How Princess Anne's 70s romance with Queen Camilla's ex-husband affected the royal in-laws early relationship

Princess Anne and Queen Camilla 'didn't get on very well' but have grown closer in recent years according to a royal insider

How Princess Anne's 70s romance with Queen Camilla's ex-husband affected royal in-laws early relationship
(Image credit: Getty)

Princess Anne 'didn't get on particularly with' Queen Camilla in the early days of their relationship but has grown to appreciate her over time, according to royal insiders. 

Princess Anne's relationship with the Queen Consort got off to a rocky start due to the sister-in-laws' complicated romantic ties to the same man, according to royal insiders. 

It's no secret that Camilla was married before she wed King Charles III (then Prince Charles), having first exchanged vows with Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973. The couple went on to have two children, Tom and Laura, but divorced in 1995 after years of infidelity from both parties. 

Andrew Parker Bowles also had a romantic past with a member of the Royal Family before his courtship with Camilla, dating Princess Anne in the early 1970s. It's understood that the Queen's only daughter was discouraged from tying the knot with the British navy officer, however, because of his Catholic background. 

Princess Anne

Princess Anne and Andrew Parker Bowles dated in the early 70s 

(Image credit: Getty)

Back then, royals were generally expected to marry within their Protestant denomination. (Let's not forget that even Meghan Markle had to be baptized into the Church of England before marrying Prince Harry in 2018.) Princess Anne ended up marrying Mark Philips, only to split from the Olympic horseman in 1992. 

"She [Anne] didn't get on particularly well, or at all, with Diana, but she didn't get on with Camilla either," Levin told the Express. "Anne, of course, went out with Andrew Parker Bowles who married Camilla, so they had similar a taste there." 


Camilla and Andrew Parker Bowles on their wedding day in 1973 

(Image credit: Getty)

It's understood that Princess Anne, who has previously been voted the hardest-working member of the Royal Family, began to accept Camilla after witnessing first-hand her dedication to the Crown. The Queen Consort has also reportedly proven herself as a worthy asset to King Charles III, with the monarch publicly hailing his wife for her 'steadfast devotion to duty' shortly after Her Majesty's death. 

"But over time they got close, she [Anne] sees now how hard Camilla has worked, she sees how much happier and stronger and more accessible Charles is and they now get on very well," Levin added. 

The two women's rapport was also evident in their decision to sit next to each other at Queen Elizabeth's funeral last month, according to the royal biographer. 

"I am quite sure they could have asked for different places had they wanted to, they were there obviously supporting each other," she explained. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.