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Camilla, once was the ‘Other woman‘ in Charles and Diana marriage ; Read on…

On Saturday, Queen Elizabeth II said it was her intention for Camilla to eventually be known as Queen Consort, ending years of ‘royal confusion’ about her title once Prince Charles took the throne in 2017. The Queen made a major statement on the eve of the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne about her somewhat ‘changed’ opinion of Camilla following her controversy over an extramarital affair with Prince Charles and its impact on his then-wife the late Princess Diana.

Netflix’s series ‘The Crown’ recently brought the Princess Diana-Charles-Camila controversy to the forefront, along with some online hate directed towards Camilla. The Duchess of Cornwall appears to have benefited from her years of service, however. Queen Elizabeth’s message ends the uncertainty hanging over the House of Windsor since Charles’ divorce from Diana.

The controversy…
Charles began an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles five years after he married Princess Diana, according to the Prince’s official biography. The pair, however, had met much earlier. In 1970, Charles and Camilla attended their first polo match at Windsor Great Park, a royal park. Upon meeting, they discovered that they had a similar love of polo, the outdoors, and humour.

‘My great-grandmother was the mistress of your great-great-grandfather. I feel we have something in common,’ she joked about her great-grandmother’s affair with King Edward VII. Charles had started dating Kate, but he had to serve in the Royal Navy for eight months. By the time he returned, Camilla was engaged. In July 1973, Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles, a cavalry officer seven years her senior who dated Princess Anne, Prince Charles’ sister. The couple had two children, Tom and Laura Parker Bowles. Tom had Prince Charles appointed as his godfather, and they remained friends.

Diana enters the scene…
At age 31, Prince Charles began dating Lady Diana Spencer, aged 18. Charles proposed to Diana on February 6, 1981. (According to one report, he proposed in Camilla’s garden.) When asked if he and Diana are in love after the news broke on February 24, he responded with a startling comment. ‘Of course,’ Diana said, blushing. ‘Whatever love means,’ Charles added. They wed in St. Paul’s Cathedral on July 29 in front of an estimated 750 million people around the world, with Camilla in attendance. The couple has two sons, Prince William, born in 1982, and Prince Harry, born in 1984, but their marriage is strained.

‘The Debate About the Affair’
Diana confronted Camilla at a party in 1989, approaching her and saying, ‘I know what’s going on between you and Charles and I just wanted to let you know’. She said to me: ‘You’ve got everything you ever wanted. You’ve got all the men in the world to fall in love with you and you’ve got two beautiful children, what more do you want?’ So I said, ‘I want my husband.’ And I said, ‘I’m sorry I’m in the way…and it must be hell for both of you. But I do know what’s going on. Don’t treat me like an idiot’.

The Book That Shook The World
The book Diana: Her True Story by Andrew Morton was published in June; Diana had recorded multiple tapes for Morton, and its publication shocked the world with its revelations about Diana’s jealousy over Charles’s relationship with Camilla. Charles and Diana divorced in December, ending their marriage. Prime Minister John Major announced in December that Charles and Diana have divorced. Concerns arose as to whether he could be king if he divorced and remarried – under Church of England strictures of the time, the King was not allowed a second marriage.

In January of 1995, Camilla announced her divorce from Andrew Parker Bowles. The following November, Martin Bashir interviewed Diana, asking if Camilla was to blame for the breakup. ‘Well, there were three of us in this marriage,’ Diana revealed sadly. In 1997, Diana was tragically killed in a car accident in Paris, shortly after Charles celebrated Camilla’s 50th birthday at Highgrove.

In 1998, Charles began to legitimize his relationship gradually. Camilla met Prince William, as reported in a British tabloid, and the paper speculated she will meet Prince Harry soon, too. The Queen, on the other hand, disapproved of the previously-adulterous relationship and declined to attend Camilla’s private 50th birthday party. People in Britain took years to forgive Charles for his admitted infidelity, which hurt ‘the people’s princess’ before she died in a car crash in 1997. In 2005, Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, softening the public mood.

Queen Elizabeth finally acknowledged the couple in 2000. Camilla and Charles had struggled to get the Queen’s approval. Finally, she accepted an invitation from Highgrove to attend the 60th birthday party of the King of Greece, knowing Camilla would be there. This was interpreted as a sign that she is comfortable with the relationship.

The couple announced their engagement in February 2005, 35 years after the first meeting. Prince William served as best man at their civil wedding on April 8. Queen Elizabeth II attended the reception, not the wedding. In order to preserve Diana’s role as the only Princess of Wales, Camilla was given the title Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.

Official Acceptance
Despite Camilla’s role in the breakup of Charles’ first marriage, her down-to-earth style and sense of humor won many Britons over. Charles became more approachable, if not happier, because of her warmth as he cut ribbons and unveiled plaques while waiting for his turn to rule.
At the time of their marriage, royal aides had suggested Camilla didn’t want to be called the queen and preferred to be referred to as Princess Consort – a first in British history. However, the careful use of the word ‘intend’ allowed for later change.

While the queen navigates the twilight of her reign, the move is seen as a direct attempt to ensure a smooth transition to the future. ‘This is the most extraordinary message. The queen is ensuring the transition, when it comes, to her son as king is as seamless and trouble-free as possible,’’ former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt told the Press Association. ‘She’s making a 70-year-old institution more sustainable for the future. Camilla’s journey from being the third person in a marriage to queen-in-waiting has been completed’, she added.


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