It didn't take the People's Princess long to make a permanent spot in the public's heart but sadly she could never say the same for her own husband, who was in love with Camilla Shand (later Parker-Bowles).
Prince Charles was so heartbroken over not being able to be with the woman he truly loves that he wept relentlessly on the night before his marriage to Lady Diana. It didn't take the People's Princess long to make a permanent spot in the public's heart but sadly she could never say the same for her own husband, who was in love with Camilla Shand (later Parker-Bowles).
Charles met Camilla in the 1970s and had a brief fling. Little did they know that this casual relationship would later blossom into something serious when Camilla was married to Andrew Parker-Bowles. Sparks flew between them from the moment the two met. Their chemistry was instant, electric and Charles simply could not ignore it.
But even as he fell deeper and deeper for her, Camilla remained conflicted about their relationship. Charles was completely smitten by her and her eyes that smiled radiantly. He loved the fact that she was natural and friendly around him, unlike most women who would fawn over him.
He could be himself in front of her and share laughs about silly things. Naturally, he began calling to talk to her more and more. Even when he was busy, he would take him for her. According to Daily Mail, a 22-year-old Charles was in the middle of intensive military training at the time. But it wasn't until late autumn of 1972 that they started seeing each other.
The pair shared various interests like playing polo at the Guards Polo Club in Windsor Great Park. Despite her being a part of the most elite clubs in London, she was not "sufficiently aristocratic" for Lord Mountbatten to approve of her and his approval was significant for both Charles and the Crown.
Per Express UK, Mountbatten is believed to have said, "lovely for you two to have a fling, but this absolutely cannot end in marriage" to Prince Charles. Thus in 1973, she decided to marry Parker-Bowles. "Nothing was going to stop her," wrote Britain’s top royal author Penny Junor.
While Camilla was flattered by the attention of Britain's prince, she was still in love with Parker-Bowles. She tied the knot with him despite him having a brief affair with Charles' sister Anne and seeing others while dating Camilla. "She adored him, and she had been dating him through thick and thin for seven years. She wanted to be Mrs. Parker Bowles, wife of her handsome cavalry officer, not Princess of Wales, not Queen," wrote Junor.
When Charles learned about her decision, he beseeched her not to tie herself down with the philandering cavalry officer. He mourned the end of "such a blissful, peaceful and mutually happy relationship." But after her marriage, she felt more pain when her husband kept seeing other women, some of whom were her friends.
This pain of betrayal pushed her to let Charles back in. They had become best friends who initially had a platonic relationship. But around late 1978, following the birth of her daughter, the two rekindled their relationship until the Prince became engaged to Diana. The night before his wedding, the Prince reportedly wept at the window of the Buckingham Palace.
But they began seeing each other again and the third time was five years after his marriage to Diana, reports The Sun. When Diana found out about his infidelity, their marriage went downhill. It soon led to a very public divorce. In 1997, the princess passed away in a tragic car crash and Charles eventually married Camilla in 2005.
Cover image source: Getty | Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive