Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Duchess of Cornwall; Duchess of Rothesay (more)
The Duchess in April 2011
Spouse Andrew Parker Bowles
(m. 1973–1995, divorced)
Charles, Prince of Wales
(m. 2005–present)
Tom Parker Bowles
Laura Lopes
Full name
Camilla Rosemary[1]
House House of Windsor
Father Bruce Shand
Mother The Honourable Rosalind Shand
Born 17 July 1947 (1947-07-17) (age 64)
London, England, UK
Religion Anglican (Church of England)

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 titles of Princess of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay and Countess of Chester. Although Camilla became the Princess of Wales upon her marriage to the Prince of Wales, she has chosen to be known by the alternative and lesser title of the Duchess of Cornwall, thereby avoiding confusion with her husband's first wife, the late Diana, Princess of Wales.[2] She is known by this title worldwide, but in Scotland protocol determines that she is properly styled the Duchess of Rothesay.[3]


Early life and first engagement and marriage

Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, during the 2006 Braemar Gathering

Born at King's College Hospital, London,[4][5][6][7] 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 Honourable Rosalind Cubitt (1921–1994,[8] eldest child of Roland Calvert Cubitt, 3rd Baron Ashcombe): her siblings are Mark and Annabel. Camilla's maternal great-grandmother, Alice Keppel, formerly Alice Frederica Edmonstone, was the mistress of King Edward VII from 1898 to 1910.

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.[9][10][11]

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. 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.

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.[12] The couple had two children: Tom, born in the year after their marriage, who is a godson of Prince Charles, and 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. 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 finalised on 3 March 1995.[citation needed]

Relationship with the Prince of Wales

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Camilla during a visit to Brazil in March 2009.

The relationship between Camilla and Prince Charles began when they met at a polo match in 1970.[13] 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.[14]

The affair became public knowledge a decade later, with the publication of Diana: Her True Story, followed by the Camillagate, the Homewrecker scandal, wherein an intimate telephone conversation between Camilla and Charles was secretly recorded and the transcripts published in the tabloids.[15] 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",[16][17] 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."[18] Though Camilla kept a low profile at this time, she became unpopular by these revelations.[19] It was confirmed by Charles in a televised interview with Jonathan Dimbleby that the relationship between him and Camilla resumed during their respective marriages.[20] 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.[citation needed]

Second engagement and marriage

Charles and Camilla in Jamaica, March 2008

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. To conduct a civil marriage at Windsor Castle would oblige the venue to obtain a licence for civil marriages, which it did not have. A condition of such a licence is that the licensed venue must be available for a period of one year to anyone wishing to be married there. As the Royal Family did not wish to make Windsor Castle available to the public for civil marriages, even just for one year, the location was changed to the Windsor Guildhall. 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.[21] 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),[22] 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.[23] Following the wedding, the couple travelled to the Prince's country home in Scotland, Birkhall, and carried out their first public duties as a couple during their honeymoon.

Duchess of Cornwall

President and Mrs Bush greet TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall

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.[24] 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,[25] and the badge of the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II.

Though no details were publicly released, it was confirmed in March 2007 that Camilla had undergone a hysterectomy.[26] 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."[27] On 8 April 2010, Camilla broke her left leg while hill walking in Scotland.[28] Camilla, along with her husband, 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.[29]

Royal duties

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall are greeted by Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary, Orville London.

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, MS Queen Victoria,[30] it being said that the Queen had been surprised by Cunard's invitation.[31] The Duchess of Cornwall is the patron of The Royal School, Hampstead, an independent girls' school,[32][33] as well as President or Patron of a number of other charities, as detailed below.

She attended the wedding of her stepson, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Kate Middleton in April 2011.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

Royal styles of
The Duchess of Cornwall
Arms of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.svg
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am
  • 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
    • in 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.[34][not in citation given]

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.[3] 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".[35][36] 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.[37] similar to the style of Prince Albert. 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).


Royal Monogram

Honorary military appointments

The Duchess of Cornwall holds the following military appointments:

Canada Canada
United Kingdom United Kingdom
  • United Kingdom Royal Colonel of the 4th Battalion of The Rifles
  • United Kingdom 2008: Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Halton
  • United Kingdom Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Leeming
  • United Kingdom Commodore-in-Chief of the Naval Medical Services
  • United Kingdom Commodore-in-Chief Naval Chaplaincy Service
  • United Kingdom Lady sponsor of HMS Astute[40]



Name Birth Marriage Issue
Tom Parker Bowles 18 December 1974 10 September 2005 Sara Buys Lola Rosalind and Freddy Parker Bowles
Laura Parker Bowles 1 January 1978 6 May 2006 Harry Lopes Eliza, Louis and Gus Lopes


Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at Dundurn Castle in Hamilton, Ontario
Camilla in November 2005

According to genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner, the Duchess of Cornwall's ancestry is predominantly French, English, Dutch, and Scottish. Through her French lineage, Camilla's maternal line great-great-grandmother was Sophia Mary MacNab of Hamilton, Ontario, who was herself the descendant of 17th century immigrants to Quebec, daughter of Sir Allan MacNab, and wife of William Coutts Keppel, Earl of Albemarle. Their son, George, was husband to Alice Edmonstone, who was the mistress of King Edward VII, himself the great-great-grandfather of Prince Charles. Also through George Keppel on Camilla's side and through the late Queen Mother on Charles' side, Camilla and Charles are ninth cousins once removed.[43] Through her mother she is a descendant of Zacharie Cloutier.[44] This same lineage makes Camilla a distant relation of Celine Dion, Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie and Madonna,[45] while her bloodline is also connected to King Charles II, through his illegitimate son, Charles Lennox, Duke of Richmond; Thomas Cubitt, prominent Victorian architect; and, through the Earl of Albemarle, Judith Keppel, the first winner of the top prize on the television game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.[46]


  1. ^ As a titled royal, Camilla holds no surname, but, when one is used, it is Mountbatten-Windsor
  2. ^ The Sunday Times. 03.04.2005.
  3. ^ a b " TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall[dead link]
  4. ^ Some sources report that HRH was born in Plumpton, but it seems that this is a confusion of her childhood home as her birth place.
  5. ^ "— Camilla Parker Bowles Biography". 17 July 1947. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Royal Christenings". Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "— Camilla Rosemary Shand". Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Deaths England and Wales 1984–2006". Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  9. ^ The Times, 21 October 1944
  10. ^ The Times, 5 August 1942
  11. ^ Yvonne's Royalty Home Page – Royal Christenings
  12. ^ 'Major A.H. Parker Bowles and Miss C.R. Shand' in The Times, 5 July 1973
  13. ^ "Profile: Camilla Parker Bowles". BBC News. 10 February 2005. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  14. ^ "Q&A: Charles and Camilla". BBC News. 22 March 2005. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  15. ^ Linton, David (March 2006). "Camillagate: Prince Charles and the Tampon Scandal". Sex Roles 54 (5–6): 347–351. doi:10.1007/s11199-006-9004-4. Retrieved 8 September 2008 
  16. ^ Henry, Emma (26 August 2007). "Telegraph – Camilla pulls out of Diana memorial service". The Daily Telegraph (UK). Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  17. ^ "— Relationship with Prince Charles". 10 February 2005. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  18. ^ Bradford, Sarah, Diana(2006),p.294
  19. ^ See CNN story "Love spans more than 30 years" claims bread roll pelting.
  20. ^ Dimbleby, Jonathan, The Prince of Wales, A Biography, p.395
  21. ^ Dear, Paula (5 April 2005). "Fans 'panic buy' 8 April mementos". BBC News. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  22. ^ "Q&A: Queen's wedding decision". BBC News. 23 February 2005. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  23. ^ Font size Print E-mail Share Page 1 of 3 By Ellen Crean (9 April 2005). "CBS News "Charles and Camilla Finally Wed"". Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  24. ^ Davies, Caroline (24 December 2005). First royal Sandringham Christmas for Camilla. UK. Retrieved 14 January 2009 
  25. ^ "Duchess of Cornwall wears Queen Mother's Tiara". Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  26. ^ "Charles sees Camilla in hospital". BBC News. 5 March 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  27. ^ "Camilla swerves Diana tribute". Retrieved 27 June 2010. [dead link]
  28. ^ "Camilla Breaks A Leg But Says 'Life Goes On'". British Sky Broadcasting. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  29. ^ "Royal car attacked in protest after MPs' fee vote". BBC News. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  30. ^ "Cunard Line: ''Her Royal Highness The Duchess Of Cornwall To Name Cunard's New Queen Victoria''; 10 September 2007". Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  31. ^ The Royalist – Queen Expresses "Surprise" Over Camilla Invite
  32. ^ "Duchess of Cornwall Visits Schoolgirls Raising Funds for Charity"[dead link], The Royal Forums, 25 February 2009.
  33. ^ "Camilla on royal visit at Hampstead school", Hampstead and Highgate Express, 25 February 2009.
  34. ^ " Prince of Wales – Titles
  35. ^ Camilla can legally be queen. CBC News. Retrieved 24 May 2009 
  36. ^ "Camilla might still become Queen". The Times (UK). Retrieved 24 May 2009 [dead link]
  37. ^ Clarence House press release, 10 February 2005
  38. ^ "Honours of the Crown—The Monarchist League of Canada". Archived from the original on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  39. ^
  40. ^ The Prince of Wales > Personal Profiles > The Duchess of Cornwall > At Work > Armed Services. Clarence House. Retrieved 24 October 2008 
  41. ^ "Camilla's coat of arms unveiled". BBC News. 17 July 2005. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  42. ^ a b c "The Coat of Arms of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall". College of Arms. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 
  43. ^ "Strange Relations: Prince Charles and Camilla are Ninth Cousins Once Removed". Landing Ancestry database. [dead link]
  44. ^
  45. ^ "Leurs histoires commencent dans le Perche…". Retrieved 2011-10-19. , "Hillary Clinton". Retrieved 2011-10-19. , "Camilla, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall". Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  46. ^ "Sir William Coutts Keppel, 7th Earl of Albemarle". ThePeerage database. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 


  • Bradford, Sarah (2006). Diana. Viking. ISBN 9780670916788 
  • Dimbleby, Jonathan (1994). The Prince of Wales, a Biography. Hamilton: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0316910163 

External links

Order of precedence in England and Wales and in Northern Ireland
Preceded by
The Queen
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall
Succeeded by
The Countess of Wessex
Order of precedence in Scotland
Preceded by
The Queen
HRH The Duchess of Rothesay
Succeeded by
The Countess of Wessex

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