Prince Charles and Camilla's love story - in pictures

Prince Charles and Camilla first met in the 1970s, but their romance proves love conquers all..

It's a love story that's survived through the decades, but it took years for the public to fully embrace the relationship of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Camilla and Charles first met in 1970, aged 20, at a royal society polo game. But their romance cooled when Prince Charles disappeared on naval duties overseas.

 

Camilla and Charles meet at the polo at Windsor Great Park, 1970

Camilla, believing that she and Charles had parted company for good, met and married a long-standing admirer, Andrew Parker Bowles. The couple wed and then went on to have two children – Laura and Tom.

But Charles and Camilla did remain friends – with Charles being named as Tom’s godfather in 1975.

The couple were spotted together at the polo in 1979.

 

Charles and Camilla re-unite at the polo again, 1979

As regulars on the London social circuit Charles, his new girlfriend Lady Diana Spencer, Andrew and Camilla were often spotted at the same parties and dinners.

Lady Diana Spencer and Camilla Parker-Bowles at Ludlow Races in 1980

However, that happiness was short-lived and Camilla divorced Andrew in 1995 while Charles divorced Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1996.

There was controversy when Charles admitted he had committed adultery with Camilla while still married to Diana.

Diana then famously referred to there being “three of us in the marriage” meaning Camilla was always around. Camilla has always chosen to remain silent on the subject.

Their relationship blossomed behind the scenes and in 1999, two years after the death of Princess Diana (and three years after Prince Charles divorce), Charles and Camilla made their public debut as a couple at The Ritz in London. 

The pair were photographed outside the hotel where Charles threw a lavish part for the 50th birthday of Camilla's sister. 

 

Charles and Camilla outside her sister's 50th birthday party at the Ritz in London

From then on, Camilla and Charles often attended engagements together, and in 2000 the Queen agreed to attend a lunch with the couple - a clear indication that she was a huge supporter of their relationship. 

Charles and Camilla attend lunch with the Queen, 2000

In 2001, it was the moment many royal watchers had been waiting for, as the couple cemented their love with their first public kiss outside a charity event in London.

Camilla and Charles kiss at London's Somerset House, 2001

From then on the couple were spotted regularly laughing and joking together, clearly enjoying their relationship in the public eye. 

Charles and Camilla at the Mey Games in Scotland, 2004

In 2005, the Royal Family announced the engagement of Charles and Camilla and the wife-to-be of the future monarch was spotted with a family heirloom engagement ring. The beautiful art deco style, huge square-cut diamond flanked by three huge diamond baguettes, was reportedly given to the Queen Mother in 1926 on the occasion of the birth of her daughter, Queen Elizabeth.

Camilla proudly shows off her new engagement ring, 2005

 

Just a couple of months later, on April 5, 2005, Camilla and Charles were married and their beaming smiles were evident in the official wedding photos. Camilla wore a Philip Treacy hat and blue long gown designed by Robinson Valentine.

Charles and Camilla on their wedding day, 2005

Since then, the Duchess of Cornwall has been credited with bringing a sense of fun to Charles’ life with the pair often spotted laughing and joking. Here they are at the Mey Highland Games in Caithness, Scotland in 2008. 

 

Charles and Camilla in Scotland, 2008

And enjoying an afternoon together at the Sindringham Flower Show in 2016.

 

 

Camilla also clearly has a great relationship with Prince William and Prince Harry, and their families. 

"We are very grateful for her. She's made our father very happy," Prince Harry has said of his stepmother.

 

Watch The Real Camilla: Duchess Of Cornwall as part of Royal Thursdays, Thursday 8.30pm on Lifestyle or On Demand.

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