How Prince Charles met Camilla: A timeline of their relationship

THEY are one of the royal family’s most controversial couples, but Prince Charles and Camilla have been happily married for 16 years.

But where did it all begin and why did their romance get off to such a bumpy start?

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Here Fabulous the couple’s relationship timeline, from young lovers to happily ever after.


Charles and Camilla’s relationship began back in 1971 when the pair were introduced by mutual friend Lucia Santa Cruz.

Aged 23 they quickly became close friends talking for hours on the phone and spending as much time together as possible.

Charles reportedly fell for her quickly, but their relationship never progressed amid warnings from his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten who she was not sufficiently aristocratic ultimately leading the pair to go their separate ways.

After they started,  Charles left to serve in the Royal Navy, he returned to find her engaged to another man: Andrew Parker Bowles, who had himself dated Charles' sister, Princess Anne.

Camilla got engaged to and married Andrew in 1973, while Charles wed Diana on July 29, 1981.


But it seems that neither Charles nor Camilla could stay away from one another.

Diana recounted her “tricky” relationship to Andrew Morton for the 1992 biography Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words.

She claimed that before her wedding, she found out Charles had a bracelet made with the initials "G" and "F" for Gladys and Fred – pet names Camilla and Charles had for each other.

She also found photos of Camilla in Charles' diary on their honeymoon, as well as cufflinks with the initials "C" and "C" intertwined.


Five years on from their spectacular wedding, Charles and Diana's marriage was lost – with Camilla firmly back in the picture.

In 1994, Charles admitted to Jonathan Dimbleby in a TV documentary that while he had been faithful to Diana initially, he had only been so until his marriage had "irretrievably broken down".

Diana found out about the affair and, in 1989, confronted Camilla about it at a party.

Diana and Charles went on to separate completely in 1991 and, five years later, they divorced.

The Princess of Wales famously outed their affair to Martin Bashir in an interview that shocked the world.

"There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," she said.


It wasn’t until two years after Princess Diana’s tragic death in 1997 that Charles and Camilla stepped out publicly as a couple.

In 1999, after throwing a party for Camilla’s sister at The Ritz in London, the pair were photographed together as an item.

But following public outrage, the couple kept their romance on the lowdown with Camilla describing the backlash as “hell” and something she “wouldn’t wish on her worst enemy.”

In fact Camilla waited until 2000 to meet the Queen and the couple didn’t share the first kiss in public until 2001.

In 2003 the couple moved into their current home of Clarence House and two years later the couple announced their engagement.


When the Prince of Wales married Camilla Parker-Bowles, they were a couple in their fifties who had both been through divorce.

The pair tied the knot in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall, on April 9 2005.

"It’s always marvellous to have somebody you feel understands and wants to encourage,” Charles said, the Telegraph reports.

“Although she certainly pokes fun if I get too serious about things. And all that helps.”

The couple celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary in April this year with Camilla set to stand by Charles’ side when he ascends the throne.

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