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Camilla Parker Bowles

The Duchess of Cornwall; wife of Britain's Prince Charles
Born: July 17, 1947
Birthplace: London, U.K.

Camilla Shand grew up in Sussex and was educated at Queens Gate School in South Kensington and at finishing schools in Switzerland and France. Camilla met Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, at a polo match in 1970. A romance began but tapered off the following year after Charles joined the Royal Navy. In 1973, Camilla married cavalry officer Andrew Parker Bowles, and they had two children, Thomas and Laura. The friendship between Camilla and Charles, however, endured. A few years into Charles's marriage to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, Charles is said to have begun an affair with Camilla. In 1994, Charles admitted to the adultery in a televised interview. Camilla has been regularly pilloried by the press as the “other women,” and as the source of the immensely popular Princess Diana's failed marriage and unhappiness. Charles and Camilla also survived the humiliation of “Camillagate,” the public release of their embarrassingly intimate conversations, which had been secretly taped in 1989. Camilla and her husband divorced in 1995; Charles and Diana divorced the following year. After Princess Diana's death in a car accident in 1997, Charles and Camilla's relationship gradually became public through a carefully planned PR campaign. In recent years, Camilla's loyalty to Charles and the longevity of their 25-year-long relationship has somewhat softened the public's view of her. The Queen recognized the relationship in 2000, and Camilla moved into Charles's residence in 2003. On April 9, 2005, Charles and Camilla were married in a civil ceremony. Camilla's new title is Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall.

See also Timeline: Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.


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