What Did Camilla Parker Bowles Say After Meeting Prince William For The First Time?

Prince William and Prince Harry have made their love for their late mother, Princess Diana, very clear over the years. However, since their parents' divorce in 1996, Prince Charles and Diana's sons have had another woman in their lives, Camilla Parker Bowles. Charles and Camilla were longtime friends who carried on a romance for years before officially tying the knot in 2005 (via Town & Country). Over the years, there have been plenty of rumors regarding William and Harry's relationships with Camilla. However, back in 2018, Harry set the record straight about his stepmother, per Page Six.

In journalist Angela Levin's book, "Harry: A Biography of a Prince," the author revealed that Harry told her that his relationship with Camilla was solid. "To be honest, she's always been very close to me and William," Harry reportedly said. "She's not a wicked stepmother. Look at the position she's coming into. Don't feel sorry for me and William, feel sorry for her. She's a wonderful woman and she's made our father very, very happy which is the most important thing. William and I love her to bits," he added.

While it seems that there's not bad blood between William, Harry, and Camilla, that may not have always been the case.

Inside Camilla's tense first meeting with Prince William

According to CheatSheet, Camilla Parker Bowles eased her way into the royal family slowly upon making her relationship with Prince Charles public. The Duchess of Cornwall first met with Charles' sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, privately, and it was reportedly nerve-racking for the future princess consort. In the summer of 1998, when William was just 16 years old, he dropped by Charles' home, St. James' Palace, unannounced and met Camilla face-to-face for the first time.

Following the meeting, Charles' spokesperson confirmed William and Camilla's encounter. "Yes, Prince William and Mrs. Parker Bowles have met. Meetings between the children and Mrs. Parker Bowles are a private family matter which we are not prepared to discuss and we wish, for their sakes, the media will now leave this very personal matter alone," the statement read. Although there were no official details reported, a source did claim that the meeting left Camilla claiming she needed a cocktail. "I really need a gin and tonic," she allegedly said.

Meanwhile, royal expert Christopher Wilson told the Daily Mail that while the royal family puts on a united front, there is still distance between William, Harry, and their stepmother, Camilla.

Princess Diana tried to soften the blow for Prince William

Trying to understand why his parents were divorcing would've been difficult enough for a young Prince William, but getting his head around the fact his father had also carried out an affair likely made things considerably harder. According to Marie Claire, during her infamous 1995 interview with Martin Bashir, Princess Diana revealed that she tried to soften the blow for her eldest son by explaining the situation frankly to him. "I went to the school and put it to William, particularly, that if you find someone you love in life you must hang on to it and look after it, and if you were lucky enough to find someone who loved you then one must protect it," Diana recalled.

William wanted to know the particulars of what went on between his father, Prince Charles, and then mistress Camilla Parker Bowles. He also wondered, understandably, whether their relationship was what drove his parents apart. Diana shared, "And I said, well, there were three of us in this marriage, and the pressure of the media was another factor, so the two together were very difficult." Diana further admitted that, although there was still love between her and Charles, she could no longer live with him and vice versa. The People's Princess wasn't sure how William took it, but noted, "I put it in gently, without resentment or any anger." Harry, sadly, found out about the affair through the tabloids.

It took a long time for William to accept Camilla

These days, Camilla Parker Bowles enjoys a close relationship with stepsons Prince William and Prince Harry, but it's taken a long time and a lot of hard work to get to this point. Per Express, in royal commentator Katie Nicholl's book "Harry and William," she notes that the years immediately following Princess Diana's death were especially turbulent. In particular, William and stepsister Laura Parker Bowles reportedly got into "terrible fights over who was to blame for their broken homes." Likewise, William blamed Camilla for all the pain his mother went through in the final years of her life. Biographer Penny Junor further claimed in "The Duchess: The Untold Story" that William and Harry found it very tough to accept Camilla because, "You want your mum, you don't want her, and she had her own family."

However, it's worth noting Camilla never tried to take Diana's place. Funnily enough, nowadays, she acts as a "buffer" between the boys and their father. According to Express, in documentary "Prince Charles and Prince William: Royal Rivals?" late royal expert Judy Wade revealed Camilla serves as a go-between, particularly when Charles' sons do something their father wouldn't necessarily approve of. "Camilla's got a son herself and she understands that boys will be awful boys sometimes," Wade explained. Camilla notably never interfered with how Charles was raising them because she was too busy taking care of her own children and trusted his judgement.