CAMILLA PARKER BOWLES’ first husband knew of her affair with Prince Charles as there was “very little pretense”, and Andrew Parker Bowles accepted that, according to an unearthed documentary.
Camilla, now known as the Duchess of Cornwall, has been involved with the Prince of Wales since they first met in the early Seventies. They briefly dated at the time but Charles was called away to train with the Royal Navy and so Camilla settled down with her on-off boyfriend, Mr Parker Bowles. She married him in 1973 but his infidelity meant Camilla eventually returned to Charles to strike up a romance once again.
As the 2008 documentary ‘Prince Charles’ Other Mistress’ explained, Mr Parker Bowles appeared to accept their affair.
Royal biographer Christopher Wilson told the documentary: “It is said that an English gentleman will always lay down his wife for his country and this was certainly true in the case of Andrew Parker Bowles.
“In 1979, there was very little pretense about the intensity of the relationship between Prince Charles and Camilla.
“Most of the week he would be staying at Bolehyde Manor, sometimes Andrew Parker Bowles would come home for the weekend and Prince Charles would stay.
“But there was a very curious ménage à trois between these three of which Dale could only look on in despair.”
Lady Dale Tryon, affectionately known as Kanga for her Australian origins, was Charles’ other mistress at this time.
She and Camilla fought over the royal’s affections for years, until it became clear Charles preferred Mr Parker Bowles’ wife.
However, their affair began due to Camilla’s unhappiness with Mr Parker Bowles.
She had been infatuated with her first husband for a long time prior to their marriage.
According to Howard Hodgson’s 2007 biography, ‘Charles: The Man who will be King’, she was “confident that this handsome stud would change” and stop philandering if they wed.
She remained a close confidant of Charles’ until after the birth of her second child, Laura, in 1979.
Mr Hodgson explained: “By then, Camilla had long since realised that the leopard was never going to change his spots: her husband, whom she had chased and forgiven time and again for seven years in order to get him down the aisle, had only continued his philandering ways once he had come up it again.”
Mr Parker Bowles was regularly pictured with other women in London, while his wife spent time in Wiltshire with their two children — so Camilla reignited her fling with Charles.
Mr Hodgson claimed this affair was “good for her hurt ego”, while Charles was unmarried at the time.
Her husband, “given his track record”, could not object to their romance either.
The three of them were in the same social circles, too, and so it was unsurprising that Charles’ future wife,Lady Diana Spencer, was introduced to the couple.
Camilla actively encouraged Charles to pursue Diana as his future spouse at the time, as they both intended to call off the affair once the Prince of Wales had found an appropriate royal wife.
However, Diana’s jealousy over Camilla overshadowed much of their marriage.
By 1986,Camilla and Charles had resumed their relationship.
The Parker Bowles divorced in 1995 and the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1996.
By 2005, Charles had made his romance with Camilla public and made her his wife.