When did Prince Charles marry Camilla Parker Bowles?

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The Queen’s heir and his second wife have been close for fifty years, but royal fans are wondering when did Prince Charles marry Camilla?

As wife to the second-in-line to the future king of England, she’s officially the next most senior Royal woman after Her Majesty. And it seems that she’s won the approval of her famous mother-in-law who took the opportunity of her Platinum Jubilee to announce that Camilla will become Queen Consort alongside Prince Charles when the Queen dies.

A delighted Prince of Wales welcomed the news of the honour bestowed on his “darling wife”, who he has been married to for quite some time.

When did Prince Charles marry Camilla Parker Bowles?

Prince Charles married his second wife Camilla Parker Bowles on 9 April, 2005. The wedding date was extra sentimental as it marked 35 years since the two first met. Charles and Camilla exchanged vows in a private civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall, before returning to Windsor Castle for a Service of Blessing and their wedding reception.

Camilla wore a cream gown by designer Anna Valentine for the official ceremony. This was complimented by a cream hat with french lace and a feather trim. It was made by milliner Philip Treacy, a favoured and go-to hat designer of the royal family.

Whilst Prince Charles was against a wedding ring, he gifted his wife a Welsh gold ring. This was a nod to his title as the Prince of Wales.

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, leaving their civil ceremony at Windsor’s Guildhall. (Credit: Georges De Keerle/Getty Images)

A small affair, only a select number of guests were invited to Guildhall. This included Charles’ sons Prince Harry and Prince William. The latter took on the role of his dad’s best man. Meanwhile, Camilla’s son Tom Parker Bowles acted as a witness.

The ceremony was performed by registrar Clair Williams, who was honoured to be heading up the proceedings. She told the BBC at the time, “While all weddings are very special to the couples concerned, this one is particularly important and it is a tremendous honour to be a part of the occasion.”

More than 20,000 royal fans gathered at Windsor’s Guildhall to cheer on the happy couple. As they departed for Windsor Castle, Prince Charles was seen mouthing to crowds “thank you very much”.

Who attended Prince Charles and Camilla’s wedding?

Charles and Camilla were joined by 800 of their friends and family at a Service of Blessing and wedding reception. This included Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip who did not attend the couple’s prior civil ceremony. Celebrity guests included musicians Phil Collins and Jools Holland, plus actors Rowan Atkinson, Joanna Lumley and Kenneth Branagh.

The Service of Blessing was held at 2:30pm at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. It was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. During the service, actor Timothy West read William Wordsworth’s Ode on Intimations of Immortality. This was followed by the choir and members of the Philharmonia Orchestra performing Bach’s Nun Komm der Heiden Heilan.

For the blessing, Camilla changed into a pale blue and gold Anna Valentine gown with a matching chiffon coat. She complimented the ensemble with another headdress by Phillip Treacy – a gold leaf feather crown finished with Swarovski diamonds.

Credit: ROTA/Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)

As part of the service – and is tradition on a royal wedding day – Camilla received her new title. The Queen confirmed this as Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall. This compliments her husband’s title who is known as the Duke of Cornwall and is in charge of the duchy.

After the service, the newlyweds departed for Windsor Castle for their wedding reception, hosted by the Queen. Held in the State Apartments, guests enjoyed egg and cress sandwiches, mini Cornish pasties and scones.

Guest list:

All senior members of the Royal Firm were in attendance, including Charles’ siblings Anne, Andrew and Edward. Plus their other halves and children such as Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

The then Prime Minister Tony Blair was a guest as were leaders of Britain’s opposition parties and other prominent politicians from across the Commonwealth.  Charles’s biographer Jonathan Dimbleby and broadcaster Sir David Frost were other celebrities in attendance.

Guests said the Queen made a speech at the reception, in which she told how “proud” she was of her son on his wedding day, and wished the couple well.

Charles and Camilla then left Windsor for their honeymoon in Scotland. The newlyweds stayed at Birkhall, the hunting lodge gifted to Charles by his grandmother, the Queen Mother.

When did Prince Charles and Camilla meet?

Prince Charles first met Camilla Rosemary Shands in 1970, when he was 22 and she was 24. Several reports claim that their first meeting was during a polo match held at Windsor Great Park. And that the two hit it off instantly, sharing a love of the sport and the great outdoors.

People Magazine reported that Camilla’s first words to Charles were based on a mutual connection. “My great-grandmother was the mistress of your great-great-grandfather,” she allegedly said. “I feel we have something in common.”

Prince Charles (L) chatting to Camilla (middle) and a friend (R) at a polo match in 1972. (Credit: Getty)

Advisor to The Crown season 5, Robert Lacey, disagrees with this version of events however. According to the royal historian and his book The Crown: The Official Companion Volume 2 Charles and Camilla actually met through friend Lucia Santa Cruz. Lucia has also confirmed this to be true.

Whilst their first meeting may vary, it’s known that the dated for some time after. But that their relationship was cut short due to Charles’ decision to join the Royal Navy in March 1971.

When he returned Camilla was already engaged to Major Andrew Parker Bowles. The two later wed on 4 July 1973 at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks.

Nevertheless, the couple and Charles remained close over the next few decades. They were even firm friends when Charles met Diana and surprisingly Camilla attended Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981.

How long have Prince Charles and Camilla been married?

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall have been married for 16 years. The two celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary together in 2020.

The couple marked the occasion during the first UK lockdown. But despite this, they were able to honour ir rather romantically – spending it at the same place where they had their honeymoon together in 2005. A special photographs celebrating the anniversary was released and featured the couple’s pets – Bluebell and Beth.

Ahead of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s 15th wedding anniversary tomorrow, we are sharing this photo of Their Royal Highnesses with The Duchess’s dogs Bluebell and Beth.

The photo was taken earlier today at Birkhall. pic.twitter.com/0Xw1nxySpu

— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) April 8, 2020

Do Prince Charles and Camilla have children?

Though Prince Charles and Camilla are married and both parents, they do not share any children together. Prince Charles’ first wife Diana gave birth to their sons Prince William and Prince Harry during their marriage. And the two are in the royal line of succession. Meanwhile Camilla is mum to son Tom and daughter Laura from her first marriage to Andrew Parker Bowles.

Interestingly, Prince Charles is both godfather and step-dad to Camilla’s eldest son Tom Parker Bowles. The Prince of Wales was given the honour shortly after his birth in 1974.

Credit: Getty

Tom revealed in an interview last year that relations are good between him and the future king. He told The Times that Charles was “sweet and gentle” and “ahead of his time”. Before adding that his children when growing up called Prince Charles “umpa” whilst Camilla was known as “gaga”.

Camilla’s nickname seems to have been adopted by the Cambridge children too. Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis also reportedly use Gaga as their special nickname for Camilla. The three are also thought to have adopted Camilla’s special eating habit of collecting and eating peas fresh from the garden.

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