.

"He completely adored her. Always." Seward added. "He loved Camilla from the moment he met her. But Charles went into the Navy, and Camilla went into the arms of Andrew Parker Bowles. So it wasn't the right timing. Eventually, it was and I think that is great in a way. It's a great love story."

But the powers that be simply were not in alignment with Camilla, and for Queen Elizabeth II, this would last even beyond Charles' marriage to his former mistress.

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prince charles
Source: MEGA

Prince Charles' first public outing with Camilla Parker-Bowles in 1999 (right); Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer's engagement portrait, February 1981.

"The Queen particularly detested Camilla because she was throwing a wrench in the works. Because of Camilla, the monarchy was kind of brought to the brink of destruction," the biographer dished on an episode of Newsweek's "Royal Report" podcast.

The now Queen began having an affair with the then-Prince Charles in the mid-1980s, at a time when both were married to Andrew Parker-Bowles and Diana, Princess of Wales, respectively. This was a resumption of their relationship that began in the early 1970s but ended once Camilla decided to marry Andrew. Their romance would eventually surface in the early '90s, when "Camillagate" made the headlines and kicked off the "War of the Waleses" between Charles and Diana.

Andrew and Camilla divorced in 1995, and the Prince and Princess of Wales followed suit in 1996. After Diana's tragic death in August 1997, any plans to slowly introduce Camilla to the British public were immediately halted and remained that way for two years. The couple appeared together in public for the first time in 1999, but it would be another six years before any talk of marriage became viable.

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queen elizabeth ii
Source: MEGA

It has been suggested that the late Queen Elizabeth II 'never cared for' Camilla Parker-Bowles.

It was during this era that Elizabeth II made it known to her advisors that Camilla was to be kept far away from her. Britain's longest-reigning monarch, who was believed to have rarely ever talked ill of anyone, was reported to have called her future daughter-in-law "that wicked woman."

Andersen added how it took "eight years for Charles to finally convince everybody to accept Camilla as his wife," and the future monarch had to "jump through all those hoops" to make her palatable for Britain and the Commonwealth. Finally, in February 2005, the pair announced their engagement and married in a low-key ceremony on April 9, 2005. The Queen only attended the blessing service afterward and skipped the actual exchanging of vows in a Windsor register office.

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prince charles
Source: MEGA

Camilla became the Duchess of Cornwall when she married Prince Charles in 2005, and later became his Queen in 2022.

Source: TRO

GBN reported on Seward's remarks.

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