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Camilla Parker Bowles's Biography

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Who is Camilla Parker Bowles?

Camilla Parker Bowles, the wife of King Charles III, was born on 17 July 1947 in London.

Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles married in a civil ceremony at Windsor's Guildhall on 9 April 2005, and Camilla took the title of the Duchess of Cornwall.

She was born Camilla Rosemary Shand, the daughter of Major Bruce and Rosalind Shand. Major Shand spent 16 years in the royal household; whilst Camilla's mother was a member of the Cubitt family who helped build Pimlico and Belgravia.

Camilla Parker Bowles was educated at the Queens Gate School and then finishing school in Switzerland and France. Her first boyfriend was aviation heir, Kevin Bourke.

In 1973, Camilla married cavalry officer Andrew Parker Bowles. They have two children: Tom and Laura.

Camilla and Andrew Parker Bowles divorced in 1995. He married Virginia Pitman just a year later.

Apart from a short gap when Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer, the relationship between Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles has been exceptionally close for many years. They first met at a Windsor polo match in 1970.

Camilla Parker Bowles caused a stir when Diana discovered she had given Charles a pair of gold cufflinks engraved with entwined 'C's. After Prince William was born, Charles and Camilla had an affair, as admitted in a 1994 television interview by Prince Charles.

Princess Diana complained in her famous Panorama interview that three people in a marriage was too crowded.

The release of a transcript of a surreptitiously recorded phone call between Charles and Camilla confirmed the forthright nature of their relationship.

Camilla Parker Bowles's great-aunt, Violet Trefusis, was the mistress of King Edward VII.

Camilla's grandfather was the respected food writer P. Morton Shand who wrote The Book of Food, published in 1927.

According to Camilla's son, Tom Parker Bowles: "Mum does the best roast chicken in the world. Sometimes it's roast lamb." (Source: Nigel Slater interview with Tom Parker Bowles).

On June 11, 2005 Camilla Parker Bowles, officially known as The Duchess of Cornwall after her wedding to Prince Charles, stood on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the first time after the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

In November 2005, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was chosen by Barbara Walters as the Most Fascinating Person of 2005.

Camilla came first in The Independent's list of Britain's happiest people.

In August 2007, Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, decided not to attend the memorial service on the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana's death.

In 2012, Camilla was made a Dame Grand Cross, the highest female rank in the Royal Victorian Order.

In September 2022, following the death of the Queen, her husband became King Charles III and Camilla became the queen consort.

See also the biography of Camilla Parker Bowles's brother, Mark Shand.

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