When Prince Charles finally wed Camilla in 2005, many fans of Princess Diana voiced their disapproval. What is little known is that one person made her distaste known in spectacular style at the wedding reception itself – and that person was none other than the groom’s mother, Her Majesty the Queen.
That’s the startling allegation in author Tom Bower’s new book, Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles.
Charles has long battled to win the Queen’s approval for the relationship, since the monarch had said of Charles’ mistress, ‘I want nothing to do with her’, and described her as ‘that wicked woman’.
The Queen was said to have been disgusted by her son’s adultery, and the profound damage that his tragic marriage breakdown did to the image of the monarchy.
At a reception for King Constantine in Greece in 2000, Her Majesty refused to be introduced to Camilla.
Charles eventually wore his mother down enough to let Camilla attend the Queen Mother’s funeral in 2002 – but not as his partner.
A relieved Charles got his mother to attend the couple’s April 2005 wedding reception, although she famously did not attend the registry office wedding ceremony itself.
The final humiliation for Camilla came when Her Majesty refused to mention Camilla by name during her reception speech – preferring instead to make a joke about the Grand National horse race, which was happening at the same time – and did not speak to the bride once.
‘I have two important announcements to make,’ the Queen said during her speech. ‘I know you will all want to know who was the winner of the Grand National. It was Hedgehunter.
‘Secondly, having cleared Becher's Brook and The Chair and all kinds of other terrible obstacles, they have come through and I'm very proud and wish them well.
‘My son is home and dry with the woman he loves. They are now on the home straight; the happy couple are now in the winner's enclosure.’
Camilla was left less-than-happy.
‘Few noticed that the Queen had not once mentioned Camilla by name,’ writes Bower in the book. ‘Nor did she speak to her during the party.”
But one person who certainly did notice was the bride.
'I can't believe it,' a humiliated Camilla said to friends during the reception. 'I can't believe it.'"
To top it all off, when the time came for photographs, the Queen stood ‘for just 52 seconds’ for a group shot, then immediately left the reception.