Camilla Parker Bowles
Camilla Parker Bowles led a simple but privileged life before she wed Prince Charles. Pictured: Camilla during her visit to North Swindon Library on January 24, 2019 in Swindon, England. Getty Images/Steve Parsons-WPA Pool

Camilla Parker Bowles’ life after marrying Prince Charles has changed drastically. However, the two just tied the knot in 2005.

Prior to the meeting Prince Charles in the 1970s, Camilla led a very different life. The Duchess of Cornwall was born on July 17, 1947. In the mid-60s, she worked as an assistant at the interior design store Colefax and Fowler in London’s Mayfair.

During her teenage years, Camilla grew up in Belgravia flat with her flatmate Lady Myora Campbell. She owned a Mini and was described as someone who was somewhat ahead of her time by Compton Miller, the author of “Who’s Really Who.”

“Unlike the naïve blushing gels who were Camilla’s fellow debutantes in 1965, she was already a habitue of nightclubs such as the Garrison and the Saddle Room. Going to the sort of nightclubs where your parents were also likely to go could have been fraught with inter-generational embarrassment,” he said.

The mom of two was also described as someone who is very self-confident and great to be around with. She studied at Queen’s Gate School before finishing her studies in Switzerland and France.

Camilla’s parents had positions, according to royal biographer Gyles Brandreth. Her dad, Major Bruce Shand, worked in the royal household as a clerk of the Cheque and Adjutant of Yeomen of the Guard. Her mother, Rosalind Shand, belonged to the wealthy Cubit family who had built Belgravia and Pimlico.

According to Brandreth, Camilla also became famous for being one of the women that smoked cigarettes at such a young age. This was something that other women didn’t openly do at that time.

In 1970, Camilla met Prince Charles at a polo match in Windsor, and they hit it off instantly. After dating each other for a short time, Prince Charles had to leave for the Royal Navy. While they were away from each other, Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles, a Guards officer who was 10 years older than her.

After her divorce from Bowles, Camilla wed Prince Charles in a civil ceremony in 2005.