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agatha1939 06-08-2008 02:41 PM

C&C love story - the early days (1970 -1973)
 
I want to ask a question for the members who may understand more about C&C story. I have read several times here that Charles wanted to marry Camilla in the 70’s but was not allowed. Is that true? I am asking that because when I talked to my grandma, who is 100% obsessed with the Royal Family and seems to know everything about them – she told me that in the coverage of the 70’s, at the time, Camilla was never really heard of by the press except in passing as a "friend." And that the ones that Charles appeared serious about back then were NOT Camilla but: Anna Wallace (whom Charles was said to be head over heels about and who turned him down); Lady Jane Wellesley whom Charles was photographed with often and also dropped him; then Amanda Knatchbull turned him down. It seems Davina Sheffield was a serious contender but was dropped when a former boyfriend said he lived with her.

Anyway, it’s my grandma’s opinion that Camilla was never even CONSIDERED as wife material. I checked all the old magazines and books that we have and the only pictures I found of Charles and Camilla back then was the famous one under the tree and a "night on the town" for Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Parker Bowles and Prince Charles. And in ALL the mainstream books, even Charles' authorized biography; I never read Charles was forbidden to marry Camilla. Plus, Camilla wanted to marry APB, didn’t she? I thought she was in love with APB (but maybe I am wrong about that).

I am not trying to start a fight here about “evil Camilla”, this is a serious question and I just want to understand C&C story better back then. The official version is that they met in the 70’s, fell madly in love with each other, were forbidden to marry and then separated. However, everything that I read – and I am not talking about trash tabloids now, but mainstream articles from the 70’s, before paparazzi and yellow press – seem to show that it is a myth that Charles was turned down and was even seriously considering her as wife.

So, what is the truth?
(Or, the closest of the truth, since we may never know exactly how things really happened...)

Thanks!

Jo of Palatine 06-08-2008 03:43 PM

There is no offical version. Personally I think the way their relationship is described in the Dimbleby-book makes sense: they met, had a rapport but Charles was too young to do something about it and she realised there was no chance at all if Charles didn't do anything first - so she married and Charles searched for a bride while Camilla and her husband were friends of him.After that their personal relationship deepened to an intense friendship (noone so far has proven that it was more than that pre-wedding of Charles and Diana, though there are rumours) which was ended in order not to annoy the new wife of Charles' the day before the wedding (gift of the infamous bracelet to "Girl Friday"). When Charles' marriage to Diana irrevocably went down, Camilla offered her support and that's where their love affair started as far as we consider proof (Camilla-gate). Camilla divorced Andrew and Charles divorced Diana and there they are: Charles and Camilla - happily in love and legally married.

All IMHO, of course.

love_cc 06-08-2008 10:24 PM

I think Camilla was an earlier presence than Prince Charles's most publicised girlfriends that was why she was never well known until "Diana:her true story" revealed Camilla's existence in Prince Charles's life. Camilla is his truly "first love" when he can be himself only.

I believe that Charles and Camilla were in love but I doubt they would ever end up in marriage because of his character, his plan as a working prince, her relunctance and unsuitablity as a royal bride as well some objections from Lord Mountbatten and the Queen mother if not the Queen and the Duke themselves. I guess it was probably the fate, because only through the endurance of failures, loss, pains then success, gains, and happiness in his life, then he know what he really wants, and what is really important to him than others.

I guess that the marriage of Prince Charles to Camilla does mean that he has broken some kind of his life dilemmas which is good for him certainly: to follow others' advices or to follow his heart. As well as to follow his parents' formats or to be his own person. Prince Charles seems to have finally find his strength of character to endure these conflicts in his mind while he settle with his own peace of mind.

Skydragon 06-09-2008 05:57 AM

I think it was 'true'. From the moment they met they were at ease with one another, she treated him as an ordinary human being, a man not a prince. They were great friends and had a similar sense of humour.

Mountbatten had his own agenda (:whistling:), the QM hers and whilst trying to please his elders, people he respected, Charles and Camilla were sacrificed to the whim of others.

His life was carefully orchestrated to ensure this liason did not last and IMO, it was made clear to Camilla that her romance with Charles would have no happy ending.

Jo of Palatine 06-09-2008 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skydragon (Post 776716)
I think it was 'true'. From the moment they met they were at ease with one another, she treated him as an ordinary human being, a man not a prince. They were great friends and had a similar sense of humour.

Mountbatten had his own agenda (:whistling:), the QM hers and whilst trying to please his elders, people he respected, Charles and Camilla were sacrificed to the whim of others.

His life was carefully orchestrated to ensure this liason did not last and IMO, it was made clear to Camilla that her romance with Charles would have no happy ending.

Skydragon, if that is true and it could well be then I think that's a reason to change my opinion of Diana a bit (only a bit though but none-the-less): if she hadn't cried out loudly and been more accepting of her position (which is what I wished she'd done) then Charles and Camilla would probably still be damned to live a secret life of love while Charles would have to pretend that he has a good marriage with Diana. What a terrible situation that would be for all three of them!

Skydragon 06-09-2008 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine (Post 776765)
Skydragon, if that is true and it could well be then I think that's a reason to change my opinion of Diana a bit (only a bit though but none-the-less): if she hadn't cried out loudly and been more accepting of her position (which is what I wished she'd done) then Charles and Camilla would probably still be damned to live a secret life of love while Charles would have to pretend that he has a good marriage with Diana. What a terrible situation that would be for all three of them!

I think Charles and Camilla had settled on a 'the best of friends' approach before he married Diana. he probably gave his marriage to Diana 100%, but I maintain that although Diana was in love with The Prince of Wales, she had not taken into account Charles the man. Whereas Camilla was in love with Charles the man and would far rather he was not the Prince of Wales.

It would, as you say, have been a terrible situation but could it have been any worse than the tell all book, Diana after all was reputed to have looked elsewhere after a very short time? Alexandra (Countess of Frederiksborg) & Prince Joachim's marriage fell apart, neither discussed the details with the media and that is how it should have been.

Divorce without the public drama would have been better for the country.

Boris 06-09-2008 12:35 PM

According to Dimbleby's authorized biography which represents the 'official' story according to The Prince of Wales' view, the relationship between him and Camilla went through three stages:
1971 - 1972, when they were both single, until the Prince of Wales went on Navy Duty in the Caribbean for eight months and Camilla herself chose to marry Andrew Parker-Bowles;
1979 - 1981, when she was married, until Charles' marriage to Diana;
And from ca. 1986 on, (defined by the very vague 'once the marriage had irretrievably broken down' deadline) when both Charles and Camilla were married to others.
This is, again, the Prince of Wales' official line, in a biography authorised by him in 1994 and drawing heavily and openly from his co-operation, just like Morton's book two years before was authorized and drew heavily on the Princess' cooperation but unadmittedly so.
Thus the 'official' version there is that Camilla simply decided to marry another man - no mention of her being judged as 'wife material' or not, and no mention of Mountbatten in regard to her.
I believe these to be omissions, but that's strictly my opinion.

iowabelle 06-09-2008 02:03 PM

I think that "the grey men" would have disapproved of Camilla, but young Camilla really wanted to marry APB. Young Camilla certainly would have been aware of the position of the grey men at BP and probably didn't consider herself as a possible wife to the PoW. A dalliance with the PoW probably was amusing and fun while she waited for APB to come around.

Jo of Palatine 06-09-2008 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skydragon (Post 776799)

Divorce without the public drama would have been better for the country.

But would that have been possible? With Charles continuing as the Heir? If Diana had appeared to be as dignified and as pure as Alexandra (there is as yet no proof she cheated on prince Joachim), I doubt Charles could have had a divorce without appearing to be the only guilty party. It was bad as it was but it could have been much worse IMHO.

Jo of Palatine 06-09-2008 02:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iowabelle (Post 776860)
I think that "the grey men" would have disapproved of Camilla, but young Camilla really wanted to marry APB. Young Camilla certainly would have been aware of the position of the grey men at BP and probably didn't consider herself as a possible wife to the PoW. A dalliance with the PoW probably was amusing and fun while she waited for APB to come around.

That's a view very much based on a character study of a woman noone knows that much about. As yet,, no friends have spoken up about how much Camilla wanted to marry Andrew PB. Noone knows if she was interested enough in the going-ons of the Palace to have a position towards the "grey men". We simply don't know if she dreamed of being the wife of Charles. And we have no proof that she thought it was "amusing and fun" to have a dalliance with Charles or if she cried night after night in her pillow because she loved a man she couldn't have and had to settle for second best. We simply don't know. What we know is that there are no rumours whatsoever that Camilla Parker Bowles cheated on her husband with somebody else but her second husband. We have no prood that prince Charles cheated on his first wife with anyone but his second wife. For me, this is a sad occurance because people were hurt but it is understandible and doesn't speak ill of the people involved. At least they came clear at one point and accepted the responsibilities of their feelings for each other.

Skydragon 06-09-2008 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boris (Post 776836)
This is, again, the Prince of Wales' official line, in a biography authorised by him in 1994 and drawing heavily and openly from his co-operation, just like Morton's book two years before was authorized and drew heavily on the Princess' cooperation but unadmittedly so.
Thus the 'official' version there is that Camilla simply decided to marry another man - no mention of her being judged as 'wife material' or not, and no mention of Mountbatten in regard to her.
I believe these to be omissions, but that's strictly my opinion.

Although it was an authorised bio, I don't think Charles or Camilla have ever given their version to anyone. Dimbleby was given access to certain members of staff, denied to others. It wouldn't look good for Charles' hero's to admit they manipulated him or Camilla, to try to advance their own candidates. I think not only were they omissions but a successful attempt to rewrite history.:flowers:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine (Post 776870)
But would that have been possible? With Charles continuing as the Heir? If Diana had appeared to be as dignified and as pure as Alexandra (there is as yet no proof she cheated on prince Joachim), I doubt Charles could have had a divorce without appearing to be the only guilty party. It was bad as it was but it could have been much worse IMHO.

There are many reasons people file for divorce, unreasonable behavior, separation with consent after 2 years, separation without consent after 5 years, as well as adultery. Separation with consent after 2 years would have made life easier for all. :flowers:

COUNTESS 06-09-2008 03:38 PM

It is a love story, he loved Camilla and she , as far as I can see, loved him. Unfortunately, it involved other people. They cheated on their spouses, their spouses cheated on them. The chicken and the egg. Andrew was a bon vivant, could have cared less. Diana was an insecure child and turned the cart upside down. So, marriage amongst them all had no sanctity. They have what they wanted now, so "The End".

iowabelle 06-09-2008 04:08 PM

I'm sure no friends of this couple will speak on the record until they're deceased. I will admit that some of my comments are probably based on my reading... but that's true of anyone here who has expressed an opinion.

Actually, I just finished reading Tina Brown so that may have colored my impressions. My other impressions... APB was a player and it took Camilla years to get him to the altar. (TB claims that APB didn't propose to Camilla initially, Major Shand figured he should have and put the engagement announcement in the newspaper, and APB decided to go along with it.) If APB continued to play around on his wife, it's reasonable that Camilla decided to find her own happiness.

I'm not blaming either of them. It's not how I would want my marriage to be, but I'm not a party to any of this. And it's pretty much ancient history IMO. :flowers:

Boris 06-09-2008 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skydragon (Post 776902)
Although it was an authorised bio, I don't think Charles or Camilla have ever given their version to anyone. Dimbleby was given access to certain members of staff, denied to others. It wouldn't look good for Charles' hero's to admit they manipulated him or Camilla, to try to advance their own candidates. I think not only were they omissions but a successful attempt to rewrite history.:flowers:

Dimbleby was also given access to the Prince's letters and diaries, besides collecting every possible information that would represent Charles' point of view, including getting assistance from his subject himself.
While Camilla has certainly managed to maintain her silence, the same cannot be said for the Prince since way back then, he became one part of the tit for tat dynamics between himself and his then wife Diana. Morton's book and Dimbleby's book have both to be taken with a grain of salt.
I agree with your assessment of the attempt to rewrite history, not only concerning a figure like Mountbatten on Charles' part, but also concerning the story of the Wales marriage and the story of Charles' and Camilla's relationship.
It was an attempt by both Diana and Charles, resulting in the formation of camps until this very day, as can easily be observed not only in this very forum but every other day in the British press too - so much for it being 'ancient history'.
In comparison to Parker-Bowles, Diana was personality-wise ill-suited to bear an arrangement which Camilla's husband entered into willingly, which made the whole structure tumble. Personal arrangements like this one, built on deceit, innuendo and lies, tend to tumble easily and deservedly as they have no good and solid foundation. It has to be noted that Princess Diana did not create the whole unpleasant charade, she chose to make it public.

COUNTESS 06-09-2008 08:00 PM

What adroit thinking. Thank you.

Skydragon 06-10-2008 04:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boris (Post 776929)
Dimbleby was also given access to the Prince's letters and diaries, besides collecting every possible information that would represent Charles' point of view, including getting assistance from his subject himself.

I am quite certain that some of the things that were said and written were excluded. :flowers:
Quote:

In comparison to Parker-Bowles, Diana was personality-wise ill-suited to bear an arrangement which Camilla's husband entered into willingly, which made the whole structure tumble. Personal arrangements like this one, built on deceit, innuendo and lies, tend to tumble easily and deservedly as they have no good and solid foundation. It has to be noted that Princess Diana did not create the whole unpleasant charade, she chose to make it public.
I don't for one moment believe in an alleged arrangement with Parker Bowles, (himself a known womaniser, IMO). I firmly believe that had Diana been less 'dramatic', less demanding and less inclined to get too close to other men, Charles would never have returned to Camilla. But then we are straying back into the old foursome blues.

Jo of Palatine 06-10-2008 05:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skydragon (Post 777250)
I firmly believe that had Diana been less 'dramatic', less demanding and less inclined to get too close to other men, Charles would never have returned to Camilla.

I'm with you in that. But still I can feel for Diana who must have realised at one point (whenever it was) that even though Charles had liked her enough to marry her and though he tried his best to love her, he had loved before in a different way. Though IMHO he behaved honorably and had said his final good-byes to Camilla, Diana knew she would never have what Camilla had had and this knowledge turned out the worst in her.

And somehow I believe both Lady Amanda Knatchbull and Lady Jane Wellesley were more perceptive than Diana ever was and realised that the love Charles had to offer his wife in addition to all his worldly goods was not enough for them.

agatha1939 06-10-2008 06:32 AM

Thanks everybody for your answers!

I understand this is a difficult topic to discuss since none of us know exactly what and how happened, but it's been nice to read all the different opinions about it.

I always wanted to understand the big WHY... why Charles and Camila didn't marry - or even dated officialy - when they were young, single and supposedly in love. It's my opinion that Camila was in love with APB and wanted to marry him and Charles was just a friend - probably a close friend - but not more than that. After some years, that friendship became love and THEN there was nothing to do about it, Charles would never be allowed to marry a divorced woman. I don't think they discussed marriage - or as I said, even dating - back then when they were single.

But I have to agree, I don't really know.

Jane1 06-10-2008 07:02 AM

The Tina Brown book asserts that Camilla was completely besotted with Andrew PB and that getting him to the altar was her goal. Originally she flirted with Charles to make Andrew jealous.

Skydragon 06-10-2008 07:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jane1 (Post 777289)
The Tina Brown book asserts that Camilla was completely besotted with Andrew PB and that getting him to the altar was her goal. Originally she flirted with Charles to make Andrew jealous.

Unfortunately Tina Brown was not even part of the 'set' and has only been able to base her story on what she has read elsewhere and interpreted it to suit her 'story'. I don't think anyone has heard from the two main parties, especially not Brown.:flowers:


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