The late Princess Diana blamed Charles’ and Camilla’s affair for the breakdown of their marriage in an explosive Panorama interview in 1995. While the revelation rocked the Royal Family, Prince Charles and Camilla had actually been close for decades, having first started dating in the 70s. They only ended things after Camilla’s father conspired to make her on-off boyfriend Andrew Parker Bowles marry her, a royal biographer has claimed.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles tied the knot in 2005 but their love story began long before then.
Prince Charles first met Camilla in the early 1970s and they quickly became close.
Camilla’s on-off boyfriend Andrew Parker Bowles was in the army and out of the country when Camilla’s relationship with Charles first began.
Camilla Parker Bowles engagement: How her father engineered proposal ‘Andrew was forced’ (Image: GETTY)
One year later Prince Charles had to leave Camilla to complete his naval service – and at the same time, Andrew then returned to Britain.
Royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith accused Camilla’s father of conspiring with Andrew Parker Bowles’ brother to end her relationship with Charles at that time.
In her Prince Charles biography, she claims Camilla’s father and Andrew’s brother used Charles’ absence as a chance to force Andrew and her to marry.
Ms Smith wrote: “They intervened by publishing an engagement notice in The Times on March 15. His hand publicly forced, Andrew proposed to his girlfriend of nearly seven years.”
Camilla Parker Bowles engagement: Camilla’s father is accused of making her end things with Charles (Image: GETTY)
Camilla Parker Bowles engagement: Camilla and Charles first met in the early 1970s (Image: GETTY)
A crestfallen Prince Charles was reportedly stunned when he heard the news of Camilla’s pending marriage.
Ms Smith said: “He couldn’t understand how such a ‘blissful, peaceful, and mutually happy relationship,’ had ended so abruptly, after such a promising start.”
Andrew and Camilla announced their engagement in The Times in 1973 and married on July 4 the same year.
Prince Charles married Diana a decade later in 1983.
Camilla Parker Bowles engagement: Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973 (Image: GETTY)
Princess Diana and Prince Charles finalised their divorce in 1996 after the revelation of the Camilla affair prompted a very public breakdown in their marriage.
While Camilla divorced Andrew in 1995 and would have been technically free to marry Charles following his divorce, Diana’s tragic death in 1997 would have made their marriage seem inappropriate at the time.
Camilla and Charles waited until 2005 when they finally tied the knot with a low key royal wedding.
Prince Charles is first in line to throne and will become King when the Queen dies.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will take the title of Queen Consort when Prince Charles takes the throne.