We’re all familiar with Prince Charles’s relationship to his current wife Camilla Parker Bowles as well as his first marriage to Princess Diana (thanks to The Crown), but apparently, there was another lady in the Duke of Cornwall’s life before either of these two. Turns out, a woman by the name of Lady Amanda Knatchbull was just as close to becoming the Princess of Wales.
In Battle of Brothers: William and Harry—The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult, royal historian and author Robert Lacey revealed that Charles’s great-uncle, Lord Mountbatten (also known as Uncle Dickie), introduced him to Knatchbull, who happened to be Lord Mountbatten's granddaughter. Not surprisingly, a relationship formed.
“Over the years the two cousins did grow close, developing a mutual respect and friendship that has lasted to the present day. But when the prince finally made his proposal in the summer of 1979—shortly before Lord Mountbatten's assassination by the IRA—the independent-minded Amanda politely turned him down," Lacey writes in the novel per Marie Claire.
Charles proposed in the late ’70s but was ultimately turned down because she didn’t want to be put in the royal spotlight. Lacey adds, “The surrender of self to a system, she explained, was so absolute when joining the royal family, it involved a loss of independence 'far greater than matrimony usually invites.'”