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Charles ‘Declared Love’ to Camilla Before He Met Diana – She Encouraged ‘Exhausted’ Prince to Marry Diana

Gracious Egedegbe
Mar 28, 2022
01:00 P.M.
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Prince Charles had already found his soulmate before he met Diana, whom he was encouraged to marry because he and his heartthrob thought she wouldn't cause any trouble — here are the details. 

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Impressing grown-ups can be hard to manage, especially if the one whose favor you hope to receive is a decades-old monarch with a shrewd ability to see through gimmicks. 

However, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was able to pull it off, and now The Queen has approved her wish to be referred to as "Queen Consort" when her husband eventually takes the throne, showing her support for the couple. 

[Left] Picture of Price Charles and Princess Diana; [Right] Picture of Price Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles | Source: Getty Images

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Queen Elizabeth, 95, announced this in a message scheduled for the eve of her Accession Day, which marks 70 years since she became monarch. 

She urged her subjects to give Camilla and Charles the same support they gave her and stated that it is her "sincere wish" that when that time comes, "Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service."

Queen Elizabeth II and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall attend the Ceremonial Welcome in the Buckingham Palace Garden for President Trump during his State Visit to the UK on June 3, 2019 in London, England | Source: Getty Images

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Camilla did not immediately speak about it, but when she broke her silence days later, she expressed how honored she was that her royal highness saw her fit for the title. 

It is all goodwill, smiles, and acknowledgments these days with Camilla and the royal family, but in the past, things were different. 

A STALLED COURTSHIP

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles resting after a polo match, circa 1972 | Source: Getty Images

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The royal family keeps many secrets, and till today, nobody knows which one will jump out when. Netflix's "The Crown" is one of the only projects out there that has shed more light on the personal lives these royals live, but then again, the answers it provides are barely enough for the ton of questions it raises. 

In the fourth season of the series, Princess Diana entered the picture, and it once again called attention to Prince Charles' love life. He married Diana in 1981 after what the public perceived as a whirlwind romance, but "The Crown" shows that the prince was already in an ongoing relationship with Camilla. 

Prince Charles And Camilla Parker-Bowles Leaving The Ritz Hotel In London After Attending A 50th Birthday Party For Camilla's Sister on January 28, 1999 | Source: Getty Images

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The couple initially met through a mutual friend at a polo match that was held at Windsor Great Park in 1970. Before that, Camilla was romantically involved with army officer Andrew Parker Bowles, who eventually became her first husband; however, at this time, Andrew was taken with Princess Anne.

It was an alleged mess because Camilla had eyes for Andrew, who only wanted a besotted Anne. But, on the other hand, Charles was mooning over Camilla, and while she didn't seem to be completely enamored by him, she didn't precisely rebuff him. 

She may have liked Andrew more, but Charles melded more with her character, the proof of which was in their interactions. Charles especially admired Camilla's outgoing personality and tomboy looks, so he kept his eyes on her. 

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Camilla Shand and Major Andrew Parker-Bowles pose with their pageboys and bridesmaids after their wedding at the Guards Chapel, on July 4, 1973 | Source: Getty Images

After they first met, Charles dated Camilla for a short time, but they had to end things when the prince joined the royal navy. There were also rumors that her "party girl" lifestyle and inferior social standing were two factors that contributed to pressure on the prince to pick a different woman he would be with.

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While Charles was away serving his country, Camilla got chummy with Andrew again and married him in 1973, much to the prince's disappointment.

HE RECOGNISED HER AS HIS SOULMATE

Prince Charles And Camilla Parker-Bowles seen together circa,1979 | Source: Getty Images

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Before Charles went off to join the navy, he realized Camilla was the woman for him; however, he said nothing. Charles was set to sail for the Caribbean with the Royal Navy the following year, and the trip was estimated to last till the fall of 1973. 

 This was because he wanted to be straight with her going into their wedding.

According to Royal Biographer Robert Lacey in his book "Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult," Charles pinpointed a weekend he spent with Camilla in December 1972 as the moment he knew she was his soulmate. 

 

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 Before he had to be deployed, Charles spent time with Camilla at Portsmouth, where they went to see the ship he would be sailing on; then, the following weekend, the pair went to the Broadlands. 

Tell how Charles understood that he wanted to marry Camilla and "declared his love to her." The prince knew he had fallen in love with her and wanted to marry her, but he couldn't muster enough courage to tell her. 

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla Parker Bowles on April 9, 2005 in Berkshire, England | Source: Getty Images

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That may have been because he knew that his family did not think her suitable; She seemed to be too popular among the men and was of a more common bloodline. 

Indeed, they saw her more as a learning experience for the prince than his future wife, but he didn't get that memo and fell very deeply for her. Even after they split, that love didn't fade, and Charles pined for her.  

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Eventually, they both married other people, but in secret, the two began an affair with its foundation set on what they had previously felt for one another. 

This led to them divorcing their partners, becoming a royal scandal. However, things got dicey when the royal family discovered that the pair were still romantically involved, and it made them, especially the Queen, want Camilla far from Charles.

HOW HE MET DIANA

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer at Craigowan Lodge, Balmoral, Scotland, 6th May 1981 | Source: Getty Images

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Charles started to see Diana as a woman in 1980 at a house party organized by her friend Philip de Pass in New Grove, near Petworth. 

At 19, she was able to get into his head and provide a measure of comfort for him back then as the prince had just lost his greatuncle, Lord Mountbatten, a man he looked up to. 

According to Penny Junor, Diana unwittingly said exactly what Charles needed to hear, and it made him start considering her as a potential girlfriend. 

Lady Diana Spencer and Camilla Parker-Bowles at Ludlow Races where Prince Charles is competing, circa 1980 | Source: Getty Images

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They had met several times over the years before that party, but Charles had only seen her as a lively person who was fun to be around rather than someone he wanted to be with. 

In a bid to spend more time with her, Charles asked her to join him and a group of friends at Balmoral, where they were staying for a summer holiday. Diana had been too delighted to say no, so they agreed that she would be there. 

Diana ticked every box that the royal family had set aside to grade potential additions to the clan, and because of this, the pressure quickly began to mount on the pair. 

Camilla Parker-Bowles and Princess Diana at Ludlow racecourse in which the Prince was competing | Source: Getty Images

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As the public discovered their relationship, they started to follow her all around, making it almost impossible for her and Charles to get to know more about each other in a "normal way." 

Charles' father, Prince Philip, also kept pushing him to stop dating without intent to marry because he was getting older and needed to settle down to produce an heir to the throne. 

Prince Charles and Diana, in Paris, France in November 1988 | Source: Getty Images

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After the tabloids reported a premarital liaison between Charles and Diana, Prince Philip wrote his son a letter urging him to either make her his wife or sever the relationship. 

Charles saw it as an order to propose to her, so he did, even though he wasn't all for it. On February 24, 1981, Charles and Diana went public with their engagement, and Diana showed off her famous sapphire-and-diamond ring. 

Princess Diana and Prince Charles at Guards Polo Club at Smith's Lawn on July 24, 1983 in London, England | Source: Getty Images

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It was a big mistake because the two had hardly had time to even enjoy each other's presence — according to Diana, they allegedly met only 13 times before they were engaged, which meant they didn't really know one another. 

Despite that, they both went forward with things; for Diana, Charles was a dreamy man she adored, but he didn't see her as the perfect woman. In his moment of doubt, the prince sought advice from two married women he had soft spots for, Lady Tryon and Camilla Parker Bowles. 

Princess Diana and Prince Charles in London, U.K. on February 24, 1981 | Source: Getty Images

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They encouraged him to take her as a bride because "they had met the blushing little Spencer girl and deduced she was not going to give them any trouble.

Better her than another fiery number like Anna Wallace." In the end, his proposal had been a sacrifice he made for the country and his family. 

RED FLAGS THEY HAD TO IGNORE

Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales leave Buckingham Palace for their honeymoon after their wedding, London, 29th July 1981 | Source: Getty Images

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Diana also realized along the line that her relationship with Charles was not going to be a fairytale-like she might have envisioned, and she got the most significant hint on the night before their wedding. 

An astrologer consulted by Diana, Penny Thornton, later revealed that she claimed Charles had announced that he did not love her that night. Thornton believes this was because he wanted to be straight with her going into their wedding, but it only devastated Diana. 

Princess Diana in Gibraltar for her honeymoon with her husband Prince Charles on August 1, 1981 | Source: Getty Images

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It also didn't help matters that two weeks before the wedding, Diana happened upon a gift Charles had prepared for Camilla, whom he was still pining for. 

It was a gold chain bracelet with a blue enamel disk and the initials G and F entwined in it. The letters stand for Gladys and Fred — their initials. 

Prince Charles and Princess Diana at the Chelsea Flower Show, London, May 1984 | Source: Getty Images

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It got her jealous, but there was little she could do. Charles took the gift to Camilla on a Monday, and the following Wednesday; he married Diana. 

Things didn't get better after the wedding either. During their honeymoon, Diana got even more jealous because Charles seemed to be on the phone every five minutes seeking advice from Camilla on how to handle the marriage. 

Princess Diana stands next to Prince Charles, during a function held in their honor on February 11, 1987 in Bonn, Germany | Source: Getty Images

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In June 1992, Andrew Morton's book Diana: Her True Story was released, and it shined the light on their marital issues, which led to speculation on what would happen. 

In December, Prime Minister John Major announced that Charles and Diana had officially separated. It was finalized in 1996.

AFTER DIANA

Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Prince Harry stand on the steps of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, following the Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen's 80th birthday on April 23, 2006 | Source: Getty Images

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After the divorce, Charles and Camilla started to legitimize their relationship, and it began with a meeting with William, Diana's first child with Charles. 

After that, the two were photographed together in public in January 1999 when the prince hosted a birthday party for Camilla's sister, Annabel, at The Ritz Hotel. Rather than shy away from the cameras, Charles and Camilla left the London hotel together, looking like a couple for the first time. 

Picture of Prince Harry, and Prince William, Camilla's children Laura and Tom Parker Bowles, with Charles and Camilla in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle | Source: Getty Images

The two finally got married in 2005, 35 years after they first courted one another. The prince's two sons, William and Harry, were happy for him, and so were other members of the royal family. They now live happily together with their kids. 

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