A complete timeline of King Charles and Queen Camilla’s relationship

It was a complicated and messy but ultimately true love story…
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King Charles III and Queen Camilla Parker Bowles are one of the most talked-about couples in the history of the British monarchy. Their relationship has been filled with controversy and scandal, but they have also shown that true love can conquer all.

Ahead of the royal couple being officially crowned as King and Queen during their coronation, take a closer look at the timeline of Charles and Camilla’s relationship, including how they met, when they dated, their infamous affair, and their 18-year-long marriage.

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How did Charles and Camilla meet?

King Charles and Queen Camilla first met in the early 1970s at a polo match in Windsor. Charles was instantly attracted to Camilla’s wit and charm, and they quickly became close friends.

Eventually, the two began dating but their relationship was complicated. Charles was under pressure from the royal family to find a suitable wife and produce an heir, and it’s rumoured his family did not consider Camilla a suitable match (she is not strictly from an aristocratic family, for instance). Plus, in 1971, Charles had to leave and serve in the Royal Navy.

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Charles and Camilla met in the early 1970s. (Credit: Getty)

This immense pressure and distance caused the two to break up. And it looked like the couple had moved on from one another; in 1973, Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles and in 1981, Charles married Diana Spencer.

When did Charles and Camilla have an affair?

According to Charles’ authorised biography, The Prince of Wales: A Biography by Johnathan Dimbleby, Charles and Camilla began having an affair in 1986.

In 1989, the two of them had an extremely intimate phone call. Charles said, “I’ll just live inside your trousers” to Camilla before the pair joked about Charles coming back as “a pair of knickers” or a “Tampax [tampon]” in his next life. Both Charles and Camilla repeatedly voiced how they yearned for and loved each other during the call too.

WATCH: Unseen footage of King Charles released in new documentary

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But little did they know, this phone call was secretly recorded. And both the audio and transcript of the call was made public in 1993, exposing their affair (at the time of the call both Charles and Camilla were married to Diana and Andrew respectively) to the world.

When did Charles and Camilla get married?

In 1992, the then-Prime Minister John Major announced that Charles and Diana had officially separated. The couple then officially divorced in 1996. Camilla and Andrew divorced in 1995.

But despite both being single, Charles and Camilla did not publicly start a relationship for quite some time. It took until 1999 for Charles and Camilla to make their first public appearance together.

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Charles and Camilla tied the knot in 2005. (Credit: Getty)

In 2003, the couple moved into Clarence House, located in Westminster, London. Then in February 2005, Charles and Camilla announced their engagement.

On April 9, 2005, the two wed in a small civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall. Prince William, Charles’ eldest son, was the best man. Queen Elizabeth II did not attend the wedding but she did host and appear at the reception for the couple afterward.

A timeline of King Charles and Queen Camilla’s relationship:

  • 1970s – Then-Prince Charles and then-Camilla Shand first meet at a polo match in Windsor. The two quickly hit it off and begin dating.
  • 1971 – Charles and Camilla break up when he leaves to join the Royal Navy.
  • 1973 – Camilla marries Andrew Parker Bowles, a cavalry officer.
  • 1981 – Charles marries Diana Spencer.
  • 1986 – Charles and Camilla begin an affair while he is still married to Princess Diana. (This became public knowledge in 1993 when a transcript of a phone conversation between Charles and Camilla was leaked to the press.)
  • 1992 – Charles and Diana announce their separation.
  • 1995 – Camilla and Andrew announce their divorce.
  • 1996 – Charles and Diana officially divorce.
  • 1999 – Charles and Camilla make their first public appearance together at a birthday party for Camilla’s sister.
  • 2005 – Charles and Camilla announce their engagement and then marry in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall.
  • 2023 – After eighteen years of marriage, Charles and Camilla are officially crowned as the King and Queen of England.

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