Among the least popular members of the Royal Family, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla are generally viewed as the villains behind Princess Diana's misfortunes. They had an extramarital affair—which Diana discovered before the wedding—and it was indeed something the Princess of Wales found beyond intolerable.
Charles and Camilla: A "conspiracy" to keep them apart?
In season 3 of Netflix's The Crown, Charles and Camilla's young love is shown to have been thwarted by a conspiracy orchestrated by the Queen Mother and Lord Mountbatten. Neither considers Camilla to be a fit for the future King, even though Queen Elizabeth II initially supports her son's relationship (while in his mid-20s). Was this conspiracy real?
Of course, few behind-closed-doors details are confirmed, but there are several theories on the events. The Crown's version is approved by different biographers, since it coincides with Charles's early "promotion" to the Navy and dispatch to the Bahamas. Yet other biographers, such as Sally Bedell Smith, have declared that The Crown's story is little more than fiction.
The series shows Princess Anne's brief relationship with Andrew Parker Bowles, during one of his many separations from Camilla pre-marriage. It's at that moment that Charles meets and falls madly in love with her. However, this was not true to real life: Andrew and Anne's relationship occurred in 1970, while Charles and Camilla met in 1972.
According to Bedell Smith, the only "plot" was on the part of Camilla and Andrew's parents. Tired of constant separations, they took the initiative and announced the young couple's engagement, forcing Andrew to propose. They were married in 1973.
Was Prince Charles told not to marry Camilla after his divorce?
Now, according to Penny Junor, another royal biographer, there was a plot to separate Charles and Camilla after his divorce from Diana. In this case, it was not the Royal Family but rather the Prince of Wales's staff who believed a marriage so soon after divorce would only intensify the scandal. News of the affair was highly damaging for the royals and they were still recovering.
Unless the figures involved publicly clarify the story, there may be no way to know the truth for certain. But what is true is that, for Charles, Camilla was always the one. Though the story of their love remains controversial and many even see it as immoral, they have now been married for 15 years.
Today, Charles is reportedly as prepared as ever to become King, and, when he ascends the throne, Camilla might even receive the title of Queen.