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Portraits of Charles & Camilla on Reverse of 2005 Sierra Leone Crown
Portraits of Charles & Camilla on Reverse of 2005 Sierra Leone Crown
Reverse of 2005 Sierra Leone Crown
Reverse of 2005 Sierra Leone Crown
Charles and Camilla

A Brief History of the life of the Duchess of Cornwall

Early Years
On 17th July 1947, the Duchess of Cornwall was born as Camilla Rosemary Shand. She is the daughter of Major Bruce Shand and the Hon. Rosalind Cubitt, eldest child of Roland Calvert Cubitt, the 3rd Baron Ashcombe. Camilla has one brother, Mark, and a sister, Annabel. The Duchess is related to three previous favourites of the British royal family; she is a great-granddaughter of Alice Keppel, the last mistress of the Prince of Wales's great-great-grandfather, Edward VII. The Duchess is also a descendant through her grandmother Sonia Cubitt of Arnold Joost van Keppel, 1st Earl of Albemarle. The earl was a close friend and favourite of William III. Thirdly, the duchess is related to Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, the illegitimate son of King Charles II by his mistress Louise-Renée, duchess of Portsmouth.

The Duchess spent her early life in the village of Plumpton, Sussex. She attended Dumbrells School in Sussex, Queen's Gate School in Kensington, London, as well as Mon Fertile, a finishing school in Switzerland. She made her debut in London in 1965 and was often seen at society functions. In 1973 Camilla married Andrew Parker-Bowles, a Brigadier-General in the British Army. They had two children, Tom, born in 1974 and Laura, born in 1979. Camilla first met Prince Charles in the early 1970s and they immediately became friends.

The controversial relationship with Prince Charles
The friendship between Charles and Camilla grew into a romantic attachment and the relationship began to put great pressure on the Parker-Bowles' marriage which ultimately ended in divorce in 1995. The troubled marriage between Prince Charles and Princess Diana ended in divorce the following year, Charles admitting later that he had been romantically involved with Camilla when both were still married. After Diana's death in 1997 Camilla Parker-Bowles became recognized as Charles' constant companion and partner amidst much media and public discussion. A great deal of resentment was expressed about the role of Camilla during the Prince's marriage to Diana; it was even said that Diana would still be alive today if it had not been for Camilla! Furthermore, Camilla's future role was coming under scrutiny; if she were to marry the heir to the throne what would she officially be known as? The title of Princess of Wales still has a strong public connection with the late Princess Diana.

The Duchess of Cornwall
On February 10th 2005 the engagement was announced between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles. After many delays and hurried reschedules, their marriage took place on Saturday, April 9th 2005 at the Guildhall in Windsor and the union was blessed the same day in a ceremony at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.

The controversy about Camilla's titles was ended by the announcement that she would be known as Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall (one of Charles' many titles is the Duke of Cornwall.); in Scotland she will be known as the Duchess of Rothesay. The full name of the Duchess is now Camilla Rosemary Mountbatten-Windsor and she is the second most senior female member of the Royal family after the Queen. A number of legal experts have claimed that regardless of her preferences, the current spouse of the Prince of Wales is the Princess of Wales. Nevertheless, like Lady Louise Windsor, it seems likely that she will formally and informally become known as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in line with her wishes and notwithstanding the proper legal form. When Charles succeeds his mother, it is intended that the Duchess of Cornwall should use the title HRH The Princess Consort. As the law stands, however, she would become Queen Consort of the United Kingdom, whatever her titular preferences.

Coins Commemorating The Charles & Camilla Royal Wedding


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