Four obstacles Charles and Camilla faced before long-awaited wedding

King Charles and Camilla visit Brick Lane in London

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King Charles III married Queen Camilla in a civil ceremony in April 2005. Their wedding came after a decade of speculation regarding their romance, given they had both engaged in an extramarital affair to be together. On February 10, 2005, the couple announced their plans to marry, but they had to overcome a few hurdles before they could reach their big day.

Harry and William ‘begged’ their father not to remarry

In his memoir, which was published last month, Prince Harry said he wondered whether Camilla would one day be his “wicked stepmother”, but went on to say he and Prince William were willing to forgive her in “their hearts” if she could make their father happy.

The Prince wrote: “We saw that like us, he wasn’t [happy]. We could recognise the absent glances, the empty sighs, the frustration always visible on his face.”

He revealed he and his brother promised their father they would welcome Camilla into the family, but requested that he didn’t marry her in exchange. Harry claimed that, while they approved of her, they “begged” Charles not to wed for a second time after the tragic death of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

Charles did not respond, according to Harry, who claimed both brothers feared Camilla would be unfairly compared to the ‘People’s Princess’.

READ MORE: Charles and Harry: The fiery father-son relationship that broke down in front of the world

Harry reportedly goes on to say that despite their opposition to the marriage, a campaign began for the wedding to take place and for Camilla to become Queen.

Public disgust

In 2004, A Populus poll revealed just 32 percent of participants were on board with Charles marrying Camilla. It suggested that 29 percent were against it, 38 percent didn’t care and two percent had no opinion.

Although some Brits eventually warmed to the idea, once their engagement was announced, they faced another round of angry outbursts.

Penny Junor, royal biographer and author of The Duchess: Camilla Parker Bowles and the Love Affair That Rocked the Crown, recalled receiving emails from viewers of BBC Breakfast expressing their utter disgust at the news.

On one occasion, a woman even stood outside of Clarence House, the home Charles and Camilla share, and declared the then-Prince of Wales should “never be king” if he wedded Camilla.

A royal wedding like no other

At the time of their engagement, the Church of England was not entirely supportive of second marriages, particularly if a former spouse was still living — as was the case of Camilla’s ex-husband, Andrew Parker Bowles.

In order to appease the situation, the couple decided to have a royal wedding unlike any other, choosing to divide it into two parts — a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall and a marital blessing service at St. George’s Chapel.

While there were mixed feelings about the proposal, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, gave his approval, saying he supported the marriage and their arrangement was “consistent with Church of England guidelines concerning remarriage”.

Neither Queen Elizabeth II, who was head of the Church of England, nor Prince Philip attended the ceremony. However, they later made an appearance at St George’s Chapel and the reception.

Robert Hardman, a biographer of the late Queen, claimed their absences were a sign of Her Majesty’s “disapproval of the arrangements, not of the marriage” itself.

Postponed nuptials

Originally, Charles and Camilla chose Friday, April 8, as the day for their ceremony. But not long before the set date, the Palace had to postpone the wedding by 24 hours.

Charles was called to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II on behalf of the Queen.

In his book, Harry claimed his father “and Camilla didn’t want to get married on the same day the Pope was being laid to rest. Bad karma. Less Press. More to the point, Granny wanted Pa to represent her at the funeral”.

As a result of the last-minute change, manufacturers were forced to change the date stamped on the commemorative products churned out for the occasion.

When the day of the wedding did come around, everything seemed to go off without a hitch. Camilla was said to be nervous on the morning of the big day, suffering from sinusitis, but her spirits were lifted once she felt the welcome of the crowd, who had filled Windsor to celebrate her union with the future King.

Ms Junor wrote: “She looked endearingly frightened when she stepped out of the car with Charles and waved briefly before disappearing into Guildhall. But it was clear the crowd was on her side.”

From then on, Camilla was to be known as Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall. It was decided on the day that once Charles ascended the throne, she would be Princess Consort. But that changed last year when Queen Elizabeth II announced it was her “sincere wish” for her daughter-in-law to be named Queen Consort upon Charles’ accession.

In September 2022, following the death of Britain’s longest-serving monarch, Charles was proclaimed King, with Camilla by his side as Queen.

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