When did King Charles marry Camilla Parker Bowles?

Royal fans are wondering when the monach and Queen Consort actually got married.

a close up of King Charles and Camilla on their wedding day
(Image credit: Future/Getty)

The King and his second wife have been close for fifty years, but royal fans are wondering when did King Charles marry Camilla?

As wife to the current king of England, she's officially the most senior Royal woman in the famous family. And it seems that before the Queen's sad passing, Camilla won the approval of her mother-in-law, who asked for her to be recognised as Queen Consort (opens in new tab) when her son took to the throne.

With their relationship once again being dramatised in the latest series of The Crown, many are asking about when did Charles and Camilla finally tie the knot? It's safe to say that the two's love story experienced it's fair share of trials and challenges over the years, with season 5 showing both Camillagate (opens in new tab) and Diana's Panorama interview (opens in new tab). But luckily the two came through it and have remained together since.

When did Prince Charles marry Camilla Parker Bowles?

Prince Charles married his second wife Camilla Parker Bowles on 9 April, 2005. The wedding date was extra sentimental as it marked 35 years since the two first met. Charles and Camilla exchanged vows in a private civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall, before returning to Windsor Castle for a Service of Blessing and their wedding reception.

Camilla wore a cream gown by designer Anna Valentine for the official ceremony. This was complimented by a cream hat with french lace and a feather trim. It was made by milliner Philip Treacy, a favoured and go-to hat designer of the royal family.

Charles and Camilla leaving Windsor's Guildhall on their wedding day

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, leaving their civil ceremony at Windsor's Guildhall. (Credit: Georges De Keerle/Getty Images)

Whilst Prince Charles was against a wedding ring, he gifted his wife a Welsh gold ring. This was a nod to his title as the Prince of Wales.

A small affair, only a select number of guests were invited to Guildhall. This included Charles' sons Prince Harry and Prince William. The latter took on the role of his dad's best man. Meanwhile, Camilla's son (opens in new tab) Tom Parker Bowles acted as a witness.

The ceremony was performed by registrar Clair Williams, who was honoured to be heading up the proceedings. She told the BBC at the time, "While all weddings are very special to the couples concerned, this one is particularly important and it is a tremendous honour to be a part of the occasion."

More than 20,000 royal fans gathered at Windsor's Guildhall to cheer on the happy couple. As they departed for Windsor Castle, Prince Charles was seen mouthing to crowds "thank you very much".

Who attended Prince Charles and Camilla's wedding?

Charles and Camilla were joined by 800 of their friends and family at a Service of Blessing and wedding reception. The latter included Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip - though they did not attend the couple's prior civil ceremony. 

Celebrity guests included musicians Phil Collins and Jools Holland, plus actors Rowan Atkinson, Joanna Lumley and Kenneth Branagh.

The Service of Blessing was held at 2:30pm at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. It was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. During the service, actor Timothy West read William Wordsworth's Ode on Intimations of Immortality. This was followed by the choir and members of the Philharmonia Orchestra performing Bach's Nun Komm der Heiden Heilan.

For the blessing, Camilla changed into a pale blue and gold Anna Valentine gown with a matching chiffon coat. She complimented the ensemble with another headdress by Phillip Treacy - a gold leaf feather crown finished with Swarovski diamonds.

Prince Charles and Camilla in St George's Chapel, Windsor during their Wedding Day

Credit: ROTA/Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)

As part of the service - and is tradition on a royal wedding day - Camilla received her new title. The late Queen confirmed this as Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall. This compliments her husband's title who is known as the Duke of Cornwall and is in charge of the duchy.

After the service, the newlyweds departed for Windsor Castle for their wedding reception, hosted by the Queen. Held in the State Apartments, guests enjoyed egg and cress sandwiches, mini Cornish pasties and scones.

Charles and Camilla's wedding: Guest list

All senior members of the Royal Firm (opens in new tab) were in attendance, including Charles' siblings Anne, Andrew and Edward. Plus their other halves and children such as Princess Beatrice (opens in new tab) and Princess Eugenie.

The then Prime Minister Tony Blair was a guest as were leaders of Britain's opposition parties and other prominent politicians from across the Commonwealth.  Charles's biographer Jonathan Dimbleby and broadcaster Sir David Frost were other celebrities in attendance.

Guests said the Queen made a speech at the reception, in which she told how "proud" she was of her son on his wedding day, and wished the couple well.

Charles and Camilla then left Windsor for their honeymoon in Scotland. The newlyweds stayed at Birkhall, the hunting lodge gifted to Charles by his grandmother, the Queen Mother.

When did Prince Charles and Camilla meet?

Prince Charles first met Camilla Rosemary Shands in 1970, when he was 22 and she was 24. Several reports claim that their first meeting was during a polo match held at Windsor Great Park. And that the two hit it off instantly, sharing a love of the sport and the great outdoors.

People Magazine (opens in new tab) reported that Camilla's first words to Charles were based on a mutual connection. "My great-grandmother was the mistress of your great-great-grandfather," she allegedly said. "I feel we have something in common."

Prince Charles and Camilla at a polo match in 1972

Prince Charles (L) chatting to Camilla (middle) and a friend (R) at a polo match in 1972. (Credit: Getty)

Advisor to The Crown (opens in new tab) season 5 (opens in new tab), Robert Lacey, disagrees with this version of events however. According to the royal historian and his book The Crown: The Official Companion Volume 2 (opens in new tab) Charles and Camilla actually met through friend Lucia Santa Cruz. Lucia has also confirmed this to be true.

Whilst their first meeting may vary, it's known that the dated for some time after. But that their relationship was cut short due to Charles' decision to join the Royal Navy in March 1971.

When he returned Camilla was already engaged to Major Andrew Parker Bowles. The two later wed on 4 July 1973 at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks.

Nevertheless, the couple and Charles remained close over the next few decades. They were even firm friends when Charles met Diana (opens in new tab) and surprisingly Camilla attended Charles and Diana's wedding (opens in new tab) in 1981.

How long did Charles wait to marry Camilla after Diana's death?

Charles wed Camilla nearly eight years after the death of Princess Diana. The late Princess died tragically in a car accident in Paris in August 1997, whilst the wedding of Charles and Camilla didn't take place until April 2005.

Camilla divorced her first husband Andrew Parker Bowles in 1995, with Charles and Camilla making their divorce official a year later. Camilla then made her first public appearance as Charles's companion in 1999. 

Out of respect to Diana, Camilla chose not to take the title of Princess of Wales following her wedding to Charles. She was instead known as the Duchess of Cornwall. And now as wife to a ruling monarch, she is officially known as Queen Consort Camilla.

How long have Prince Charles and Camilla been married?

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall have been married for 17 years in 2022. And the 17th year has certainly proven to be one of change, with Charles becoming king in September 2022.

No details were shared of how the two celebrated their anniversary this year, however for their 15th anniversary in 2020 the two shared some official photographs - much to the delight of the public.

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Taking place during the first UK lockdown, it showed them spending time at the same place where they had their honeymoon together in 2005. The photo (opens in new tab) also featured the couple's beloved pets - Bluebell and Beth.

Do Prince Charles and Camilla have children?

Though Prince Charles and Camilla are married and both parents, they do not share any children together. Prince Charles' first wife Diana gave birth to their sons Prince William and Prince Harry during their marriage. And the two are in the royal line of succession (opens in new tab). Meanwhile Camilla is mum to son Tom and daughter Laura from her first marriage to Andrew Parker Bowles.

Interestingly, Prince Charles is both godfather and step-dad to Camilla's eldest son Tom Parker Bowles. The Prince of Wales was given the honour shortly after his birth in 1974.

Prince Charles with his sons Prince William and Prince Harry and Camilla with her children Laura Lopes and Tom Parker Bowles.

Credit: Getty

Tom revealed in an interview that relations are good between him and the future king. He told The Times (opens in new tab) that Charles was "sweet and gentle" and "ahead of his time". Before adding that his children when growing up called Prince Charles "umpa" whilst Camilla was known as "gaga".

Camilla's nickname seems to have been adopted by the Cambridge children too. Prince George (opens in new tab), Princess Charlotte (opens in new tab) and Prince Louis also reportedly use Gaga as their special nickname for Camilla (opens in new tab). The three are also thought to have adopted Camilla's special eating habit of collecting and eating peas fresh from the garden.

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