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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

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Camilla
Duchess of Cornwall; Duchess of Rothesay (more)

DOCGrevilleSuiteCHOGMNov07.jpg
Spouse Andrew Parker Bowles
(m. 1973–1995, divorced)
Charles, Prince of Wales
(m. 2005–present)
Issue
Tom Parker Bowles
Laura Lopes
Full name
Camilla Rosemary
House House of Windsor
Father Bruce Shand
Mother Rosalind Shand
Born 17 July 1947 (1947-07-17) (age 67)
London, England, UK
Religion Anglican
The Royal Family of the
United Kingdom
and the
other Commonwealth realms
Badge of the House of Windsor.svg

HM The Queen
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh


v · d · e

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla Rosemary; née Shand, previously Parker Bowles; born 17 July 1947) is the second wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, and is the current holder of the courtesy titles of Duchess of Cornwall, Princess of Wales, Duchess of Rothesay and Countess of Chester. Although Camilla became the Princess of Wales upon her marriage to the Prince of Wales, she is obliged to choose to be known by the alternative and lesser title of the Duchess of Cornwall, thereby avoiding confusion with her husband's popular first wife, the late Diana, Princess of Wales. She is known by this title worldwide, but in Scotland protocol determines that she is properly styled the Duchess of Rothesay.

Early lifeEdit

Born at King's College Hospital, London, on 17 July 1947, Camilla was raised opposite the Plumpton Racecourse, East Sussex by her parents, Major Bruce Shand (1917–2006) (a British Army officer, turned wine merchant, as well as Prisoner of War in World War II who received the Military Cross with Bar) and The Honorable Rosalind Cubitt (1921–1994), eldest child of Roland Calvert Cubitt, 3rd Baron Ashcombe): her siblings are Mark and Annabel.

She was christened on 1 November 1947 at Firle Church, Sussex, and her godparents were The Hon Harry Cubitt (her maternal uncle), Major Neil Speke, Mrs Heathcoat Amory, Mrs Lombard Hobson, and Miss Vivien Mosley.

EducationEdit

Camilla attended Dumbrells School in Sussex, as well as Queen's Gate School in Kensington. She subsequently attended the Mon Fertile finishing school in Switzerland and studied at the Institut Britannique in Paris

CareerEdit

Following her education, she worked for a year at the offices of designers Sybil Colefax and John Fowler. She also became an avid equestrienne and participated in fox hunting.

Personal lifeEdit

First marriageEdit

On 4 July 1973, Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles, at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks, London; their bridesmaids including Parker Bowles' goddaughter Lady Emma Herbert.

DivorceEdit

Andrew Parker Bowles initiated divorce proceedings against Camilla following the admission by the Prince of Wales that he had conducted a long-term extramarital affair with Camilla; the couple's divorce was finalized on 3 March 1995.

Relationship with the Prince of WalesEdit

The relationship between Camilla and Prince Charles began when they met at a polo match in 1970. Though she became one of the numerous girlfriends of Charles, and he was said to have wanted to marry her, Camilla was seen by royal courtiers as an unsuitable match for the future king. Robert Lacey wrote in his 2002 book, Royal: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, that Charles had met Camilla too early, and that he had not asked her to wait for him when he went overseas for military duties in 1972.

Reliable published reports indicate that they renewed their romantic relationship in the 1980s.

The affair became public knowledge a decade later, with the publication of Diana: Her True Story, followed by the Camillagate scandal, wherein an intimate telephone conversation between Camilla and Charles was secretly recorded and the transcripts published in the tabloids. With the extra-marital relationship in the open, Diana gave an interview on the BBC programme Panorama, in which she blamed the relationship between Camilla, whom she privately referred to as "the Rottweiler", and the Prince of Wales as the reason for the breakup of her own marriage, saying: "Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." Though Camilla kept a low profile at this time, she became unpopular by these revelations. It was confirmed by Charles in a televised interview with Jonathan Dimbleby that the relationship between him and Camilla resumed during their respective marriages.

Following this, the Parker Bowleses announced their own divorce in 1995; they had been living apart for some time, and a year later Andrew Parker Bowles married Rosemary Pitman.

Camilla occasionally became Charles' unofficial companion at events. This temporarily ceased at the time of Diana's death, but Camilla and Charles were photographed in public together in 1999. Though she maintained her residence in Wiltshire, Camilla then moved into Charles' household in 2003, resulting in decorative changes to both homes, though Buckingham Palace was explicit in pointing out that public funds had not been used for the renovations. In 2005, the media reported that Charles had also bought Camilla jewellery and a designer wardrobe. As the future Supreme Governor of the Church of England, the prospect of Charles marrying a divorcée was seen as controversial. Opinion—of both the public and the church—shifted, though, to a point where civil marriage was seen as an agreeable solution.

Second marriageEdit

See Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker Bowles

On 10 February 2005, it was announced by Clarence House that Camilla and the Prince of Wales were engaged; Camilla had been presented with an engagement ring that had belonged to the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. The marriage was to have been on 8 April of that year, and was to take place in a civil ceremony at Windsor Castle, with a subsequent religious blessing at St George's Chapel.

On 4 April it was announced that the marriage would be delayed by one day to allow for the Prince of Wales and some of the invited dignitaries to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II. As Charles' parents did not attend the marriage ceremony (the Queen's reluctance to attend arising from her position as Supreme Governor of the Church of England), neither did Camilla's father; her children, instead, acted as witnesses of the union, as did Prince William and Prince Harry. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh did, however, attend the service of blessing, and held a reception for the newlyweds at Windsor Castle afterwards.

Following the wedding, the couple traveled to the Prince's country home in Scotland, Birkhall, and carried out their first public duties as a couple during their honeymoon.

ChildrenEdit

Camilla and Andrew had two children:

  • Tom, born in the year after their marriage, who is a godson of Prince Charles
  • Laura, born in 1978

Both Parker Bowles children were raised in their father's Roman Catholic faith, although both were married in the Church of England; Tom, like his father, is in remainder to the Earldom of Macclesfield.

Royal lifeEdit

Duchess of CornwallEdit

After becoming Duchess of Cornwall, the duchess automatically acquired rank as the second highest female in the United Kingdom Order of Precedence (after the Queen), and as typically fifth or sixth in the orders of precedence of her other realms, following the Queen, the relevant viceroy, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince of Wales. It was revealed, though, that the royal order of precedence for private occasions had Camilla placed fourth, after the Queen, the Princess Royal, and Princess Alexandra.

Within two years of the marriage, the Queen extended Camilla visible tokens of membership in the Royal Family; use of a tiara of the late Queen Mother, and the badge of the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II.

According to an announcement by Clarence House, it was the Duchess' intent to attend the anniversary memorial service for Diana, Princess of Wales on 31 August 2007, along with The Prince of Wales, and Princes William and Harry of Wales. The Duchess withdrew from attending, stating that she wished not to "divert attention from the purpose of the occasion which is to focus on the life and service of Diana."

Camilla, along with Charles, were indirectly involved in the 2010 UK student protests when their car was attacked by protesters. She was also physically attacked when a rioter managed to push a stick into the royal limousine and jab her in the ribs.

Official dutiesEdit

Initially, the Duchess of Cornwall's royal duties involved accompanying the Prince of Wales on his official obligations. Camilla's first solo engagement was a visit to a hospital in Southampton; she attended the Trooping the Colour for the first time in June 2005, making her appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace afterwards. The same year, she made her inaugural overseas tour to the United States, and, in March of the following year, the Prince and Duchess undertook a trip through Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and India. She also conducted the naming ceremony for HMS Astute on 8 June 2007, and, on 10 December, she did the same for the new Cunard cruise ship, HMS Queen Victoria.

PatronagesEdit

The Duchess of Cornwall is the patron of The Royal School, Hampstead, an independent girls' school, as well as President or Patron of a number of other charities.

Titles, styles and honorsEdit

Titles and stylesEdit

  • 17 July 1947 - 4 July 1973: Miss Camilla Rosemary Shand
  • 4 July 1973 - 3 March 1995: Mrs Andrew Parker Bowles
  • 3 March 1995 - 9 April 2005: Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles
  • 9 April 2005 - : Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall
    • Scotland: 9 April 2005 - : Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay

Camilla's style and title in full: Her Royal Highness The Princess Charles Philip Arthur George, Princess of Wales & Countess of Chester, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Carrick, Baroness of Renfrew, Lady of the Isles, Princess of Scotland.

Because the title 'Princess of Wales' became so strongly associated with the previous holder of that title, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, Camilla has adopted to being referred to with the feminine form of her husband's highest-ranking subsidiary title, namely that of Duke of Cornwall. Thus, unless any specific Act of Parliament is passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom (and other Commonwealth States) to the contrary, should Prince Charles become King, she can assume by courtesy the style of "Queen Camilla". However, such was the controversy raised in certain sections of the press, it had been previously mooted that Prince Charles' wife might remain with a morganatic style, albeit by courtesy she is always entitled to be acknowledged with the rank and style of her husband. It has been stated that when Charles becomes King, Camilla will adopt the unprecedented style of Princess Consort. It is worth noting that this is not the same usage as her father-in-law, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, who does not hold the title of 'Prince Consort' (although as a prince and a consort, he is the Queen's prince consort).

HonorsEdit

Appointments
Decorations

Honorary military appointmentsEdit

The Duchess of Cornwall holds the following military appointments:

Canada
  • 2010 - : Colonel-in-Chief, The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
United Kingdom
  • 2006 - : Royal Colonel of the 4th Battalion of The Rifles
  • 2006 - : Commodore-in-Chief of the Naval Medical Services
  • 2007 - : Lady sponsor of HMS Astute
  • 2008 - : Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Halton
  • 2008 - : Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Leeming
  • 2009 - : Commodore-in-Chief Naval Chaplaincy Service

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