Camilla Parker-Bowles: biography
Many women dream of marrying a prince. Camilla Parker Bowles has first-hand knowledge how difficult it might be: she spent 30 years dreaming about the marriage to her beloved one, for his royal title left them no chance to be together. Prince Charles and Camilla’s story is a brilliant example of love that endured many years and overcame obstacles. The woman is the picture of the strength and patience that only a loving person has.
Childhood and youth
Camilla Rosemary Shand was born on July 17, 1947, in London. Her parents belonged to the noble, and the girl got used to luxury and strict manners early. The would-be duchess was brought up by nannies and teachers who instilled refined taste, discipline, and culture in the young lady.
Little Camilla was not much inspired by the peculiarities of social life: she preferred to swim, ride a horse, and play with farmers’ children, despite her high origin. Naturally, the parents did not welcome these activities, and the rebel had to go to the Dumbrells boarding school and, later, Queen’s Gate School. Both facilities were notable for strictest discipline, ideal manners, and graduates’ intelligence.
However, no miracle happened: Camilla’s nature did not change. When the young woman returned home, she continued to shock her parents by her courage and unique worldview. For example, she was interested in sports and politics, unlike other girls.
While women tried to avoid her company, men liked the free-willed beauty. She did not limit herself and dared to go out with various partners, drink champagne, and smoke as much as men; she believed that life should be lived stylishly.
The careless period stopped when Camilla met Andrew Parker Bowles, a handsome officer in the Blues and Royals; the young woman felt shy for the first time in her life. The romance was passionate and emotional at first, but Andrew came back to old habits soon and preferred other girls. Camilla’s heart was full of offense and expectations; she wanted Andrew to propose to her.
There are limits everywhere. When Parker Bowles had another affair and told Camilla he was leaving to perform his military duty, she plucked up her courage and broke up with the featherbrained officer.
Meeting the prince
At some moment, Camilla had enough bitterness in her life. On July 8, 1970, she went for a walk to Windsor Great Park, despite the rain; young Charles Philip Arthur George was doing the same. He had just turned 22; Camilla was a year older.
It was the love from the first sight. Since that day, the prince never separated from his lover and invited her to all events, from races to balls; the world looked different with the straightforward, unique woman. The prince proposed to her in 1972 and, suddenly, got rejected; Camilla was calm and confident.
However, the Buckingham Palace could not ignore the fact of the proposal. The royal family was disturbed. Although Camilla came from a noble family, she could not become the prince’s wife: only a virgin could marry the future king.
In 1973, Charles left the country for six months to participate in a military campaign. This is when he learned the news about Camilla’s engagement to Andrew Parker Bowles.
The first marriage
The marriage did take place. Although Andrew was aware of Camilla’s romance with the prince, he did not mind it. The cynic handsome just wanted the same freedom, and the couple agreed they would have an open union with personal time and decisions. It was a remarkably bold decision at that time.
In 1974, Camilla gave birth to her first child, the son Thomas; Charles became the boy’s godfather. In 1978, the daughter Laura was born. The Prince proposed to his beloved one – and Camilla rejected him again.
Social pressure on Charles was growing: he had to marry. Parker Bowles supported this idea. Some sources claim that she insisted the man should draw his attention to Diana Spencer, whose noble parents had died and left her almost penniless. The Prince could not help but agree.
The Prince’s wife
In 1997, the favorite of the British died in a car crash. People’s opinions were unanimous: if Charles had loved Diana more, she would have been alive. Perhaps, there is some truth in it.
As Prince Charles got rid of the marriage, he tried to spend every minute with Camilla who had turned 50 and seemed to have become cold to the ex-lover. Still, the man did not give up and frequently went out with her, kissing and hugging her. British tabloids immediately posted their pictures, and everybody was aware of their romance soon.
In 2000, when Parker Bowles had divorced, she was officially introduced to the royal family. Four years later, Elizabeth II blessed Charles and Camilla’s marriage. It took the couple 30 years to marry: the small ceremony was held in 2005.
Although the woman’s personal life seems to have become happy, the media spread shocking rumors sometimes. In 2014, they were talking about Charles and Camilla’s divorce. However, the news looks like a fake: the couple is living together happily.
Camilla has five grandchildren and tries to spend as much time as possible with them. She has not lost her hardiness. In 2017, the press was actively discussing the conflict between Parker Bowles and Kate Middleton, the wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. The reason was, reportedly, Camilla’s unpleasant words about Kate.
The royal family’s biographer Penny Junor was inspired by the woman’s story and created the book The Duchess: The Untold Story (2017) before her 70th birthday.
Camilla Parker Bowles’s net worth is $5 million in 2019.
- Princess of Wales (not used)
- Duchess of Cornwall
- Duchess of Rothesay
- Countess of Chester