Just over 25 years after the death of Charles’ first wife, DianaPrincess of Wales, Camilla remains a divisive figure in Britain.
Here’s what you should know:
Born Camilla Shand in July 1947, she is said to have met Prince Charles at a polo match in Windsor in 1970 and they became friends.
The following year Charles joined the Royal Navy and while away, Camilla married cavalry officer Andrew Parker Bowles. The couple had two children in the 1970s.
Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, but in 1994 he admitted that he had an affair with Camilla.
Camilla divorced Andrew Parker Bowles in 1995. Charles and Diana divorced the following year and Camilla disappeared from public life as public and media support poured in behind the princess. The pro-Diana sentiment against Camilla was bolstered by sympathy for Diana after she was killed in a high-speed car crash in Paris in 1997.
In 1999, Clarence House embarked on a program of reintroducing Camilla to the public with a carefully choreographed first appearance with Charles outside the Ritz Hotel in London. She moved into Clarence House to stay with Charles and her name started appearing on official papers.
Their story culminated in 2005, when they tied the knot in Windsor, with the Queen’s consent. Camilla, now known as the Royal Duchess of Cornwall, is confirmed as the official consort of Charles and the future queen of the United Kingdom.
The Duchess has ventured into the life of a senior royal, supporting Charles on official engagements in the UK and overseas tours, despite her fear of flying. She quickly became the property of the British royal family and government with her touch and ability to melt the tension in the room.
When her husband became king, Camilla automatically became queen. However, it was long thought she would not use the title, Clarence House released a statement in 2005 saying that she would instead be known as “Princess Consort”. “. Some in the palace at the time felt the public was not ready for Camilla to accept a title that had been given to Diana.
But over the years, attitudes toward Camilla have softened. In 2015, a CNN poll found that one in four Britons liked her more and fewer and fewer opposed her becoming queen.
Then, in February 2022, the Queen used her Platinum Jubilee milestone to bless the Duchess of Cornwall to be known as queen when the time came. It was an extremely important intervention from the king, the only one who could determine the royal titles.