When did King Charles marry Camilla Parker Bowles?

As audiences tune into The Crown season 6, fans are wondering when King Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles and who was at the wedding?

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 King Charles married 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 when her son took to the throne. So it's no surprise that royal fans want to know all about the royals' relationship timeline. 

And with the history between the pair once again being dramatised in the latest series of The Crown, many are asking about when Charles and Camilla finally tied the knot - and why the Queen didn't go to Charles and Camilla's wedding. It's safe to say that the two's love story experienced its fair share of trials and challenges over the years, with season five showing both Camillagate and Diana's Panorama interview. 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 sentimental as it marked 35 years since the two first met. They 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 complemented 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)

While 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 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. 

All senior members of the Royal Firm were in attendance, including their children, Prince William, Prince Harry, Tom Parker-Bowles and Laura Lopes (née Parker Bowles).

Queen Elizabeth walking behind Charles and Camilla on their wedding day

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Charles' siblings Anne, Andrew and Edward were also in attendance, plus their other halves and children such as Princess Beatrice 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.

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 as the Duke of Cornwall. 

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.

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. Referring to her beloved Grand National, she is reported to have said in a speech, "They have overcome Becher's Brook and The Chair and all kinds of other terrible obstacles. They have come through and I'm very proud and wish them well. My son is home and dry with the woman he loves."

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 andnd that the two hit it off instantly, sharing a love of the sport and the great outdoors.

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

While reports of their first meeting may vary, it's known that they 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 and, surprisingly, Camilla attended Charles and Diana's wedding 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. But now as wife to a ruling monarch, she is officially known as Queen Camilla.

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. 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 that Charles was "sweet and gentle" and "ahead of his time".He added that his children called Prince Charles "umpa" while growing up, and Camilla was known as "gaga".

Camilla's nickname seems to have been adopted by the Cambridge children too. Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis also reportedly use Gaga as their special nickname for Camilla

Charles and Camilla relationship timeline

  • 1970: Prince Charles and Camilla first meet
  • 1971: Prince Charles leaves to serve in the Royal Navy
  • 1973: Camilla marries Andrew Parker Bowles
  • 1981: Prince Charles marries Diana Spencer
  • 1986: Charles and Camilla reportedly begin an affair
  • 1992: Charles and Diana decide to separate
  • 1995: Camilla and Andrew Parker-Bowles divorce
  • 1996: Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorce
  • 1999: Charles and Camilla make their first public appearance together
  • 2000: The late Queen Elizabeth meets Camilla for the first time
  • 2003: Charles and Camilla move into Clarence House
  • 2005: Prince Charles and Camilla marry

If you're interested in more of the true events that inspired The Crown, we've revealed how Dodi met Diana and who his girlfriend was before Diana. We've taken a look at The Crown cast too, and where The Crown was filmed

Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the former Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.