Why the Royal Family weren’t keen on Camilla before she became Duchess of Cornwall

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall wasn't always welcomed before her marriage

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visits the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
(Image credit: Photo by Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall may have been happily married to Prince Charles since 2005, but some sources suggest that the Royal Family weren’t always eager to support their romance. 

  • Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, married Prince Charles in 2005, though it's been suggested by some that certain Royal Family members weren't quick to support the relationship. 
  • Since her marriage, Duchess Camilla has become an important senior member of the Royal Family. 
  • In other royal news, the Royal Family's secret code words have been revealed

In The Crown Season 4, the hit Netflix drama focuses even closer to home for our Royal Family. This latest season depicts an ‘affair’ between Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, occurring throughout his marriage to Princess Diana.

Since Season 4 of The Crown was released, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla have received comments from online trolls, many understood to be in response to this storyline. As a result, the couple were forced to turn off comments on their recent posts on their Clarence House official Twitter account.

But exactly how did the Royal Family react to Camilla before she became Duchess of Cornwall? 

Why might the Royal Family have thought Camilla wasn’t “suitable”?

Whilst Prince Charles’ feelings towards Camilla Shand, later Camilla Parker Bowles, might be seen as having been clear, it’s been suggested by some that Camilla was seen as perhaps a little too ‘experienced’. 

According to Marie Claire, Prince Charles' uncle, Lord Mountbatten, apparently wrote in a letter to his nephew: "I think it is disturbing for women to have experiences if they have to remain on a pedestal after marriage". He ironically reportedly encouraged his great-nephew Charles to sow wild oats.  

At this point in time, Camilla Shand had allegedly dated several men and was on and off with her future husband Andrew Parker Bowles. 

Camilla Shand marries Major Andrew Parker Bowles at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks, 4th July 1973

(Image credit: Photo by Wood/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

She could perhaps have been seen by the palace and the Royal Family as ‘experienced’.

Marie Claire reports that “Camilla was also seen as "earthy," which could mean "wholesome," or more likely could just be a synonym for "common"." 

Unlike Princess Diana, who was the daughter of an earl, Camilla wasn’t from a titled family. It could be that a combination of these factors may have influenced the Royal Family into thinking that Camilla might not be the best choice of wife for the heir to the throne.

How did the Queen feel towards Camilla?

Prince Charles went on to marry Lady Diana Spencer and together they had two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. Meanwhile, Camilla Shand married Andrew Parker Bowles and had two children. However, as reported by Marie Claire, Prince Charles’ mother, the Queen, allegedly wanted Camilla “gone”. This was supposedly after the two were still seeing each other after both of their respective divorces. 

According to ET Canada, British investigative journalist Tom Bower revealed how Charles confronted his mother about welcoming Camilla into the royal family the summer following Princess Diana’s death. 

Bower’s book, Rebel Prince: The Power and Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles, reportedly claims that the Queen dubbed Camilla “that wicked woman” saying, “I want nothing to do with her.”

Despite this, Express.co.uk has claimed that Prince Charles insisted “Camilla was a 'non-negotiable' part of his life”.

When did Prince Charles and Camilla marry?

In 1999, two years after Princess Diana's tragic death, Prince Charles and Camilla began appearing in public together. The couple finally married in 2005, after receiving the Queen’s blessing and Camilla has been referred to as the Duchess of Cornwall from then on. 

Since their marriage, Duchess Camilla has been accepted by the Royal Family. 

Whilst the public have praised the Duchess’ efforts, especially during the recent pandemic. She has been seen as one of the foremost senior royals carrying out important engagements during this challenging time.

Last week it was also revealed that Duchess Camilla is launching her own Reading Room.

This will encourage book fans to discover new reads, and connect with literary communities across the globe. This exciting new book club will release its Winter Season titles on 15th January.

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!