April 9 was the wedding anniversary of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. They have been married for 17 years now. They have been together since 1970 through a mountain of two marriages, multiple relationships and tabloid dramas. The first quote from Tina Brown in the Telegraph Palace papers, Brown Charles and Camilla focus on everything around the 2005 wedding, from the chaotic choice to actually get married, to the death of a beloved pope, to the Queen coming out of the reception to watch a horse race. You can read the full part here (if you subscribe). Some highlights:
By 2004, Camilla had a double life: When the Prince traveled, Camilla became festive in her wandering Wiltshire Bolthol near the highgrove from the royal dullness. He refused to give it up, because at least here he could wander around, eat peas straight from the garden, enjoy a cigarette without smoking in the chimney as he did when he was around Charles, and have an annoying dinner with him in the kitchen. Now adult children. But he felt helpless. Despite all the patient gestures for royal acceptance that seemed to be collecting steam after the Queen Mother’s death and the Golden Jubilee, all her sweet talk about the legacy of the Queen and the Prince of Wales’ personal secretaries, all the caution still preserved Prince William and a completely depressed Nearby, there were always some new disasters that made him unprepared that took him back underground.
Camilla almost sympathized with Diana: For a moment, Camilla thought there was a downside to not being Charles’ wife. He always disliked flying, talking in public, dressing up and attracting media attention. There was no calendar filled with what he didn’t want to do, which basically defined royal life. Yuvraj’s routine was relentless. He never ate lunch and ate breakfast of the same bird seeds and peeled fruit every morning. Punctuality was never Camilla’s strong suit, but Charles hoped she would be ready to engage in her own regimental pace. When he asked where they were going, he would snap: “Didn’t you read the brief?” A friend of hers at the time told me that she was even beginning to feel some sympathy for Diana’s multiple grievances.
Charles is hesitant to propose: The prince, in his usual painful fashion, was hesitant about what a second marriage would do to his popularity. The gossip columns began to imply that Charles’s interest in Camilla was waning. Jimmy Goldsmith’s often quoted quote was dazzling: “When you marry your concubine, you create a job vacuum.”
Offer: Charles finally proposed to Camilla on New Year’s Eve at the Balmoral Estate in Birkhale. They each spent Christmas with their families, and Charles informed his mother and her sons of his plans in Sandringham. With the approval of Prilet and the growing population, the Queen agreed that “regular[ing]”, In royal parlance, Camilla’s role was the only course that is now understandable for the firm’s work efficiency. HM even chooses Camilla’s engagement ring from the Queen Mother’s collection to sign Charles.
The day before the wedding: Then the pope died. And not just any pope. John Paul II, the most prolific pontiff of the modern age. His funeral called for a single most recent August gathering of heads of state outside the United Nations. The Queen insisted that Charles would represent her at the funeral on her wedding day. “Could something else be wrong?” Hoops the Daily Mail. The marriage was postponed for 24 hours. But the blessings of television were now destined to clash with the Grand National. The solution was to move to the beginning of the race, allowing spectators to see both. Otherwise the determined Camilla melted away. He developed a chronic case of sinusitis and spent the week caring for his cut nerves with girlfriends. On her wedding day, she had to lie down in bed.
Actual Citizen Wedding Ceremony: Camilla, dressed in a delicate cream chiffon dress and a wide-brimmed, white-feathered Philip Tracy hat, had her own muted glitter on her wedding day. The 57-year-old, colorless, hairless, unkempt, was the one Diana never had: the woman the Prince of Wales had always wanted. The crowds on Windsor’s narrow, whirlwind streets were respectable enough and at least they weren’t hostile. Twenty-eight guests, including Prince William and Prince Harry, witnessed the vows of Charles and his new Duchess in the humble Ascot room of the Guildhall. The bride and groom exchange wedding rings made of special Welsh gold. When a request was made to cut it from the remaining reserves of the family from the Klogau Mine, the Queen remarked: “There is very little left of it – it will not be enough for a third marriage.”
Queen Charles and Camilla enjoyed the reception: The queen sat through all of this with her traditional wedding face (for intelligence, no expression), but a guest told me that there was a significant difference in her behavior after the party, where she expressed genuine affection for both Camilla. And his son. However, nothing stopped her glory from her first love. When Charles and Camilla appear to be sunbathing outside the chapel, the queen disappears into the next room to see the Grand National. He appeared at the buzzing reception at Windsor Castle’s State Apartment to make an unusually inspired toast that made headlines the next day.
[From The Telegraph]
Brown added that the reception had a great power, longtime friends of Charles and Camilla were really happy for them and left the ducks to watch the Queen horse race replay. The only part I don’t care about is the idea that Charles didn’t have a real plan for “Camilla’s acceptance.” I think he worked on it for a few years before he proposed, and everything was determined by the number of votes and the change in Camilla. Anyway, what a horse day it was. I can admit that they make sense together and probably make each other quite happy, but what a messy journey.
One of my favorite details: Andrew Parker Bowles went to his ex-wife’s wedding and apparently he was as happy as a clam, some commenting that he was behaving like the bride’s mother.
Photo courtesy of Avalon Red, WENN.