How Queen Camilla’s Father Made King Charles Cry

Upon the death of Queen Elizabeth, her son Charles embraced his destiny and became the King of England. His entire life had been leading to this moment, and becoming king likely felt even sweeter because he had his beloved Queen Camilla by his side. 

However, things weren’t always sweet, and Charles’ relationship with Camilla is the reason. After all, their relationship began as a shameful affair, and when news of the affair went public, there were questions about whether Charles could be king (legally speaking) or should be king (morally speaking).

And apparently, nobody was a bigger critic of Charles than Camilla’s own father, Bruce Shand, who reportedly reduced the future King of England to tears. What did Shand say, though, and why did his piercing criticism break through Charles’ brittle shell? Keep reading to discover the answers!

From bad timing to a bad husband

It’s no surprise what upset Bruce Shand so much about Charles and Camilla’s relationship: the simple fact that both of them were already married at the time. Charles was married to Princess Diana, and the eyes of the world followed their relationship. Meanwhile, Camilla was married at the time to Andrew Parker Bowles. So in addition to potentially ruining Camilla’s life, the affair meant that Charles was shaming her as well as his own wife, Princess Diana.

And as Camilla’s father, Shand understood the optics better than most involved. No matter how culpable Camilla herself was, Shand still looked at her as his little girl, and he realized, rightly so, that her relationship with Charles was going to make her look bad on the world stage.

He was ultimately proven right. Even after the dust firmly settled on Charles and Camilla’s marriage, Shand would fight anyone that criticized his daughter about her relationship until the day he died.

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A bad relationship from the beginning

Over the years, it has been said that Charles had a bad relationship with Princess Diana from the very beginning. And now we know that the same can be said for his relationship with Camilla’s father, Bruce Shand!

As reported by Express, an insider familiar with those involves claims that “Camilla’s dad never liked or respected Charles.” Because of this, when the two men had their epic confrontation (more on this later), Shand didn’t hesitate to tell Charles to “leave [Camilla] alone.”

It’s also worth noting that Shand was a pretty old-fashioned guy. Even though Charles and Camilla loved each other very much, Shand saw Charles as treating her poorly by having an affair. Or, as the source puts it, Charles was failing to treat Camilla with “honor and decency.”

What led to the inevitable confrontation

Despite Bruce Shand’s close relationship with Camilla, he didn’t know about the affair for a good, long time. And he found out the same way everybody else did…which, honestly, is probably the worst way a father could discover that the future King of England was having an affair with his daughter.

The same royal insider believes that the confrontation between Shand and Charles took place after the leak of an embarrassing tape conversation between Camilla and Charles. According to Today, the tape leaked in 1992, and it involved an intimate phone call between the two adulterous lovers.

A transcript of the tape quickly made its way through newspapers and magazines around the world, so the entire world could read about a married English prince telling his girlfriend that “I’ll just live inside your trousers or something.” This controversy was quickly dubbed “Camillagate,” and it led to many repercussions…including a knock-down, drag-out confrontation between Charles and Camilla’s father.

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Camilla’s father doesn’t hold anything back

The royal insider claims that quickly after everyone read the embarrassing transcript of that even more embarrassing phone call, Bruce Shand requested a private meeting with Charles. And during that meeting, Shand clearly had his gloves off and didn’t hold back from some very fierce criticism.

As reported by Express, this criticism included telling Charles “to man up and show some honor and decency.” Shand was understandably angry that Charles “was sleeping with another man’s wife,” and he took the time to remind Charles of what many had been saying: that this ongoing affair “was a disgrace to the monarchy and his role in the Church of England.”

If that’s not enough, Shand also bluntly told Charles that Camilla’s then-husband Andrew Parker Bowles “was the better man.” And this entire exchange was reportedly enough to make King Charles, master of the British stiff upper lip, break down and begin crying.

For better or for worse, though, things eventually worked out for King Charles. After all the embarrassment of his affair going public, he was able to get a divorce from Diana and eventually pursue his relationship with Camilla out in the open. While Shand still wasn’t happy with how everything happened, the insider claims that he accepted his daughter’s relationship and became “very fond” of Charles.