A blended family! After Queen Camilla married King Charles III in April 2005, his two sons eventually came around to the idea of having a stepmother.
While the king previously dated Camilla as a teenager, they ultimately married other people. Charles, for his part, wed Princess Diana in 1981 and welcomed sons Prince William and Prince Harry in 1982 and 1984, respectively. Camilla had gotten married eight years earlier to Andrew Parker Bowles. Camilla and Andrew also share two children: Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes.
Charles and Camilla were later involved in an extramarital affair scandal. They each got divorced in 1996 and later started to publicly date. When the former Prince of Wales was keen to propose to Camilla, both of his sons were wary.
“Despite Willy and me urging him not to, Pa was going ahead. We pumped his hand, wished him well. No hard feelings,” Harry claimed in his Spare memoir, which was published in January 2023. “We recognized that he was finally going to be with the woman he loved, the woman he’d always loved, the woman Fate might’ve intended for him in the first place. Whatever bitterness or sorrow we felt over the closing of another loop in Mummy’s story, we understood that it was besides the point.”
The Duke of Sussex and William’s mother, Diana, had previously alleged in multiple tell-all interviews that there were “three people” in her marriage, referring to Charles and Camilla’s affair. Diana ultimately died in a fatal car crash in August 1997 when Harry and William were 12 and 15, respectively.
The Prince of Wales and Harry ultimately made their peace with His Majesty’s union with the Reading Room founder, however, they reportedly made it known that Camilla would not be a grandmother to their respective children. (William shares Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis with his wife, Princess Kate, while the BetterUp CIO and wife Meghan Markle are proud parents of Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.)
“William has made it clear that Camilla is the wife of his father, but not a step-grandmother to his children,” royal biographer Angela Levin claimed in her 2022 book, Camilla: From Outcast to Queen Consort. “William and Harry were 23 and 20, respectively, when Camilla officially became their stepmother in 2005. She was more of a friendly grown-up they saw occasionally at royal gatherings. She tried to be encouraging rather than influential.”
Camilla has also had a cordial relationship with Kate, whom the Duke of Cambridge wed in April 2011. For instance, during the queen’s Country Life cover story in October 2022, she knew exactly who should be the photographer.
“[Camilla] immediately replied, ‘Oh I’d quite like Catherine to do it.’ I spent the next three or four minutes desperately racking my brain trying to think of a professional photographer called Catherine,” the magazine editor, Mark Hedges, revealed in the issue. “Then suddenly I grasped what she meant — one of the most amazing things that could happen. I found it one of the easier things to nod my head at.”
Both the Duchess of Cornwall and William have continued to support Camilla after she and Charles were crowned England’s monarchs at their May 2023 coronation. (Charles had assumed the throne after the September 2022 death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.)
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Scroll below to revisit William and Kate’s relationship with Camilla through the years: