Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
- Category : Royalty
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Maya 2
British news figure as the mistress of Prince Charles, heir to the throne of Great Britain. Known to her friends as Millie, she is the daughter of a well-to-do wine merchant and avid hunter and a mother who is the daughter of the third Lord Ashcombe. She spent her childhood in Sussex, before being packed off to a grim boarding school called Dumbrells. At ten, she began her lady's education at Queen's Gate, a decorous London secondary school known for producing diplomat's wives.
Her skill was apparent as a fencer, a competitive horsewoman and an enthusiastic flirt. Never tongue-tied or shy, she went through the beaus with alacrity. She met Andrew Parker Bowles shortly after her coming-out party at 18, in 1965.
She and Prince Charles probably met in 1972, when they had a brief affair. She was at the time in love with Parker Bowles, who was a dashing young calvary officer and reputedly the best lover in London. As a matter of fact, one of his conquests was Princess Anne, and Camilla was probably getting back at him by having her fling with Charles. The story, probably apocryphal, is that she said "My great-grandmother and your great-grandfather were lovers. So how about it?" They had instant rapport as they both loved horses, fishing, hiking and architecture. They always had a close, comfortable friendship, calling each other Gladys and Fred after a popular TV show.
When Charles sailed to the West Indies in 1973, Camilla became engaged to Parker Bowles and they married July 4, 1973. Their son Tom was born in 1974 and daughter Laura, in 1977. Charles was god-father to her son. During the late '70s, Parker Bowles went back to his rakish habits and Camilla and Charles were by then fast friends. Not an easy man with which to get along, Charles never awed Camilla, who always had a smart come-back for him and a comforting word. It is a matter of tea-time debate as to when their affair resumed, this time with fire and smokescreens.
In 1980, Charles purchased Highgrove, near the Parker Bowles home in Wiltshire. Meantime, Charles was being pressured to marry and produce the requisite "heir and a spare." It was while Charles and Diana were visiting at Camilla's house that they became engaged. Rumors about Camilla's affair with Charles came to a head in 1991 when she angrily denied that she had spent the weekend with Charles in Tuscany. After the publication of Andrew Morton's book, she was very upset and tried to keep a low profile. She and her husband separated in 1992 and divorced before the court in London on January 21, 1995. After Charles and Diana divorced, the Prince tried to gently include her in his life, having her as hostess at his dinners and gradually being seen together in public. It seemed that any chance that they might ever marry was dashed by the untimely death of Diana on August 31, 1997. However Charles' popularity rating began to increase as he took over the parenting duties of his sons and engaged in more gracious public interaction than formerly.
Quite inadvertently, due to a mix-up of schedules, Camilla met Prince William on June 12, 1998. Shaking from nervousness, she drank cool drinks and visited with the poised young Prince, the son of her former rival. A highly private person, Camilla meets the press with great reluctance. One friend said, "She doesn't want to be queen, she wants to go hunting." A reporter remarked that while the public knows her face, her voice is unknown.
On Thursday, February 10, 2005, Prince Charles announced that they will marry on April 8, 2005. Camilla will bear the title Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, and, should Charles ascend to the throne, she will likely be known as the princess consort, not Queen Camilla. On March 21, 2005, British lawmakers ruled that she will automatically inherit the title of Queen if and when Charles ascends to the throne.
Alas, in a relationship fraught with delays and missteps, the couple’s wedding date of April 8 had to be changed in the week leading up to their wedding when the Pope’s funeral service was scheduled for the same day. On April 9, 2005 at 12:30 PM BST, Camilla and Charles entered Windsor’s Guildhall to exchange their vows in a civil ceremony, emerging at 12:55 BST as husband and wife.