The Truth About Queen Elizabeth's Relationship With Camilla Parker Bowles

A woman who changed the landscape of the monarchy, Camilla Parker Bowles has had a long road to win public approval following her affair with Prince Charles. Privately, the story seems to have gone down in a rather similar fashion as well.

Following the death of Princess Diana in 1997, Prince Charles stayed in his relationship with his longtime lover for a number of years until it became apparent that the only solution was to marry her. According to Vanity Fair, Prince Charles knew his reputation had suffered on account of his affair throughout his marriage and his subsequent treatment of his former wife. Understanding the volatility and power of public opinion, his mother, Queen Elizabeth, reportedly steered clear of her son's beau. 

The Express cites royal experts who claim that, upon Camilla's arrival into the royal circle, Queen Elizabeth saw her as a possible liability to the throne. The outlet also reports that Prince Charles was furious when both of his parents failed to attend his birthday party when they discovered his girlfriend was hosting it. After years of icy relations between his mother and his partner, Prince Charles began to wonder how to bridge the gap between his personal and public life.

The media played a role in Queen Elizabeth's relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles

Since the royal family bows to public opinion to keep their positions secure, it makes sense that the Queen had reservations about being connected to his son's former mistress. Vanity Fair chronicles the intense public relations campaign that the couple underwent to help the public accept their eventual marriage. In 2005, the outlet notes, Prince Charles asked Camilla to marry him after speaking with his sons and his mother. Of course, the debate over her new title, how the service should be carried out and more schisms raged on. Rather than taking the title, Princess of Wales, she would be called the Duchess of Cornwall.

Nearly 16 years later, the Queen seems friendly as ever with her daughter-in-law. As the British people softened in their attitudes towards the Duchess, it appears that the Queen's followed suit. Indeed, recently, the two teamed up for a video conferencing call in which they spoke with people on the front lines of the pandemic, thanking them for their service, People reports. 

Even though the first years were rocky and uncomfortable, the Queen gave her blessing to her son's marriage, asked Camilla to sit next to her for the Diamond Jubilee procession and bestowed various honors upon her daughter-in-law (via The Express). Today, the two seem to get along just fine as the ice has thawed around Prince Charles and the situation with Princess Diana.