Their love story has never run smooth, with a scandalous affair and embarrassing moments gone public, and it seems Prince Charles and his now-wife Camilla battled against opposition from another source – the duchess’ dad.
While the late Princess Diana very famously voiced her resentment that there were “three of us in this marriage” during her 15-year union with Prince Charles, it seems behind closed doors, Camilla’s family was none too happy with the controversial arrangement either.
In particular, Camilla’s father, Major Bruce Shand didn’t approve of their relationship and is said to have confronted the prince over his daughter’s name being dragged through the mud.
“One reported instance of his intervention was in 1993, after the disclosure of intimate taped phone calls between the lovers,” the Guardian reported in 2006.
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“At a private meeting, Shand reportedly reproached Charles for ruining his daughter’s life, reducing the prince to tears.”
It’s been reported that Camilla’s dad wasn’t afraid to get involved in his daughter’s love life.
Camilla first met Andrew Parker Bowles – the man she would eventually go on to marry – in 1965, with the two dating on-and-off for years. During one of their off stages, Camilla met and had a brief fling with Prince Charles in 1971.
Charles’ navy commitments are said to have put an end to the romance, with Camilla driven back into Andrew’s arms – with the socialite’s dad Major Shand who reportedly puting pressure on Andrew to propose.
The couple did finally get married in 1973, however royal biographer Penny Junor claims the marriage was fraught with problems, with “Andrew’s affairs were just a fact of life”.
With Charles tying the knot with Princess Diana in 1981 and suffering serious problems of the own, Charles and Camilla reportedly gravitated towards each other in the 90s and reignited their romance.
While Major Shand, who passed away in 2006 at the age of 89, was initially resistant to the couple’s relationship, reports say that as the couple both ended their troubled romances, with Camilla divorcing Andrew in 1995, and Charles and Diana following suit a year later, it became clear to Camilla’s dad how serious his daughter was about the royal.
“Throughout the divorce from Princess Diana, he was said to have been a tower of strength to both Charles and Camilla,” reports the Guardian. “Charles grew “very fond” of his father-in-law, admiring his courage, wit and impeccable manners.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall went on to wed in April 2005, with Major Shand publicly speaking out in support of the prince.
“I believe he came across as very fair-minded and sincere,” Shand said. “I am in no doubt he will make a perfect king.”
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