Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Camilla Parker Bowles
Netflix's The Crown may have given Camilla Parker Bowles a bad rap, but there's more to the queen consort than her highly-publicized love life.
Born to British Army officer Bruce Shand and Rosalind Cubitt, the former duchess (or shall we say Milla) was raised in East Sussex and South Kensington. She attended Queen's Gate School before going to the Mon Fertile finishing school at 16, quickly gaining a reputation for her bold and outspoken personality. The queen consort went on to study French and French literature at the University of London Institute in Paris, then worked as a secretary for several firms. Meanwhile, the royal also developed a passion for hobbies like horseback-riding and painting.
During the 1960s, Bowles met and started dating former British Army officer Andrew Parker Bowles. After years of an on-and-off relationship, they got married in July 1973. Together, they welcomed two children: Thomas (born December 1974) and Laura (born January 1978), but the couple divorced in 1994.
Fast-forward to 2005 and Bowles had moved on to future king Prince Charles—but it turns out the two had history long before that. It's commonly believed that they first crossed paths at a polo match in 1970, but according to their biographer, Gyles Brandreth, they actually met through a common friend named Lucía Santa Cruz. After developing a close friendship, they started dating until Charles went off to sea to join the Royal Navy.
Like Bowles, King Charles III wound up marrying someone else (Princess Diana), but the pair eventually rekindled their romance, officially tying the knot in April 2005.
Like her husband, Bowles is the patron of countless charities and organizations, including the British Equestrian Federation, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and The Girls' Friendly Society. She's also an avid reader who continues to advocate for literacy, whether it be by visiting schools, donating books or spearheading the Royal Reading Room initiative.
Keep reading to see what the royal has been up to.