Camilla Parker Bowles, otherwise known as the Duchess of Cornwall, is the second wife of the heir to the English monarch, Prince Charles. This article looks at the Duchess in more detail.
Camilla Parker Bowles was born Camilla Rosemary Shand on the 17th July 1947 to a British army officer and the honourable Roasalind Cubitt, who was the eldest child of of the third Baron of Ashcombe. Education Camilla attended Dumbrells School in Sussex, as well as Queen's gate school in Kensington. She subsequently attended the Mon Fertile Sybil Colefax and John Fowler. She also became an avid equestrienne and participated in fox hunting. In 1973, Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles with whom she had two children; Tom and Laura. Their marriage lasted twenty two years until 1995, when Andrew launched divorce proceedings following the revelation that Camilla had been having an affair with her future husband, Prince Charles.
Becoming a Duchess
Following the revelations that both Camilla and Prince Charles had been having extra marital affairs, the public turned on Camilla and she was forced to keep a very low profile, especially around the time of Prince Charles's ex wife, Princess Diana's, death in 1997. Camilla and Charles were not seen together after Diana's death until 1999 when she began accompanying Charles to some public events. After moving in together in 2003, it was not until 2005 that it was publicly announced that the pair were engaged and the couple wed at Windsor castle on the 9th April, 2005. The wedding The wedding had been delayed by a day following the death and subsequent funeral of Pope John Paul II. Camilla wears the ring that had previously been worn by the Queen mother and from this point onwards, was officially known as the Duchess of Cornwall. By rights, she also holds the title of the Princess of Wales but chooses not to use it as this had previously been Princess Diana's title.
Life as a Duchess
By holding the title of Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla is technically the second highest ranked female in the U.K behind the Queen. Initially, the Duchess of Cornwall's royal duties involved accompanying the Prince of Wales on his official obligations. Camilla's first solo engagement was a visit to a hospital in Southampton in 2005. The same year, she made her inaugural overseas tour to the United States, and, in March of the following year, the Prince and Duchess undertook a trip through Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and India. Most recently, Camilla attended the wedding of her stepson, Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011.