The 34-Year Courtship


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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!