These days, King Charles looks quite stately on his throne sitting next to Queen Consort Camilla. One look at these two and it’s clear they truly love one another.
However, their relationship is no fairy tale. It took many decades to build and involved each of them marrying other people first. And they wouldn’t be able to get properly married until they navigated a small mountain of international scandals.
Where did it start, and just how did they overcome such wild scandals? Keep reading to discover a timeline of the relationship between King Charles and Queen Camilla!
1970: the official meeting
Strictly speaking, Charles may have first met Camilla when they were much younger. He was royalty, and her father’s job in the army meant she often rubbed shoulders with the aristocracy.
However, they didn’t officially meet until 1970, when the two sat down at a polo match and immediately hit things off. This soon blossomed into a relationship, though Charles’ time in the navy tore them apart. And it wouldn’t be long until Camilla was engaged to someone else: Andrew Parker Bowles.
1973: Camilla marries another man
In 1973, Camilla tied the knot with Andrew Parker Bowles. They went on to have two children together, but here’s the fascinating thing: the entire time, Andrew remained on good terms with Charles, who became something of a family friend. Charles became godfather to their son, but it wouldn’t be long before Charles set his sights on a different woman.
1980: Charles meets Diana
Once Charles began dating Diana (they met before, when Charles briefly dated her sister), things moved very fast. They began dating in 1980 and were married in 1981. Their wedding became a huge international event…and that meant the whole world was watching as this marriage slowly unraveled before our very eyes despite having two children (Prince William and Prince Harry) together.
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1986: a torrid affair
Previously, it was difficult to clock exactly when Charles and Camilla began having an affair. However, Charles’ own authorized biography would later clarify the affair began in 1986.
1989: a Diana/Camilla showdown
Charles and Camilla couldn’t keep their affair secret from the world, and they certainly couldn’t keep it a secret from Diana. In 1989, Diana confronted Camilla during a party. The thrust of the conversation was that Camilla thought Diana, a mother and a future Queen of England, already had everything she could possibly want. Diana, meanwhile, simply wanted her husband back from the other woman!
1992: ‘Diana: Her True Story’ changes everything
In 1992, Andrew Morton’s bombshell book Diana: Her True Story was released. It was written with the help of recordings provided by Diana herself, and she confirmed both the affair between Charles and Camilla as well as how awful it made her feel.
At the time, this book put Charles in a true bind. If he divorced Diana, the royal rules of the time dictated that he could not sit on the throne. Furthermore, he wouldn’t even be able to marry anyone else!
1992: Charles and Diana separate
After the book came out, Charles and Diana made their separation official. Mentally, emotionally, and physically, though, they had been separated a long time before this.
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1993: saucy Charles/Camilla phone call transcript
Just when things couldn’t look bleaker for Charles and Camilla, a transcript of one of their phone calls leaked one month after he separated from Diana. The transcript involved the two being downright naughty at times, which was unbecoming for a future king. To twist the knife further, this was around the time the public discovered that Diana had conducted affairs with other men just as Charles had been cheating on her.
1994: Charles comes (almost) completely clean
Since it was already the world’s worst-kept secret, Charles admitted to cheating on Diana as part of a documentary about his life. He wasn’t completely forthcoming, though, as he still referred to Camilla as only a good friend of his.
1995: Camilla divorces her husband
In 1995, Camilla divorced Andrew Parker Bowles. There were still many obstacles, however, to her officially getting with Charles.
1995: Diana’s infamous interview
It seemed like the scandals regarding Charles and Diana couldn’t get much worse. However, in 1996, Martin Bashir conducted an infamous interview with Princess Diana. She spoke very candidly about how Camilla had helped sabotage her marriage to Charles, effectively reigniting the scandal all over again.
RELATED: The Real Reason Prince Charles & Princess Diana’s Marriage Failed
1996: Charles and Diana divorce
Four long years after separation, Charles and Diana finally officially divorce in 1996.
1997: The death of Diana
In 1997, the unthinkable happened: Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris. This threw the entire world into turmoil. It also threw Charles’ plans into turmoil: he wanted to start being more public about his relationship with Camilla, but he had to put a pause on this out of respect for his deceased ex-wife.
1998: Charles starts making Camilla official
After about a year of grieving, Charles again began trying to make his relationship with Camilla official. Not only did he introduce her to William, but he confirmed this fact to a tabloid. Crucially, however, the Queen still did not approve of their relationship.
1999: the first Charles/Camilla photo
Speaking of making things official, we got our first photo of Charles and Camilla together in 1999. The two had been attending her sister’s 50th birthday party at the Ritz in London and were photographed together as they left.
RELATED: Book Claims Camilla Made A Racist Joke About Archie’s Hair
1999: a family holiday
Deciding to truly test the water, Charles brings Camilla along on a family holiday to Greece back in August 1999.
2000: the Queen’s (tacit) approval
In her own way, Queen Elizabeth was always very subtle. And she finally approved of Charles’ relationship with Camilla in a fairly subtle way: by accepting an invitation to an event where she knew Camilla would also be in attendance.
2003: Charles and Camilla begin shacking up
In 2003, Charles and Camilla finally began living together. To put taxpayers’ minds at ease, The Royal Family assured that no actual tax money would go towards decorating Camilla’s rooms.
2005: Charles and Camilla marry
In 2005, nearly two decades after beginning their affair, Charles and Camilla got engaged. They were married in a civil ceremony that Queen Elizabeth did not attend. At the time, there was much debate about whether Camilla’s eventual title would be “Queen Consort” or the less prestigious “Princess Consort.” And it wasn’t until 2022 that Queen Elizabeth personally requested Camilla get the better title once Charles became king.
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2020: an important anniversary
2020 may have been a crazy year for the world, but it was a special year for Charles and Camilla. This was when the two celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary. To celebrate, they released a frankly adorable photo of themselves holding their two dogs.