A Full Breakdown of King Charles and Queen Camilla’s Relationship Timeline

charles and camilla relationship timeline
Rob Jefferies/Getty Images

King Charles and Queen Camilla’s love story is one for the ages. And fortunately for us, we’ve already seen parts of it unfold on Netflix’s binge-worthy historical drama, The Crown.

Season five, which covered the collapse of the former prince's marriage and his budding romance with Camilla Parker Bowles, and it sparked a renewed interest in the king and queen’s complicated history. And now, with season six on the horizon, we imagine that royal enthusiasts are eager to see how the series will depict their relationship milestones, from their official engagement to their candid interviews about media scrutiny.

Unfortunately, Netflix has yet to confirm a premiere date for The Crown season six. But until then, we’re taking a closer look at King Charles and Queen Camilla’s relationship timeline.

charles and camilla relationship timeline 1
TIM GRAHAM/Getty Images

1970: Prince Charles and Camilla Shand Meet

Some sources reported that the pair (who were known as Prince Charles and Camilla Shand at the time) met at a polo match at Windsor Great Park, but historian Robert Lacey disagrees. In The Crown: The Official Companion Volume 2, he explained that they were introduced by a mutual friend named Lucia Santa Cruz in 1970. 

Penny Junor, author of The Duchess: The Untold Story, also confirmed they met through Cruz and that there was an instant spark. He wrote, "He loved the fact that she smiled with her eyes as well as her mouth and laughed at the same silly things as he did. He also liked that she was so natural and easy and friendly, not in any way overawed by him, not fawning or sycophantic. In short, he was very taken with her, and after that first meeting, he began ringing her up."

They struck up a romance later that year, but called it quits after Charles left to serve in the Royal Navy.

charles and camilla relationship timeline 2
Wood/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

July 4, 1973: Camilla Marries Andrew Parker Bowles

Following an on-and-off relationship during the late '60s, Camilla tied the knot with former British Army Officer Andrew Parker Bowles—who previously dated Princess Anne—in 1973. The two married at the Guards' Chapel, Wellington Barracks, in London and it was attended by 800 guests, including Princess Anne, Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

Together, they welcomed two children: Laura, born in January 1978, and Tom (who is King Charles III’s godson), born in December 1974.

charles and camilla relationship timeline 5
Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

November 1977: Prince Charles and Princess Diana Meet

As it turns out, they first crossed paths when Prince Charles was dating Diana's older sister, Sarah. The relationship didn't last long, and Sarah wound up marrying Neil McCorquodale. But 16-year-old Diana was instantly smitten with the young prince. According to Tina Brown's book The Diana Chronicles (via Reader’s Digest), Diana told her friends she would marry him one day. The princess reportedly told them, “He’s the one man on the planet who is not allowed to divorce me.”

charles and camilla relationship timeline 4
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

February 24, 1981: Prince Charles and Diana Announce Their Engagement

After dating for six months, the couple announced their engagement and proceeded to do a joint interview with BBC. However, Charles gave a rather interesting answer when they were asked if they were in love.

In Diana: In Her Own Words, the princess said, "We had this ghastly interview the day we announced our engagement. And this ridiculous [reporter] said, ‘Are you in love?’ I thought, what a thick question. So I said, ‘Yes, of course, we are,’ and Charles turned round and said, ‘Whatever love means.’ And that threw me completely. I thought, what a strange answer. It traumatized me.”

charles and camilla relationship timeline 6
Bettmann / Getty Images

July 29, 1981: Prince Charles and Diana Tie the Knot

With over 750 million viewers tuning in, the couple tied the knot in St. Paul’s Cathedral. The fairytale wedding was attended by several members of royal families from foreign countries, including the King and Queen of the Belgians and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway. (And yes, Bowles attended the nuptials.)

The couple welcomed two sons: Prince William, born in June 1982, and Prince Harry, born in September 1984.

charles and camilla relationship timeline 7
TIM GRAHAM/Getty Images

1986: Prince Charles’s Affair with Camilla Begins

In Prince Charles's authorized biography, Prince of Wales, Jonathan Dimbleby wrote that the former prince returned to his old flame towards the end of 1986 because his marriage to Diana had “irretrievably broken down.” It didn't take long for Diana to catch wind of the affair and confront Bowles about it.

In recordings from Andrew Morton's Diana: Her True Story, she said, "I was terrified of her...I said, 'I know what's going on between you and Charles, and I just want you to know that.'  And she said to me, 'You've got everything you’ve ever wanted. All the men in the world fall in love with you, and you've got two beautiful children, what more would you want?' So, I said, 'I want I said, 'I want my husband.'"

charles and camilla relationship timeline 8
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

December 9, 1992: Prince Charles and Princess Diana Announce Separation 

British Prime Minister John Major announced that the prince and princess were officially separating. He said, “This decision has been reached amicably, and they will both continue to participate fully in the upbringing of their children. Following the announcement, they continued to carry out their royal duties and attended a few events together. 

charles and camilla relationship timeline 9
RICK RYCROFT/AFP via Getty Images

January 17, 1993: Phone Call Between Prince Charles & Camilla Gets Leaked

Known as “Camillagate,” Charles and Camilla had an intimate six-minute call that was secretly recorded in 1989, while the Prince and Princess of Wales were still together. By 1993, their flirtatious exchange was leaked and published by multiple tabloids, confirming their affair and sparking a major scandal for the royal family.

charles and camilla relationship timeline 10
Chip HIRES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

June 29, 1994: Prince Charles Speaks Out About Camilla

The royal finally addressed the rumors in the documentary Charles: The Private Man, the Public Role after being asked, after being asked to share his thoughts about the claims. He said, “She has been a friend for a very long time, and along with a lot of other friends, and will continue to be a friend for a very long time. I think, also, most people won't realize that when marriages break down, as awful and miserable as that is, it is your friends who are the most important, helpful, understanding and encouraging.”

When asked if he was “faithful and honorable” to Princess Diana, he responded, “Yes, yes...until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried.”

charles and camilla relationship timeline 11
Dave Benett/Getty Images

March 3, 1995: Camilla Parker Bowles and Major Andrew Parker-Bowles Divorce 

After 21 years of marriage, the couple officially parted ways in 1995. In a shared statement, they revealed that they lived apart for two years and decided to end the marriage because there was "little of common interest" between them.

charles and camilla relationship timeline 12
Pool Photograph/Corbis via Getty Images

November 20, 1995: Princess Diana Discusses Prince Charles's Affair on Panorama

In the controversial tell-all interview, Princess Diana famously said, "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." The royal said she wanted her marriage to work and that Charles's unfaithfulness was "devastating" for her. However, the princess also confirmed that she had an extramarital affair with British Army Captain James Hewitt, saying, “I adored him. Yes, I was in love with him.” 

It was later confirmed that BBC journalist Martin Bashir used unethical practices to land an interview with the princess, prompting the BBC to issue an apology

charles and camilla relationship timeline 13
Tom Wargacki/WireImage

August 28, 1996: Prince Charles and Princess Diana Divorce

In February, the princess’s PR rep, Jane Atkinson, confirmed that Diana "agreed to Prince Charles’s request for a divorce." In response, a representative from the palace said, “The Queen was most interested to hear that the Princess of Wales had agreed to the divorce,” adding that she wanted the discussions to be “conducted privately and amicably.”

Before the announcement, Queen Elizabeth II actually encouraged the pair to divorce. Buckingham Palace announced in a statement, “After considering the present situation, the Queen wrote to both the prince and princess earlier this week and gave them her view, supported by the Duke of Edinburgh, that an early divorce is desirable. The Prince of Wales also takes this view and has made this known to the Princess of Wales since the letter. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will continue to do all they can to help and support the Prince and Princess of Wales, and most particularly their children, in this difficult period.”

After months of negotiations, the divorce was finalized in August.

charles and camilla relationship timeline 14
Barry Batchelor/PA Images via Getty Images

July 1997: Prince Charles Hosts Camilla's 50th Birthday Party

AP News reported that it was Charles's idea to throw Bowles a birthday party at his country home, Highgrove, which would mark his first public acknowledgment of their relationship since 1994.

charles and camilla relationship timeline 15
John Stillwell - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

August 31, 1997: Princess Diana’s Death

At 36 years old, the princess tragically died in a car accident while in Paris. Following her death, Prince Charles said in a statement, "It is inevitably very difficult to cope with grief at any time, but perhaps you might realize that it is even harder when the whole world is watching at the same time. But obviously, the public support and the warmth of that support has helped enormously. I can't tell you how enormously grateful and touched both of the boys and myself are."

charles and camilla relationship timeline 16
John Stillwell - PA Images via Getty Images

June 12, 1998: Prince William Meets Camilla

Believe it or not, their first meeting was purely accidental because Prince William, who was just 15, dropped by the palace unexpectedly. Per The Guardian, he stayed for about half an hour with both his father and Bowles. After this, William met with Bowles met twice for lunch and tea.

charles and camilla relationship timeline 17
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

January 1999: Charles and Camilla Pictured Together for the First Time 

Prince Charles and Bowles made several headlines when they both attended a birthday party for Bowles's sister, Annabel Elliot, at the Ritz Hotel in London. Although they arrived separately, countless photographers captured the two as they were leaving together.

charles and camilla relationship timeline 18
Ken Goff/Getty Images

2000: Camilla Meets Queen Elizabeth

As reported by BBC, the queen met Bowles while attending a 60th birthday party for King Constantine, the former King of Greece, at Highgrove. Many took this gesture to mean that Charles and Bowles got her seal of approval. 

charles and camilla relationship timeline 19
Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images

2002: Camilla and Charles Attend the Queen Mother's Funeral

Bowles attended the funeral, which took place at Westminster Abbey, with her sister, Annabel and her brother-in-law, Simon Elliot. Her invitation was seen as a sign that she was accepted by members of the royal family.

charles and camilla relationship timeline 20
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

2003: Charles and Camilla Move in Together

The couple took their relationship to the next level when they moved into Clarence House, the queen mother's former residence.

charles and camilla relationship timeline 21
Pool Photograph/Corbis/Getty Images

February 10, 2005: Prince Charles and Camilla Announce their Engagement

After they made the big announcement, they confirmed their plans to exchange vows in April. Charles said in a statement, "Mrs. Parker Bowles and I are absolutely delighted. It will be a very special day for us and our families."

William and Harry also released a joint statement and said, "We are both very happy for our father and Bowles, and we wish them all the luck in the future."

charles and camilla relationship timeline 22
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

April 9, 2005: Prince Charles Weds Camilla

The couple got married in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall, and as a result, Bowles received the title Duchess of Cornwall. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip didn't attend the wedding ceremony, but they did join for the Service of Prayer and Dedication before hosting a reception for the newlyweds in Windsor Castle.

charles and camilla relationship timeline 23
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

May 28, 2017: Camilla Discusses the Affair

The former duchess opened up about the highly-publicized affair with The Mail on Sunday‘s You magazine, noting that it was a "horrid" experience.

She said, “I couldn’t really go anywhere. But the children came and went as normal—they just got on with it, and so did great friends."

She added, "It was a deeply unpleasant time, and I wouldn’t want to put my worst enemy through it. I couldn’t have survived it without my family."

charles and camilla relationship timeline 24
Arthur Edwards - Pool /Getty Image

October 2017: Prince Charles and Camilla Show Rare PDA

The happy couple shared a rare public kiss when they met in Singapore to kickstart their 11-day trip to Southeast Asia and India.

April 9, 2020: Prince Charles and Camilla Mark their 15th Wedding Anniversary 

To celebrate the occasion, the couple released a photo of themselves and their dogs, Bluebell and Beth, at Birkhall via their official Clarence House social media accounts. The new pic was a subtle nod to their original engagement photos, which featured the same location.

charles and camilla relationship timeline 25
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

February 5, 2022: Queen Elizabeth Announces Camilla Will be Queen Consort

The queen revealed in her Accession Day message that Bowles would be called “Queen Consort” when her son became king. She said, “When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Bowles the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Bowles will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”

charles and camilla relationship timeline 27
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

June 18, 2022: Camilla Speaks Out About Her Relationship in Candid Interview

While speaking with British Vogue, Bowles revealed that the media attention and public scrutiny were a big challenge for her during the earlier stages of their relationship.

She said, "It's not easy. I was scrutinized for such a long time that you just have to find a way to live with it. Nobody likes to be looked at all the time and, you know, criticized. But I think in the end, I sort of rise above it and get on with it."

The royal also discussed how they spend their quality time. "We do always try to have a point in the day when we meet," she said. "Sometimes it's like ships passing in the night, but we always sit down together and have a cup of tea and discuss the day. You know when we go away, the nicest thing is that we actually sit and read our books in different corners of the same room. It's very relaxing because you know you don't have to make conversation. You just sit and be together."

charles and camilla relationship timeline 28
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

September 8, 2022: Prince Charles & Parker Bowles Receive New Titles

Following the passing of Queen Elizabeth on September 8, Charles and Camilla assumed their new titles as King and Queen Consort.

Prime Minister Liz Truss announced, "Today the Crown passes—as it is has done for more than a thousand years—to our new monarch, our new head of state: His Majesty King Charles III." However, the official crowning didn't take place until May 2023.

charles and camilla relationship timeline 26
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

September 9, 2022: King Charles Refers to Camilla as Queen Consort

While making his first speech as monarch, the king referred to his wife as Queen Consort for the first time. He said, "I count on the loving help of my darling wife, Bowles. In recognition of her own loyal public service since our marriage 17 years ago, she becomes my Queen Consort."

He continued, "I know she will bring to the demands of her new role the steadfast devotion to duty on which I have come to rely so much."

December 11, 2022: King Charles and Queen Camilla Release Their First Christmas Card

His Majesty and Queen Camilla debuted their first-ever holiday card on the royal family's official Instagram account and wrote, "We’re pleased to share this year’s Christmas Card from The King and The Queen Consort." The pic was taken at the Braemar Games in September 2022—mere days before he ascended the throne.

April 4, 2023: King Charles and Queen Camilla Release New Portrait

Just a few weeks before their coronation, the royal couple released a new portrait taken by royal photographer Hugo Burnand. In the pic, they donned coordinating blue outfits while posing in the Blue Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace.

coronation moments charles

May 6, 2023: King Charles and Queen Camilla's Coronation Ceremony

Millions of viewers watched as they were officially crowned King and Queen Consort on May 6. The joint ceremony, which took place at Westminster Abbey, was attended by over 2,000 guests. Naturally, one of our favorite standout moments involved the pair sweetly smiling at each other on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

King Charles Queen Camiila

July 26, 2023: The Couple Attend the Sandringham Flower Show

The king and queen attended the 140th annual Sandringham Flower Show, marking their final royal engagement for the remainder of the summer.

As it turns out, the two are taking a temporary break from their royal duties. Royally Obsessed podcast co-host Roberta Fiorito told us, “Their Majesties’ final joint engagement of the summer means King Charles and Queen Camilla will soon be heading to Balmoral Castle in Scotland, just as the late Queen Elizabeth II did.” She also added that they're expected to “honor her legacy by copying his late mother’s traditional summer holiday.”

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...