More often than not, “tell-all” books are comprised of cleverly-disguised rumours, and even when the Duchess of Cornwall reportedly gives you her seal of approval, you can probably take the news with a grain of salt.
Penny Junor was at the Henley Literary Festival to promote her new book, The Duchess: The Untold Story. Junor has penned content about several royal family members in the past, and her new book posits that Camilla had her eye on Prince Charles in the early 1970s because her on-again off-again partner (and later husband), Andrew Parker Bowles, was seeing Princess Anne.
Junor spoke at length about how Charles and Camilla’s mutual friend, Lucia Santa Cruz, “knew exactly what was going on with Andrew and could not bear to see her friend treated this way so she had this wonderful idea to introduce Camilla to Charles”.
The biographer added that, “I think she would have done it even if Andrew had not been seeing Princess Anne; if it had not been Anne, it would have been someone else.”
These tit-for-tat relationships seem to be quite common in the upper classes, according to Junor; though Camilla knew at the time that her relationship with Charles could not end happily for the two of them, that didn’t stop her from trying to get her revenge. If catching Andrew’s interest and sparking jealousy was indeed her goal, Camilla succeeded; the two married in 1973.
The Parker Bowles divorced in 1995, and Camilla went on to marry the Prince of Wales 10 years later, in a civil ceremony in 2005.
The novel isn’t all sordid affairs of the upper classes and revenge relationships, though; according to The Daily Mail, the biographer hopes that her new book will “dispel myths about [the Duchess of Cornwall] … and demonstrate the positive impact she has had on Charles”.
This article originally appeared on Starts at 60.