Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles have had a long and storied romantic history, which has included plenty of controversy over the years. From their secret affair to their 2005 wedding, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles have broken royal traditions and rules in order to fulfill their love. Still, some tabloids have claimed that the two’s fairytale romance has become troubled, particularly over the last few years.
How Prince Charles And Camilla Parker Bowles Met
Though many outlets report that Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles met during one of Prince Charles’ polo matches in 1970, the couple’s biography, Charles & Camilla: Portrait Of A Love Affair, tells a different story. According to the book, the two were introduced by a mutual friend at a get together in the friend’s home.
The two hit it off right away and soon became a fixture in the high-society circles they both belonged to. The relationship didn’t last, however. Prince Charles soon went overseas for his military duties, leaving Parker Bowles behind. There are multiple theories behind why the relationship fell apart at that point.
Some theorize that Prince Charles’ mother Queen Elizabeth II didn’t approve of the match and wanted her son and heir to marry into the Spencer family. Others insist that Prince Charles didn’t ask Parker Bowles to wait for him to return, leaving her uncertain about their future as a couple. There have been multiple rumors over the years, but the result was that Camilla Parker Bowles married her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, whom she’d dated on and off, in the summer of 1973. Prince Charles and Parker Bowles remained friends and in 1981, Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer, who then became Princess Diana.
The Affair That Ended Prince Charles’ Marriage
Before his globally-televised royal wedding to Princess Diana, sources told the author of Camilla and Charles: The Love Story that Prince Charles had rekindled his romance with Parker Bowles. The origins of the affair remain murky, but what is clear is the effect the relationship between Prince Charles and Parker Bowles had on Princess Diana.
After a confrontation between Princess Diana and Camilla Parker Bowles at a 1989 party, and the embarrassing release of an intimate taped conversation between Prince Charles and Parker Bowles, tensions in the royal marriage could no longer be denied. Princess Diana and Prince Charles separated in 1992, officially divorcing in 1996. Parker Bowles and her first husband had already been living separately for years by 1994 when they first separated, and their divorce was finalized in 1995. After Princess Diana’s death in 1997, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles became more open as a couple.
A Second Wedding For Prince Charles
The couple had their first public appearance in 1999 when they attended a birthday party at the Ritz Carlton in London. Parker Bowles wasn’t exactly a popular figure at the time, since the affair she’d had with Prince Charles was largely blamed for his divorce from the widely beloved Princess Diana. Gradually, Parker Bowles’ role as Prince Charles’ companion grew larger and larger over the years. On February 10, 2005, the long-suspected announcement of the couple’s engagement was released. The couple wed a few months later on April 9, though there were certainly bumps in the road along the way.
Because of their nontraditional status, with both being divorced and on their second marriage, the two chose to wed in a civil ceremony, which meant they couldn’t wed inside of Windsor Castle. Instead, they held a ceremony outside before moving to St. George’s Chapel for the reception. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip did not attend the ceremony, but they did appear at the reception. The pair were also supposed to wed a day earlier, but the date had to be pushed back last minute in order for Prince Charles to attend the funeral for Pope John Paul II.
Every member of the British royal family has to deal with tabloid rumors and scandals, but the stories about Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles have been particularly venomous. Tales of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall getting divorced have been particularly common, with stories of royal infighting woven in between.
Their Relationship Through The Tabloids
Beyond false rumors of their marriage being ruled “illegal,” Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles have also endured nasty rumors about their personal relationship. In 2018, the National Enquirer claimed Prince Charles ordered Parker Bowles to undergo plastic surgery in order to save their marriage. The tabloid claimed the Duchess of Cornwall planned to undergo a $100,000 “cosmetic overhaul to compete with her glamorous daughters-in-law.” According to the outlet’s source, Prince Charles was “jealous” of his sons’ attractive brides, and had given his wife “an ultimatum: Go under the knife or the marriage is over.”
Gossip Cop doubted the story, so we reached out to our own palace insider who informed us that there was no truth to this story. It’s also quite clear that Parker Bowles has not undergone the “head-to-toe” cosmetic procedures the tabloid predicted.
That tabloid’s sister publication, the Globe, reported a year later that Prince Charles was willing to let his wife of nearly 15 years die of cancer in order to avoid a costly divorce. Parker Bowles was supposedly suffering from a rare form of liver cancer, the tabloid insisted, and desperately needed a liver transplant in order to live. Prince Charles, however, was refusing to use his influence to push her to the top of the transfer list because she’d threatened to divorce him. In a bizarre twist of logic, Parker Bowles was threatening to divorce Prince Charles because she wanted to be queen, but he’d been passed over by the Queen in favor of his son, Prince William.
The story fell apart with just a bit of effort. First of all, the Queen isn’t in charge of choosing the heir to the throne, Parliament is. So Queen Elizabeth never changed the line of succession, which negates Parker Bowles supposed need to threaten divorce. It should also be noted that there are no records, no reports from reputable sources, that support the tabloid’s claim that Camilla Parker Bowles was suffering from an unnamed liver cancer that would allegedly claim her life in seven months if she didn’t get a transplant. The story was false, through and through.
Similarly false was the claim that Parker Bowles “caught” Prince Charles with Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle’s mother. In reality, the two hadn’t been “caught” in a compromising situation, as New Idea suggestively hinted. According to the outlet, Prince Charles simply enjoyed the American woman’s company and sometimes chatted with her over the phone. Parker Bowles, however, was worried that “history could well in fact repeat itself.” Gossip Cop couldn’t find any evidence beyond the anonymous source’s insistence that there might be something going on between the two, which is very shaky proof. Considering all the other false stories in the tabloids about the royal duo, it felt safe to call the story probably false.
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles have waited a long time to be together, and have in fact carried on an at times illicit affair in order to be with each other. All the rumors about the two splitting up just don’t land, because it seems unlikely that after all that time and effort both put into making their relationship a reality. Their’s is truly a love story for the ages.