Since 2005, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has been married to Prince Charles after being a part of the love triangle between the Prince and Princess Diana.
However, knowing Prince Charles did not stop Camilla from having her own life. She was married in 1973, had two children, and divorced in 1995.
When she married Prince Charles and became a part of the Royal family, that did not apply to her children as they see themselves as common children.
Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles, Camilla, Laura Parker Bowles, and Tom Parker Bowles, in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle on April 9, 2005 | Photo: Getty Images
CAMILLA’S LIFE AND FIRST MARRIAGE
The Duchess of Cornwall was born Camilla Shand on July 17, 1947, to Major Bruce Shand and Rosalind, the daughter of Roland Cubitt, 3rd Baron Ashcombe.
On March 25, 1965, Camilla, who has a passion for painting, horse-riding, fishing, horticulture, and gardening, became a debutante in London.
She later left home and worked as a secretary for various firms in the West End before she was employed as a receptionist by Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler in Mayfair.
In the late 1960s, she met Andrew Parker Bowles after his younger brother, Simon, introduced them, and they went on to date on and off for several years.
When they met, Bowles, born December 27, 1939, was a military man who attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Bowles served the military for over three decades before he retired in 1995.
However, when Bowles and Camilla were dating intermittently, there were rumors that Bowles had also met and dated Princess Anne in 1970.
Princess Anne and Bowles had met at the 1970 Royal Ascot and enjoyed each other’s company. However, their relationship could never lead to marriage because Bowles was a Catholic.
By 1973, there was pressure on Bowles to make a commitment, and to make this happen, his father and Camilla’s father published an engagement notice.
Camilla and Andrew Parker-Bowles at the memorial service for Andrew’s late wife Rosemary Parker Bowles on March 25, 2010, in London | Photo: Getty Images
The publication forced Bowles to propose to Camilla after seven years of being together. On July 4, 1973, they married in a Catholic ceremony at the Guards Chapel in London.
The wedding, whose reception took place in St. James’s Palace, was attended by The Queen Mother, Princess Anne, and Princess Margaret.
Camilla Shand and Major Andrew Parker-Bowles pose with their pageboys and bridesmaids after their wedding at the Guards Chapel, on July 4, 1973 | Photo: Getty Images
THE INFIDELITY AND HER SON’S REACTION
Before Bowles and Camilla married, people knew that Bowles was never faithful, and the trend continued well into their marriage. While they were married, Bowles had a long-term relationship with Rosemary Pitman, whom he later married.
Camilla also had a relationship with Charles after their first meeting in 1970 at a polo match. It was love at first sight, but when Charles went off to sea for the Royal Navy, they broke things off.
After Camilla married in 1973, Charles proposed to Diana on February 6, 1981, and they were married on July 29 of the same year. However, he and Camilla maintained a very close relationship.
Camilla and Charles began having an affair in 1986 while still married. Bowles reportedly had no issues with the relationship, but Diana once said her marriage was crowded because there were three of them in it.
Unfortunately, in 1993, a full transcript of a leaked intimate phone call between Charles and Camilla was published, causing a huge scandal for the Royal family.
In June 1994, in a TV documentary about himself, Charles admitted to the affair on national television, causing Bowles public embarrassment.
Besides Bowles, Camilla’s son, Tom, revealed in 2014 that he was angry and remembered not looking at the paper. The papers had printed things he never wanted to read about his mother.
Six months later, Camilla and Bowles announced their divorce on January 11, 1995, while Charles and Diana finalized their divorce on August 28, 1996.
On July 10, 1998, Charles and Camilla made their relationship public but made their first public appearance when Charles organized a 50th birthday party for Camilla’s sister.
In 2003, Camilla and Charles moved in together at Clarence House, announced their engagement in February 2005, and married 35 years after their first meeting on April 9, 2005.
Tom Parker-Bowles at the Boisdale Cigar Smoker of The Year 2021 on December 6, 2021, in London | Photo: Getty Images
During her marriage to Bowles, Camilla had two children. Her oldest child Tom was born on December 18, 1974, and the youngest, Laura Lopes, was born on January 1, 1978.
Tom, born Thomas Henry Charles Parker Bowles, is a successful food writer who has Prince Charles as both a godfather and a stepfather.
After school, he developed a passion for food journalism which stemmed from his passion for food. He is also a food critic and author with seven cookbooks to his name.
Tom Parker Bowles, Camilla, and Laura Lopes at the launch of the “Fortnum & Mason Christmas & Other Winter Feasts” cookbook by Tom Parker Bowles on October 17, 2018, in London | Photo: Getty Images
Tom married Fashion Editor Sara Buys on September 10, 2005, after they had dated for several years. He is also a part of his mother’s book club, “The Reading Room.”
After over a decade of being together, Tom and his wife split in 2018. At the time, they said their separation was not final, and they would not be getting a divorce.
Like her brother, Laura also attended a Catholic boarding school before attending Oxford Brookes University, where she obtained a double degree in Art History and Marketing.
Camilla, Laura Lopes, Andrew Parker Bowles, and Tom Parker Bowles at the launch of “Fortnum & Mason: The Cook Book” by Tom Parker Bowles on October 18, 2016, in London | Photo: Getty Images
She works as an art curator, was employed by Tatler, managed The Space Gallery, and co-founded the London’s Eleven Fine Art gallery in 2005.
On May 6, 2006, Laura, who keeps a relatively low profile, married a former Calvin Klein model-turned-chartered accountant, Harry Lopes.
Laura Parker-Bowles and Harry Lopes at St Cyriac’s Church, Lacock on May 6, 2006 in Wiltshire, England | Photo: Getty Images
CAMILLA’S CHILDREN ARE NOT ROYALS
When Camilla married Prince Charles, she became a part of the Royal family, but her children did not. In an interview, Tom said,
“We’re the common children, you know; we’re just on the side.”
However, Tom is very close with Charles, has always adored him, and sees him as a man of warmth, intelligence, and humanity. He also says his stepfather is a kind, good, and lovely man.
Camilla, Tom Parker Bowles (left), and daughter Laura Lopes (right) at the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 11, 2015 | Photo: Getty Images
Camilla is also a proud grandmother of five. Her oldest grandchild, born in 2007 to Tom and his wife, is Lola. She is followed by Eliza, born on January 16, 2008, to Laura.
Camilla’s third and fourth grandchildren are a pair of fraternal twins, Gus and Louis, born to Laura on December 30, 2009. Her last grandchild, Frederick, was born to Tom in 2010.