Prince Charles and Camilla wedding anniversary: Royal couple in pictures
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall celebrate their 12th wedding anniversary today. To mark the occasion, here is a look back at their love story in pictures.
It is hard to believe that just 12 years ago, Camilla was considered “toxic” by the British public who were still mourning the loss of Princess Diana.
Many begrudged Camilla for her role as the third person in the Prince and Princess of Wales’ marriage, and in the run-up to their wedding – a low-key civil ceremony at Windsor Guidlhall – there was even doubt over whether the Queen would attend.
In the end the Queen skipped the ceremony, to avoid a conflict with her role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England, but held a reception for the couple at Windsor Castle.
She toasted the couple, using a horse racing analogy to wish her son and her new daughter-in-law well.
“Despite Becher’s Brook and The Chair and all kinds of other terrible obstacles, my son has come through and I’m very proud,” the Queen said.
In the years since, Camilla has been embraced by the royal family – reportedly forming close bonds with Prince William and Prince Harry and being invited to sit on the Queen’s Privy Council.
Her popularity with the public has also soared, and she is now seen as one of the most hard-working and likeable royals.
Camilla has also been credited with boosting Prince Charles’s public image, as he prepares to one day become king.
When did Charles and Camilla meet?
Prince Charles met Camilla Shand, a London debutante, at a polo match in 1970.
She had previously courted Andrew Parker Bowles, who after their break-up began dating Princess Anne.
In 1973 Charles and Camilla split up after the Prince was sent overseas with the Royal Navy.
A few months later Camilla became engaged to Andrew, whom she married on July 4 that year. They had two children: Tom, born in 1974, and Laura, born in 1978.
Meanwhile Charles dated a string of women before meeting Lady Diana Spencer in 1977.
Charles and Diana married in 1981, with Prince William arriving a year later and Prince Harry following in 1984.
But by the mid 1980s both marriages had broken down, and Charles and Camilla rekindled their relationship in secret.
The affair became public knowledge with the release of Diana: Her True Story in 1992. A few months later, Charles and Diana’s separation was announced.
In January 1993 recordings of intimate conversations between Charles and Camilla were released to the British tabloids – a scandal dubbed Camillagate.
Camilla and Andrew divorced in 1995, with Charles and Diana following suit a year later.
Charles is said to have told royal aides that his relationship with Camilla was now “non-negotiable”, despite negative publicity.
The pair were often seen together at events, but did not make their first public appearance together until 1999.
In 2001 Camilla was made president of the National Osteoporosis Society, formally introducing her to the public.
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The same year she met the Queen for the first time since the relationship became public, and in 2002 she was invited to sit in the royal box during a Golden Jubilee concert.
In 2003 Camilla moved into Charles’ home at Clarence House, and in 2005 they announced their engagement.
They married in a civil ceremony in front of their children family and friends.
Camilla became the Duchess of Cornwall, choosing to take the feminine form of one of Charles’ lesser titles rather than styling herself as Princess of Wales – as would be her right – out of respect for Diana.
Today Charles and Camilla are regularly seen together at events and conducting royal tours, and are said to be adoring grandparents to Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Will Camilla be Queen?
When Charles and Camilla got married, it was announced that she would take the title Princess Consort when her husband became King.
At the time 73 per cent of Britons were against Camilla becoming a Queen, due in part to her role in Charles ands Diana’s break-up.
But in recent years Camilla’s popularity has grown, and a survey released in 2015 shows that now just 55 per cent of Brits oppose the idea.
Clarence House has refused to comment on the issue of Camilla’s future title.
Lord Norton of Louth, a professor at the University of Hull, says that Camilla will automatically become Queen by precedent upon the death of Queen Elizabeth.
He added: “But if she wishes to be known by another title, that’s a matter of royal prerogative, so the monarch could determine that another style will be employed.”
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Source: EXPRESS CO UK
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