• Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005
  • The royal wedding was controversial at the time
  • Why didn't Queen Elizabeth II attend the ceremony?

It was certainly one of the most controversial royal weddings of all time: Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were married back in 2005.

They tied the knot after a not-so-secret affair, two divorces, and the tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997. Queen Elizabeth had to approve of the marriage, and she did. She also supported her son on his wedding day, but not at the actual ceremony.

Why didn't the Queen attend Charles and Camilla's wedding?

The big day was April 9, 2005. Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla were married in Windsor. The Queen was not present for the ceremony, though she appeared at the blessing and reception afterward.

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Prince Charles and Camilla on their wedding day with the Queen

At the time, the Queen's decision to skip the ceremony caused an uproar. Many believed it was a sign she disapproved of the marriage or didn't care for Camilla. However, Buckingham Palace insisted it was not a "snub" and explained the Queen's absence.

In 2005, the Palace said the Queen didn't attend because Charles and Camilla "wanted to keep the occasion low key," according to BBC News. The statement added that the Queen was "very pleased" to host the wedding reception afterward.

Also interesting:

In a rare comment on royal drama, a spokesperson even added: "The Queen is attending the service of dedication and paying for the reception - this is not a snub." That is the official word on why the Queen skipped her son's wedding day.

Other theories suggest it was related to security concerns, given the animosity of some royal fans. Experts further speculated that the Queen disapproved of the wedding venue — it was to be Windsor Castle, but was downgraded to the less respectable Windsor Guildhall due to a licensing issue.

On the whole, attitudes have shifted quite a bit since the 2005 wedding. Though some will never forgive Duchess Camilla, many royal fans have embraced her over the years. In 2022, Queen Elizabeth even endorsed Camilla as the next Queen Consort.