King Charles and Queen Camilla’s wedding day changed at the last minute as a royal ‘mark of respect’

King Charles and Queen Camilla's wedding day was postponed just days before out of 'respect' as the groom stepped up to put duty first

King Charles III and Queen Camilla visit Sandringham Flower Show at Sandringham House on July 26, 2023
(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

King Charles and Queen Camilla’s wedding day was changed at the last minute as a “mark of respect”.

Royal weddings take immense amounts of planning and attention-to-detail, but that doesn’t mean that things don’t ever have to change. From Queen Elizabeth’s wedding tiara being fixed on her big day to Princess Beatrice’s nuptials becoming much more low-key due to pandemic, even major royal wedding details have sometimes been adapted. 

King Charles and Queen Camilla’s wedding day was another of these as the couple ended up tying the knot on a completely different date to the one they had scheduled. The couple were set to say “I do” on 8th April 2005 but postponed their ceremony to 9th April as a “mark of respect” following the death of Pope John Paul II.

American Archbishop James Harvey, head of papal protocol, shakes hands with King Charles prior to Pope John Paul II's funeral

(Image credit: Photo by Osservatore Romano-Pool/Getty Images)

Clarence House made the announcement just a few days earlier and confirmed that King Charles would be attending the Pope’s funeral on his and Queen Camilla’s original wedding day. 

"As a mark of respect, His Royal Highness and Mrs Parker Bowles have decided to postpone their wedding until Saturday," the statement added, as per The Guardian.

As first in the line of succession at the time, King Charles represented Queen Elizabeth at the funeral service. He and Queen Camilla’s wedding day then went ahead on 9th April as previously planned, albeit a day later than they’d intended. The couple’s selfless decision to postpone their ceremony showcased from the outset their commitment to their royal roles and the importance of duty, which often comes first for senior members of the Royal Family.

King Charles and Queen Camilla attend the Service of Prayer and Dedication following their marriage at The Guildhall

(Image credit: Photo by ROTA/Anwar Hussein Collection/Getty Images)

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Queen Consort: The Life of Queen Camilla by Penny Junor | Was £9.99, Now £6.50 at Amazon

Originally published as The Duchess, Penny Junor's insightful biography explores the like of Queen Camilla. She reflects upon how Queen Camilla and King Charles's relationship has withstood considerable pressures and paints a picture of their extraordinary love story.

King Charles and Queen Camilla exchanged vows in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall before having a Service of Prayer and Dedication at St George’s Chapel, followed by a reception at Windsor Castle. On the morning of the wedding, Her Majesty was reportedly not feeling well, with royal author Penny Junor claiming to Vanity Fair that the senior royal had “sinusitis”. 

“On the day itself it took four people to coax Camilla out of bed. She’d spent Friday night at Clarence House with her sister, Annabel, and her daughter, Laura. She still wasn’t feeling well, but now it was nerves more than sinusitis that kept her under the covers. She was terrified,” Penny alleged, before adding, “Finally her sister said, “Ok, that’s all right. I’m going to do it for you. I’m going to get into your clothes.” Only at that point did the bride-to-be get up.”

King Charles, Queen Camilla and their families on their wedding day in 2005

(Image credit: Anwar Hussein Collection/ROTA /Getty)

Penny continued, “Slowly, as the day wore on, she relaxed, reassured and supported as always by having her family around her.”

Stepping out in front of the crowd gathered outside the Guildhall must undoubtedly have been daunting, though King Charles and Queen Camilla looked delighted to have become husband and wife. They were treated to a very sentimental speech from Queen Elizabeth at their reception and according to King Charles’s former butler, Grant Harrold, the mother of the groom couldn’t have been more overjoyed for them.

Speaking to Guides for Brides, Grant declared, “The Queen was wonderful with the two of them. She was very sweet with the two of them at their wedding reception. There were hugs between Charles and the Queen and I’m sure between Camilla and the Queen."

King Charles and Queen Camilla on their wedding day, with Queen Elizabeth

(Image credit: Photo by ODD ANDERSEN-/AFP via Getty Images)

"One of my fondest memories is the Queen gathering outside with friends and family to wave the newlyweds off in the car. She was waving and smiling excitedly. She looked like any other proud mother," he added.

This year King Charles and Queen Camilla will celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary and although the ceremony wasn’t on the date they’d initially planned, it was nevertheless an incredibly special day filled with precious memories.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!