Nine years after his failed marriage to Diana officially ended, Prince Charles walked down the aisle for a second time.
But if it wasn’t for a little meddling on the part of Camilla’s father, she could very well have been the first person the royal said ‘I do’ to.
Camilla and Charles were lovers years before he ever met Diana.
He was 24, and they spent the summer of 1972 getting very close, enjoying nights on the town and at Camilla’s London apartment, according to biography Prince Charles, by Sally Bedell Smith.
The author claims that Charles “found the warmth that he yearned for” in Camilla, and that he loved the way she “always listened to him”.
Her on-again off-again boyfriend Andrew Parker Bowles, was overseas at the time, and things with Charles were progressing swimmingly. That is, until Charles himself went away on naval duties.
Bedell Smith explains that Charles had some lingering concerns about his love; Was he too young to marry? Did she have a “virginal” enough image for a princess? (It was expected at the time that a prince’s bride have at least the appearance of virginity.)
But by the time he got back from his posting, Charles’ concerns were of no use - she was already engaged to someone else.
According to Bedell Smith, Andrew’s brother had conspired with Camilla’s dad to make sure Camilla and Andrew would marry.
So they allegedly printed a false statement in the paper announcing the pair’s “engagement”.
“They intervened by publishing an engagement notice in The Times on March 15,” Bedell Smith writes.
“His hand publicly forced, Andrew proposed to his girlfriend of nearly seven years.”
The author goes on to claim that Charles was completely devastated by the news, and eight years later on the day before he married 20-year-old Diana, he wept over his long lost love.