We’re sure Camilla Parker Bowles isn’t quite amused by the newest documentary about her life. We’ve all heard that Camilla was the “other woman” in Prince Charles‘ ill-fated marriage to the late Princess Diana, but an ITV special titled The Real Camilla: HRH the Duchess of Cornwall has claimed that she and Charles had an extramarital affair long before that. And that time, the special asserted, she was the adulterer… but only because her then-husband was unfaithful.
Camilla and Charles started dating in the early 1970s — reportedly after meeting in a chance encounter at a polo game — but the romance ended after Charles joined the Royal Navy and traveled overseas in 1973. That same year, Camilla married a British Army officer named Andrew Parker Bowles, whom she had dated in the 1960s. But according to this new documentary, Andrew was unfaithful, and an unhappy Camilla sought comfort in Charles upon the prince’s return to the UK.
Charles and Camilla in 1979.
“She was unhappy that she was the betrayed woman,” an insider said in the special. “This was the real problem. That’s what sent her back into the arms of Prince Charles. Andrew was away an awful lot, and Prince Charles was someone who was kind to her.”
Still, Camilla and Andrew didn’t divorce until 1995, and in the meantime, Charles met and married Diana, who apparently was always haunted by her husband’s lingering feelings for Camilla. “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” Diana said in a 1995 Panorama interview.
We all know the story from here. Diana and Charles — parents of Prince William and Prince Harry — separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996. Charles then reconciled with Camilla, and when they married in 2005, she received the Duchess of Cornwall title, with Queen Elizabeth‘s blessing, of course. Even more impressively, Elizabeth appointed Camilla to Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council in 2016, making Camilla the first British princess by marriage to receive that honor. Let’s just hope Elizabeth doesn’t end up watching The Real Camilla, right?
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