History

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles' wedding

09 April 2005

It was the second wedding for both bride and groom when Prince Charles wed long-time companion Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005.


Photo: Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall appear in a formal line-up after their wedding, 9 April 2005. (Getty Images)

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More information about: Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles' wedding

How the couple met

Camilla Shand was born on 17 July 1947 in London. She grew up in rural Sussex and was educated in Kensington before finishing school in Switzerland and France.

She first met Prince Charles at a polo match in 1970 and the pair became friends.

Camilla married cavalry officer Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973 and had two children with her first husband.

She maintained contact with Prince Charles, and their friendship led to tension in his own marriage. Famously, in a 1995 television interview, Princess Diana said: "There were three in the marriage, so it was a bit crowded."

In 1995 Mrs Parker Bowles divorced Andrew Parker Bowles, and the idea of Charles and Camilla as a couple was gradually introduced to the public.

But the death of Diana in August 1997 meant Camilla retreated from public life as press criticism was renewed.

In 1999, Mrs Parker Bowles met Princes William and Harry. She hosted a 50th birthday party for Prince Charles, and in 2000 met the Queen.

The engagement of Charles and Camilla was announced on 10 February 2005.

The wedding day

More than 20,000 people watched the Prince of Wales and Camilla arriving at Windsor's Guildhall for their small, private civil wedding.

Afterwards, they returned to Windsor Castle for a service of blessing led by the Archbishop of Canterbury - a ceremony attended by about 800 of the couple's friends and family, including the Queen and Prince Philip.

During the service, the couple promised to be faithful to each other for the rest of their lives.

The Duchess wore an oyster silk basket-weave coat and chiffon dress for the ceremony, but changed into a porcelain blue silk dress for the blessing.

After the service, the couple chatted to members of the public gathered outside the chapel.

The Queen hosted a reception in Windsor Castle's State Apartments. Guests said she made a speech in which she described how "proud" she was of Charles, and she wished the couple well.

The couple then drove off in a Bentley decorated for the occasion by Princes William and Harry. They spent their honeymoon in Scotland.

Life after the wedding

Camilla, or HRH The Duchess of Cornwall as she became after the wedding, has accompanied the Prince of Wales on many official obligations and overseas tours. The Prince has an interest in a number of fields including architecture, education and farming and has founded a number of charities.

In December 2010 the couple were caught up in student protests in London as they made their way to a royal engagement by car. The home secretary confirmed that a protester "made contact" with Camilla during the incident.

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