The 34-Year Courtship

JIM WATSON/REUTERS-POOL

ON SHOW: Camilla and Charles present themselves to a waiting media

When Camilla Shand first met prince Charles in 1971 — she was 23 and he was 22 — she reportedly said to him, "My great-grandmother was the mistress of your great-great-grandfather, so how about it?" They fell for each other as if the match had been genetically programmed. But he was young and indecisive — and as his family saw it, this ardent girl with a louche ancestor was not a suitable future Queen of England. And so Charles failed to propose, Camilla soon married his philandering friend Andrew Parker Bowles, and the prince later wed his virgin princess Diana. But...

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