ROYALS

Andrew Parker Bowles & Queen Camilla’s rocky romance

It was tumultuous to say the least.
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When it comes to royal relationships, there is none quite as controversial as that of Queen Camilla and King Charles.

From a six-month-fling in the 1970s to a long-running affair in the 1980s that finally led to the dissolution of both their marriages, the lovebirds just couldn’t leave one another alone.

But there was a time when Camilla (nee Shand) was in love with another, retired British Army officer Andrew Parker Bowles.

Scroll on as we revisit every aspect of their relationship for better (and for worse).

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Their wedding was attended by several members of the royal family including Princess Anne, Andrew’s ex-girlfriend. (Credit: Getty).

Is Camilla’s first husband still alive?

Yes, Queen Camilla’s first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles is still alive and is 84 years old. He was born on December 27, 1939.

Like his future wife, Andrew was connected to royalty through the Queen Mother (who was also his godmother) and was even a page at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953.

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Andrew reportedly knew that his wife was engaging in an extra-marital affair with the King of England by the time this image was taken in 1992, but simply “did not care” according to insider sources. (Credit: Getty)

How did Andrew Parker Bowles and Camilla meet?

The pair first crossed paths in the late 1960s and proceeded to date for extended periods for several years.

Frustrated by his lack of commitment, Derek Parker Bowles (his father) and Bruce Shand (Camilla’s father) reportedly forced Andrew’s hand by publishing an engagement notice in The Times, forcing him to propose to Camilla after seven years of on-and-off dating.

The couple were wed on July 4, 1973, in front of high society that included The Queen Mother, Princess Anne, and Princess Margaret. They later welcomed two children into the world, Laura Lopes and Tom Parker Bowles – who became the godson of his future step-father King Charles.

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Princess Anne and Andrew Parker Bowles have remained lifelong friends. (Credit: Getty)

Did Princess Anne have a relationship with Andrew Parker Bowles?

It has been reported that during an “off” phase of his relationship with Camilla, Andrew dated Princess Anne, beginning in June 1970.

Ultimately their romantic entanglement never became anything serious as Princess Anne was forbidden from marrying a Catholic due to her mother, Queen Elizabeth II being the head of the Church of England.

While it has been reported that both Anne and Andrew engaged in extra-marital affairs with one another during their respective marriages, it has never been confirmed.

Regardless, the pair are still firm friends and are regularly photographed together at horse racing events where Andrew shows his support for his equestrian god-daughter Zara Tindall.

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New Idea exclusively revealed the secret relationship between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in 1992. (Credit: Getty)

Why did Camilla and Andrew Parker Bowles split?

After only a few years of marriage, Camilla reportedly began engaging in an extra-marital affair with the then Prince Charles.

Despite being married himself, the royal continued to see Camilla. And despite their attempts to keep their secret relationship affair on the down low, their affair was ultimately exposed in 1992 after private conversations between the duo from 1989 were leaked to the press.

While Charles and Diana announced their divorce that same year, it took an additional three years for Camilla and Andrew’s divorce to be finalized in 1995 – the same year Diana famously told BBC’s Panorama that “there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”

It has also been reported that Andrew engaged in extra-marital affairs of his own, including with several of Camilla’s friends and allegedly even his future wife Rosemary Pitman.

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Queen Camilla was “deeply saddened” by the passing of her ex-husband’s second wife Rosemary in 2010 and lent him her support during the memorial service. (Credit: Getty)

Who is Andrew Parker Bowles in a relationship with?

After confirming he and Camilla had divorced in January 1995 due to a “private matter” and the fact that throughout his marriage he and his now ex-wife “led completely separate lives,” Andrew Parker Bowles married Rosemary Pitman in 1996.

The couple had long been known to each other through Rosemary’s first husband Hugh of whom Andrew had served in the same military regiment.

Sadly, in January 2010 after almost 15 years of marriage, Rosemary passed away at the age of 68 after a four-year battle with cancer.

As of May 2024, Andrew Parker-Bowles is dating British TV presenter Anne Robinson. The pair reportedly met in early 2023 at a lunch hosted by mutual friends.

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