15 Things You Might Not Know About Camilla, the Woman Who Stole Prince Charles's Heart

While perhaps not for the best reasons, Camilla Parker Bowles is one half of one of the most famous British royal couples of all time. Over the years, her and Prince Charles's love affair (and then marriage) has continually been grabbing the headlines, which ended up taking its toll on the duchess. Although we do know quite a lot about their relationship, there's an ever-present curiosity about the woman who stole Charles's heart. Ahead, take a look at 15 facts about the Duchess of Cornwall.

01
She's 70 Years Old
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She's 70 Years Old

Camilla was born on July 17, 1947. She was the eldest child of Major Bruce Shand and his wife Rosalind Cubitt.

02
She Has Two Children
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She Has Two Children

The Duchess of Cornwall has two children from her first marriage to Army officer Andrew Parker Bowles: Tom, 43, and Laura, 40.

03
Prince Charles Is Her Son's Godfather
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Prince Charles Is Her Son's Godfather

Charles and Camilla have known each other for a very long time and have always been very close. So close, in fact, that she asked the prince to be her son Tom's godfather.

04
Her First Wedding Was Considered the Society Wedding of the Year
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Her First Wedding Was Considered the Society Wedding of the Year

Her engagement to Andrew Parker Bowles was announced in The Times in 1973. The pair married on July 4 that same year, when Camilla was 26 years old and Andrew was 33 years old. The duchess's dress was designed by Bellville Sassoon, and 800 guests were in attendance, including Princess Anne, the Queen Mother, and Princess Margaret.

05
She Loves Dogs
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She Loves Dogs

Camilla owns two Jack Russell terriers named Beth and Bluebell. They were both rescue puppies from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London, of which she is now patron.

06
Camilla Is Very Active When It Comes to Charity Work
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Camilla Is Very Active When It Comes to Charity Work

Since her marriage to Prince Charles in 2005, Camilla has become patron or president of over 90 charities. While her work is varied, she is mostly interested in health, literacy, supporting victims of rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, empowering women, food, animals, and heritage and the arts. We have a feeling she and Meghan Markle will have plenty to talk about.

07
Before Becoming a Duchess, Camilla Had a Few Jobs
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Before Becoming a Duchess, Camilla Had a Few Jobs

Camilla started adulthood as a secretary for a variety of firms in London's West End, and she was later employed as a receptionist by the decorating firm, Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler.

08
The Way She and Prince Charles Met Is Actually Pretty Common
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The Way She and Prince Charles Met Is Actually Pretty Common

The pair was introduced at a mutual friend's event in 1971 by none other than Charles's college girlfriend, Lucia Santa Cruz. They began dating almost immediately, but split right before Charles left for the Royal Navy. When he got back eight months later, Camilla was engaged to Andrew Parker Bowles.

09
It Was Camilla's Father Who Prevented Her From Marrying Charles in the First Place
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It Was Camilla's Father Who Prevented Her From Marrying Charles in the First Place

As it turns out, Prince Charles and Princess Diana's unhappy marriage could have been avoided if it hadn't been for Camilla's father.

Charles had fallen for Camilla almost a decade before his wedding to Diana. As Camilla's longtime on-again-off-again boyfriend Andrew Parker Bowles was out of the country on army service, the two began spending more time together and struck up a romance. However, Charles was 24 years old at the time, and on top of worrying that he might have been too young to settle down, Camilla didn't "appear virginal," which meant that she would not have been considered marriage material.

As Charles set sail for the Caribbean in January 1973, Andrew came back to London — and that's when his brother and Camilla's father conspired to make them marry. According to author Sally Bedell Smith, who wrote the biography Prince Charles, the two men published an untruthful engagement notice in The Times on March 15, which forced Andrew to propose to his girlfriend of nearly seven years.

10
Her Wedding to Prince Charles Was Pretty Low-Key
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Her Wedding to Prince Charles Was Pretty Low-Key

While Charles had a very big and very publicized first wedding, he kept things relatively simple when he married Camilla. Because he and Camilla were both divorced, they had to marry in a civil ceremony, which was a first for the royal family. It took place at Windsor Castle, with Prince William and Camilla's son as witnesses, and was followed by a religious blessing at St George's Chapel. While the queen chose not to attend the civil marriage, she did attend the religious blessing and then hosted a reception in honor of the couple.

11
Camilla First Met the Queen at the Former King of Greece's Birthday Party
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Camilla First Met the Queen at the Former King of Greece's Birthday Party

Charles and Camilla's relationship was first made public in 1999, but she didn't meet Queen Elizabeth II until 2001, when she attended the 60th birthday party of the former King of Greece, Constantine II. As for William and Harry, she met them in 1998.

12
Somebody Was Employed to Enhance Camilla's Public Profile
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Somebody Was Employed to Enhance Camilla's Public Profile

When Charles and Camilla made their relationship public following both their divorces, the Prince of Wales was very aware of the fact that they were receiving a lot of negative publicity. As a result, he employed Mark Holland to enhance Camilla's public profile — Holland had previously worked with Charles to refurbish his own image following his divorce from Princess Diana.

13
There's a Reason Camilla Doesn't Use the Princess of Wales Title
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There's a Reason Camilla Doesn't Use the Princess of Wales Title

When Camilla married Prince Charles in 2005, she gained a new family and a few shiny new royal titles, including the one of Princess of Wales — however, she has never formally used the distinction out of respect for its previous holder, Princess Diana. Instead, Camilla chose to take the feminine form of her husband's title, Duke of Cornwall, which also belonged to Diana during her marriage but is less associated with the late princess.

14
Her Title Will Change When Charles Becomes King
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Her Title Will Change When Charles Becomes King

When Charles takes the throne, it is thought that he'll go by the regal name King George VII. While the wife of a king generally gets the title of queen, Clarence House had announced that Camilla would one day be known as princess consort instead. "It is intended that Mrs. Parker Bowles should use the title HRH The Princess Consort when The Prince of Wales accedes to The Throne," the statement read. However, Charles will have the power to upgrade Camilla to queen consort if he so desires.

15
Camilla Is Close to Kate Middleton
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Camilla Is Close to Kate Middleton

The Duchess of Cornwall has always been close to the Duchess of Cambridge, guiding her through the obstacle of royal life. The two are often seen giggling together during public events, and Camilla even gave Kate a gold link bracelet which is hung with a disc engraved on one side with Catherine's "C" and a coronet, and with Camilla's "C" and a crown on the other.