Prince Charles and his first wife Princess Diana were married in 1981. While their lavish wedding resembled a fairy tale, their marriage did not and they separated in 1992 before divorcing four years later.
Prior to Diana, Charles dated Camilla now the Duchess of Cornwall but she did something that absolutely devastated him and it took the prince several years to get over.
What Camilla did that crushed Prince Charles
The future king dated Camilla in the early ’70s. They immediately hit it off and began seeing each other. It’s widely believed that Charles wanted to marry Camilla, however, he knew that wasn’t possible. The reason is because she wasn’t considered a suitable bride for the heir apparent as she did not come from a sufficient aristocratic background. Also, back then, the royals wanted the future monarch to marry a virgin which she was not.
When Charles left for the Royal Navy she did something that really broke his heart.
While the prince was away, Camilla rekindled a romance with her former beau Andrew Parker Bowles. He ended up proposing to Camilla and she accepted. Upon , hearing the news Charles was devastated.
Royal expert Bob Colacello wrote in Vanity Fair, “Charles was at a loss to understand how Camilla could so abruptly put aside what he described in a letter as ‘such a blissful peaceful and mutually happy relationship.’”
The Daily Mail noted that in her book Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, biographer Sally Bedell Smith explained that Charles’ love marrying someone else was so upsetting that the night before he married Diana years later, he wept because he still longed to be with Camilla.
How Camilla helped Charles through a difficult time in his life
Charles ended up keeping in touch with Camilla and as we know now, they carried on an affair for years while they married to their first spouses. There have been many possible reasons thrown out there about why Charles had such a connection with Camilla that he never seemed to have with Diana. Some think it’s the fact that they share many common interests, while others believe it was because the prince could always confide in Camilla and she knew how to “bolster his confidence.”
In his biography Charles: The Man who will be King, author Howard Hodgson touched on a particularly challenging time in his life in which Camilla was there for him.
“His home life with the Princess was dismal, Mrs. Thatcher and her government weren’t as receptive to his ideas as he would have liked, his courtiers were always cautioning him against upsetting her, the press ridiculed him, his father was unsympathetic, he had no close relationship with his mother, he still missed the guiding hand of Mountbatten, Anne had drifted out of his life, and his wife had banished most of his friends–and even his dog,” Hodgson wrote per The Express.
He continued: “[Charles] knew by his work in the inner cities that it was wrong to feel sorry for himself, but he couldn’t help it as his fragile self-confidence ebbed away… apparently even surpassing the misery he felt at Gordonstoun boarding school, which he allegedly later likened to ‘Colditz in kilts.’”
The Prince of Wales spoke to Camilla about his troubled marriage and she talked to him about how her husband was allegedly unfaithful.
Hodgson added: “It may be supposed that his previous close relationship with Camilla made this possible. He was certain that he could talk to her and whatever he said would remain secret.”
On April 9, 2005, Prince Charles married Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.