The Crucial Role Camilla's Ex-Husband Played at Charles and Diana's Wedding


Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (L), Andrew Parker Bowles (3rd L), Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (C), Lady Diana Spencer (2nd R), wearing a brown suit by Bill Pashley and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (R) stand in the parade ring at Sandown Park Racecourse on March 13, 1981 in Sandown, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein / Getty)

"There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," Princess Diana famously said during her controversial 1995 BBC interview.

She was referring, of course, to Prince Charles' ongoing affair with his now-wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, who was married to her ex-husband Andrew at the time of Charles and Diana's wedding.

Diana was reportedly distrustful of Camilla from the start, and once told royal author Andrew Morton of her 1981 wedding day, "I knew she was in there, of course. I looked for her. So walking down the aisle, I spotted Camilla, pale gray, veiled pillbox hat, saw it all, her son Tom standing on a chair. To this day, you know—vivid memory" (via Good Housekeeping).

Knowing all that we know now, a certain piece of news commentary from Charles and Diana's wedding is sounding particularly icky right now. The following words were spoken by a commentator during their carriage procession down The Mall road in London, and unearthed by new documentary The Princess, which airs Aug. 13 on HBO Max.

"The escort, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Parker Bowles," the journalist narrated. "Charles and Lady Diana stayed with him and his wife Camilla in Wiltshire on two occasions at the end of the year. So they're among friends as they ride along the Mall."

Indeed, as Good Housekeeping reports, Andrew Parker Bowles, then a commanding officer, led the couple's ceremonial escort on their wedding day.

The commentator didn't seem clued into Charles and Camilla's romantic past (well, and future), but it's now very clear to all of us that Charles may have been "among friends" that day, but Diana certainly wasn't.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.