Despite their critics, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla Parker Bowles were meant to be with each other. He reportedly cried before marrying Princess Diana, thinking he would never be with Camilla again.
The British Royal family has faced many controversies over the years. Still, the love triangle between Prince Charles, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has been one of the most headline-grabbing.
In retrospect, one could say that Charles and Camilla were always supposed to be with each other. He was so sure that he cried the night before marrying Diana because he was torn about his feelings for Camilla.
Diana, Princess of Wales, in Leicester Square on November 1, 1993 [left]. Prince Charles in April 1981 in Australia [right] | Photo: Getty Images
FIRST MEETING AND ROMANCE WITH CAMILLA
Although many sources claim that Camilla and Charles met at a polo match in 1970, royal author Penny Junor pointed out that they did it in 1971 through Lucia Santa Cruz, their mutual friend.
Cruz told Charles she had "just the girl" for him, mainly because Camilla had "enormous sympathy" and natural character. When they met, Charles gave Camilla a present from Japan.
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in the U.K. in 1979 | Photo: Getty Images
The two were attracted to each other almost immediately. Apart from sharing a similar sense of humor, Charles loved that Camilla smiled with her eyes and was so friendly.
Despite his busy schedule – he was training in the military to be a jet pilot with the Royal Air Force – they started seeing each other.
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles with their friend Lady Sarah Keswick on October 21, 1979 | Photo: Getty Images
Eventually, Charles began feeling that Camilla was the woman he wanted to share the rest of his life. However, Camilla had been dating Andrew Parker Bowles for seven years and was determined to marry him.
One week before Camilla's wedding, [Charles] wrote a letter asking her not to marry Andrew.
Camilla Parker-Bowles on May 7, 1992 at Guards Polo Club, Windsor | Photo: Getty Images
CHARLES BEGGED CAMILLA NOT TO MARRY ANDREW
Andrew cheated on Camilla with several women, including Charles's sister Princess Anne. Still, Camilla adored him. The fact that so many people wanted to be with Andrew made him more attractive to her.
In March 1973, after Andrew realized that Camilla and Charles had seen each other, he proposed. Charles was miles away in the West Indies, so he couldn't do much to prevent it.
Camilla was "hugely fond of Charles," and they'd had a great time together, but she believed their relationship would never go anywhere and accepted Andrew's proposal.
Camilla and Andrew Parker Bowles on their wedding day on July 4, 1973 | Photo: Getty Images
She sent Charles a letter to tell him about her upcoming wedding, and it broke his heart. Charles considered it cruel that their blissful and mutually happy relationship lasted only six months.
In one of the letters Charles wrote to his closest friends, he admitted he had nobody to go back to in England, but he didn't give up without fighting. In late June 1973, one week before Camilla's wedding, he wrote a letter asking her not to marry Andrew.
However, Camilla liked that Andrew was a cavalry officer and believed he would no longer be unfaithful, so she ignored Charles's pleads and married Andrew.
Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles on June 29, 1983 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | Photo: Getty Images
DIANA CRIED AFTER CHARLES PROPOSED
Charles got his heart shattered, but life moved on. In February 1981, he proposed to Diana at Windsor Castle. Although they had gone out only a dozen or so times, she accepted.
The press attention was too much to bear for the then 19-year-old. Diana initially handled it with grace, but according to the New York Times, she wept at the wheel of her car.
Diana knew that photographers were only doing their job, but she sometimes wished they wouldn't. Coincidentally, some people blamed the paparazzi for her death in Paris in 1997.
Diana Princess in November, 1988 at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France | Photo: Getty Images
A DOOMED RELATIONSHIP: "WHATEVER IN LOVE MEANS"
Charles and Diana's marriage was doomed from the beginning, and their first official interview after announcing their engagement proves it.
[Charles] considered his father's letter an order to get engaged.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles at Guards Polo Club at Smith's Lawn on July 24, 1983 in London, England | Photo: Getty Images
An interviewer went to Buckingham Palace to ask a few questions about their relationship. Charles did most of the talking as Diana was too shy.
Most of the interview went smoothly, with Charles even joking that "we have yet to see" if Diana's father was right about her being a good housewife. Asked if they were in love, Diana said, "Of course." However, Charles replied, "Whatever 'in love' means."
Charles, Prince of Wales, with his wife, Princess Diana at St. Paul's Cathedral on July 29, 1981 | Photo: Getty Images
TEARS OF A PRINCE
The couple moved on with the wedding, but Charles had second thoughts. In Sally Bedell Smith's book "Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life," she revealed he felt pressured into marrying Diana.
Although Charles was in no rush to marry, the press started speculating that he and Diana had spent two nights together. Prince Philip then sent Charles a letter worried about Diana's reputation being questioned and urging him to make a decision about their relationship.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana on November 3, 1992 in South Korea | Photo: Getty Images
Charles was not in love, but he considered his father's letter an order to get engaged. Bedell Smith pointed out that Charles read the letter as a "bullying letter" because he assumed Philip bullied him.
The 32-year-old Prince was still in love with Camilla. They resumed their romance in 1979 despite her marriage to Andrew. In July 1981, the night before Charles and Diana tied the knot, he supposedly stood at a Buckingham Palace window and cried.
Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla Parker Bowles on April 9, 2005 in Berkshire, England | Photo: Getty Images
CAMILLA MAY BECOME QUEEN
Charles and Diana welcomed two children, Princes William and Harry. They were married between 1981 and 1996 but separated in 1992.
In 2005, eight years after Diana's untimely passing, Charles and Camilla finally tied the knot. Now, the Duchess of Cornwell may become Queen when Charles inherits the British Crown.
Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla Parker Bowles on April 9, 2005 in Berkshire, England | Photo: Getty Images
The public might have a hard time accepting it, though. Camilla was once reviled as the "most hated woman in Britain," and Queen Elizabeth initially didn't want her to be around because of how damaging her and Charles's relationship was to the monarchy.
Luckily, Elizabeth grew fond of Camilla due to their shared love of dogs and horses. Charles supposedly wants his wife to be given the "Queen" title when he becomes King, but Charles and William are not fans of that idea.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at Sandringham House on July 24, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images
Both Princes are reportedly "sick to the back teeth" of their father trying to negotiate Camilla's full Queen status, but royal names and titles are pretty complicated.
When Elizabeth became Queen, her husband didn't get the King title. King George VI's wife was Queen Consort Elizabeth to clarify that she was not the monarch. Only time will tell if Camilla will be Queen of England.