Andrew Parker and Camilla are a living example of how couples who break up can remain allies and friends even after a divorce. So much so that today the ex of the queen consort, who has always been a man of the court, could have a central role in the new monarchy.
When we talk about conscious uncoupling or leaving without getting hurt, transforming even a painful break into a new bond, the names of Andrew Parker Bowles and his ex-wife Camilla, now Queen consort of England and now the historical companion of Charles III, they never pop out at random.
Under the blanket of gossip that has accompanied, from the earliest years, the stories about their “three” marriage – he, she, and the other, Carlo, hides a relationship that has overcome time and divorce, bypassing their respective roles and arriving to the present day practically intact, if not better.
Camilla: Andrew Parker a central role in new monarchy
So much so that Parker Bowles, according to the latest royal news, today seems to be in the first position in the list of the most trusted of the queen, right-hand man who represents her in commitments which Camilla, now gripped by her new status, cannot honor: she recently participated in a funeral in place, as read in the Royal Court Circular with the official schedule of senior members of the royal family and those who gravitate around them.
This a sign that the British Army officer now on leave, a man who has always been close to court circles who was married to Camilla from 1973 to 1995 (and with her he had two children, Tom and Laura Parker Bowles), is still an essential element of the queen’s private life, a fixed point of the intimate sphere that has never interfered with the private and public life of Charles’s wife.
In a recent editorial, the Telegraph asked itself, throwing the same question to its readers: “Is Andrew Parker Bowles the former ideal?” Perhaps, to retrace his history, it is.
Royal chroniclers and biographers have often suggested, in analyzing the Parker Bowles’ marriage, that this was a bond of convenience, a relationship born in the wake of the revenge and resignation of Camilla (then Shand), left alone after Carlo was estranged. From the United Kingdom on a mission by sea to which he was sent precisely to distance himself from his mistress.
In the 2018 documentary The Real Camilla: HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, it is revealed that the marriage between Camilla and her longtime fiancé Andrew was announced just around the time the Prince of Wales was abroad: it is even rumored to have been her father, ready to defend the virtue of his daughter already tainted by a secret relationship with the most prominent bachelor in the country, to speed things up by publishing an engagement announcement in the Times unbeknownst to Parker Bowles, which, on balance, “forced” him to marry his fiancée to save her face and make her an honest woman.
More than revenge, however, Camilla’s move seems, in retrospect, to be the conscious choice of a woman who had already understood what her role in the actual situation must have been.
Charles’s relatives, particularly his mentor, Lord Louis Mountbatten, pushed the prince to move away from a woman perceived as “too mature, too experienced,” perfect as a lover but not as a queen consort. Given how it went, it can be said that there was no more wrong idea.
During their respective marriages, Camilla and Carlo then continued to keep their relationship alive in alternating phases, it is said with the approval of the same Parker Bowles who knew (and was silent), culminating in the outcomes that we all know, or two divorces, that screamed in 1996 between the princes of Wales Charles and Diana, who had already been separated since 1992, and the more informal but not unexpected among the Parker Bowles.
Until 2005, the year of the wedding in Windsor between Charles and Camilla, finally approved by the queen after years of torment and gossip.
In the light of the tragic life and death of Diana Spencer, the triangle made up of the couple and her ex, who is, on the other hand, also a perfect friend of Princess Anna, has become much less problematic, becoming more and more an alliance than an emotional carnage.
The two, over the last thirty years, have remained close in the most complex and happiest moments: there was Camilla, at the funeral of Andrew’s second wife, Rosemary, in 2010; there were both perfect co-parents at the weddings of both children, which Carlo, William, and Harry also attended, with many smiles, soothed the pain of the past dramas and ready to start again.
The royal biographers confirm that starting from the not-so-fanciful assumption that the Parker Bowles had made some agreement to leave Camilla free to hang out with her one true love and allow Andrew to gravitate to the real affairs, which underlie their relationship, there was, however a great friendship, mutual esteem that overcame adversity: on the ashes of a bond based on insinuations, Camilla and her ex have built an indissoluble alliance.