Charles and Camilla recently celebrated 13 years of marriage. But, those who follow the Royals know that their relationship dates further back than that.
It was the summer of 1971 when these two royals met for the first time.
They immediately took to each other and jumped at every opportunity to spend time together. Despite their close connection, it took them another three decades for the couple to wed.
In between came an extramarital affair, two divorces, and a lot of heartbreak. Here, we have five reasons cited by historians and royal experts on why Charles and Camilla didn’t marry at first.
Prince Charles went overseas.
Prince Charles met his second wife through a mutual friend, Lucia Santa Cruz. He was instantly taken with her.
Also read: Sign That Showed Queen Elizabeth Disapproved Of Prince Charles And Camilla’s Wedding.
The two met frequently at polo matches and later spent secret time away at Broad-lands, the estate belonging to Charles’ uncle, Lord Mountbatten. Though, their relationship had a deadline. Charles was scheduled to leave for his Navy duty in 1973.
And, instead of asking Camilla to wait for his return, he reportedly refrained from expressing the strength of his feelings. Prince Charles’ absence proved an opportunity for Camilla to reconnect with Andrew Parker Bowles.
Camilla was in love with Andrew Parker Bowles.
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Camilla Shand met her first husband in 1965 at her debutante party. He was 25 and a handsome officer in the Household Cavalry. She was 17 but remarkably self-assured. Andrew went over to her and simply said, ‘Let’s dance’. They danced and she fell in love.
The couple shared an on-and-off relationship for the years that followed. Andrew was away himself with his regiment when Camilla connected with Charles.
Andrew’s status as an eligible bachelor only made him more attractive. Despite his well-established ways, Andrew finally proposed to Camilla in March 1973. She accepted the proposal and they wed the following year.
Camilla Parker Bowles had a reputation.
Even if both had professed their feelings for one another, the Prince of Wales and Camilla likely felt that they could never marry given royal protocol at the time.
First, even though her maternal grandfather was a baron, Camilla did not come from a sufficiently aristocratic background. As that would make her a serious contender for a future Queen Consort.
Secondly, deeply rooted sexism surrounding the prerequisite virginity of a royal bride doomed the match from the start.
Also read: Prince Charles And Camilla Took A Major Step Towards Becoming King And Queen Yesterday.
Camilla’s father conspired against her.
Andrew’s proposal may have stemmed from more than just romance. Andrew’s brother and Camilla’s father wanted the bachelor to commit to his long-time girlfriend of nearly seven years. And so, they hatched a plan.
According to some reports, it was later revealed that they intervened by publishing an engagement notice in ‘The Times’. His hand publicly forced, Andrew proposed.