Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

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The Duchess of Cornwall and the
The Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla Rosemary Mountbatten-Windsor, formerly Parker Bowles, ne Shand) (born 17 July 1947), styled HRH The Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland, is a member of the British Royal Family. She is the second wife of The Prince of Wales, heir apparent to the thrones of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth Realms. Prior to their marriage she had been his longtime partner.


Early life and family history

Missing image
Young Camilla

Template:British Royal Family The Duchess of Cornwall was born Camilla Rosemary Shand in London. Her parents were Major Bruce Shand, a British Army officer turned wine merchant, and his wife, the Hon. Rosalind Cubitt, eldest child of Roland Calvert Cubitt, 3rd Baron Ashcombe. Among the Duchess's forebears is Thomas Cubitt, who made a fortune constructing much of London's West End for the Grosvenor family. An aunt is Elspeth Howe, the former chair of the Broadcasting Standards Commission. She has one brother, Mark, and a sister, Annabel.

According to genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner, her ancestry is French, English, Dutch, Scottish, and American. She is descended from several families — Treadway, Barnes, Jones, Goodnow, Allen, Brazier and others — who were living in Massachusetts and Connecticut in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. She also has French Canadian ancestors and is a descendant of a pre-Confederation Canadian Premier of the Province of Canada Sir Allan Napier McNab.

The Duchess of Cornwall is related to three other favourites of the British royal family. She is a great-granddaughter of royal mistress Alice Keppel (the Hon. Mrs George Keppel, ne Edmonstone, a daughter of Admiral Sir William Edmonstone), who was the last love of the Prince of Wales's great-great-grandfather, Edward VII; the Duchess was born two months before Mrs Keppel's death. Through George Keppel, she is related to Judith Keppel, the first winner of the top prize on the UK version of the television game show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? George Keppel's brother is the great-great-grandfather of Judith Keppel, making them third cousins once removed.

The Duchess is also a descendant via her grandmother Sonia (Keppel) Cubitt of Arnold Joost van Keppel, 1st Earl of Albemarle, a favourite of William III, and of Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, the illegitimate son of King Charles II by his mistress Louise-Rene de Penancot de Krouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth. (Diana, Princess of Wales also was directly descended from the 1st Duke of Richmond.) She is also a grand-niece of Violet Trefusis, a socialite who caused an international scandal in the 1920s by eloping with fellow writer Vita Sackville-West; both were married at the time.

Known since childhood as "Milla", the Duchess spent her early youth in the village of Plumpton, Sussex, where the family home stood opposite the Plumpton Racecourse. She attended Dumbrells School in Sussex, Queen's Gate School in Kensington as well as Mon Fertile, a finishing school in Switzerland. She made her debut in London in 1965. In her youth she worked for a year at the London decorators Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler.

In 1973 the then Camilla Shand married Andrew Parker-Bowles. They had two children together, Tom, born in 1974 and Laura, born in 1978. They divorced in 1995.

She is said to have lost heavily along with other Lloyd's Names, and thus to have lost most of her private fortune, an inheritance of approximately 500,000 pounds that was derived mostly from her Cubitt ancestors. She is a dedicated horse-rider and enjoys hunting.

Relationship with the Prince of Wales

See also: the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles.

The relationship between Camilla Shand and the Prince of Wales began in 1970, when they met at a polo match before either of them was married. It ended a year later, reportedly after the Prince delayed proposing marriage. Camilla Shand was married in 1973 to Andrew Parker Bowles, an Army officer, friend of the Prince of Wales and godson of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The couple had two children: Tom (born 1974, a food columnist for Tatler who is a godson of the Prince of Wales) and Laura (born 1978).

The friendship between the Prince of Wales and the Parker Bowles continued. The Parker Bowles marriage was reportedly an open one - both had extramarital relationships - and eventually Andrew Parker Bowles took a long-term mistress who later became his second wife, Rosemary Parker Bowles.

The Prince's first wife, the former Lady Diana Spencer, publicly blamed the relationship between her husband and Camilla for the break-up of the Wales' marriage; privately, the Princess referred to Camilla, with whom she had originally been on affable terms, as "the Rottweiler". Diana reported that Camilla had known before she did that the Prince of Wales was going to propose to her. The Prince and Mrs Parker Bowles bought one another presents and used the pet nicknames of "Fred" and "Gladys" to one another. The Prince's supporters maintained that Diana's "paranoid fixation" over his friendship with Camilla broke up the Wales' marriage.

The romance became public knowledge with the leaking of the "Camillagate" tape in 1993. These were recordings of a private and slightly racy telephone conversation that occurred in 1989 with the Prince of Wales.

It has been claimed by so-called royal insiders, though denied by both the couple and their friends, that the couple's affair had been conducted throughout the Prince's engagement, though one widely claimed report, that they had been intimate on the night before Charles's marriage to Diana, was universally dismissed as fiction by those who attended the function they were at together. Template:Ref Though the timing of these tangled relationships has been much discussed and dissected, reliable published reports indicate that they renewed their romantic relationship in the mid 1980s, around the time that the Princess of Wales had become involved with two men, one of them reportedly a bodyguard. After the Prince of Wales's public admission, in a television interview with Jonathan Dimbleby, that he had committed adultery, the Parker-Bowleses announced their own divorce in 1995. They had been living apart for some time, and Andrew Parker Bowles soon remarried.

Though she maintains a residence in Wiltshire, the Duchess of Cornwall primarily lives at Highgrove House and at Clarence House, the former residence of the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, which is now the Prince of Wales's official London residence. He spent his early childhood in the house, which was the first residence of his newlywed parents, the present Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and the Duke of Edinburgh. British newspapers reported in early 2005, in articles about the finances of the Prince of Wales, that, even though they were not married at the time, His Royal Highness paid for her jewels and designer wardrobe (among the designers are Giorgio Armani and Oscar de la Renta) and the decoration of her two-room Clarence House quarters by designer Robert Kime.

On 10 February 2005 it was announced that Parker Bowles and the Prince of Wales would marry on 8 April 2005 at Windsor Castle with a civil service followed by religious prayer.

On 4 April it was announced that the wedding would be postponed 24 hours until 9 April, so that the Prince of Wales could attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II as the representative of the Queen.

List of styles

Camilla's full title after her marriage is Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales and Countess of Chester, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Carrick, Baroness of Renfrew, Lady of the Isles, Princess of Scotland.

Clarence House announced at the couple's engagement that she wished to use the style of her future husband's subsidiary title, Duke of Cornwall, rather than Princess of Wales, except in Scotland, where Prince Charles is usually referred to as the Duke of Rothesay.

Her Royal Highness' current name, previous names, and styles used of titles acquired upon her marriage into the Royal Family in chronological order are as follows:

  • Miss Camilla Shand (until 1973)
  • Mrs Andrew Parker Bowles (1973-1995)
  • Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles (1995-2005)
  • Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall (used everywhere but Scotland) (2005-)
  • Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay (used only in Scotland) (2005-)

Clarence House has indicated that when Charles accedes the throne it is intended that she will use the title HRH The Princess Consort, although, as with the example of the Princess of Wales, technically as the wife of a king Camilla would be queen.

See Also

Additional reading

  • Jonathan Dimbleby, The Prince of Wales, a Biography (Little, Brown and Company, 1994) ISBN 0316910163


Template:Note. A spokesman for the Department of Constitutional Affairs told the Sunday Times " (Camilla} automatically takes the title Princess of Wales and all the other titles that go with her marriage to the Prince of Wales. The Sunday Times. 03.04.2005

Template:Note While Charles and Camilla were alone together for periods, it was in a room to which other guests and members of staff regularly walked in unannounced. No-one reportedly witnessed any indications of sexual activity and the risks of engaging in such activity in a room where anyone could walk in at any time was highlighted as evidence that no such activity was likely to have happened, contrary to Diana's claims. The Sunday Times. 03.04.2005

External links

cy:Camilla, Duges Cernyw da:Camilla, hertuginde af Cornwall de:Camilla Mountbatten-Windsor, Herzogin von Cornwall eo:Camilla PARKER BOWLES fr:Camilla Parker-Bowles id:Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall he:קמילה פרקר בולס nl:Camilla Parker Bowles ja:カミラ・パーカー・ボウルズ nb:Camilla, hertuginne av Cornwall nn:Hertuginne Camilla av Cornwall pl:Camilla Parker Bowles pt:Camilla, Duquesa da Cornualha fi:Cornwallin herttuatar Camilla sv:Camilla Parker Bowles th:คามิลลา ดัชเชสแห่งคอร์นวอลล์ zh:卡蜜拉


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