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King Charles, 56, and golden bride Queen Camilla's very intimate second wedding – all the photos

The monarch and his second wife had an intimate wedding in April 2005

King Charles and Queen Camilla's wedding
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
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King Charles' on-off love story with Queen Camilla (née Shand) began over five decades ago when they met in 1970 aged 23. 

Fast forward to today and they've gone through respective marriages and children – Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973 and welcomed Tom Parker-Bowles and Laura Lopes while he wed Princess Diana in 1981 and became father to Prince William and Prince Harry – before getting divorced from their former partners and reuniting.

A young Camilla chatting to Prince Charles© Getty
The couple met at a polo match aged 23

Charles and Camilla reportedly rekindled their romance in 1986, and Charles admitted to having an affair with Camilla, telling Jonathan Dimbleby his first marriage had become "irretrievably broken down, us both having tried." 

Camilla later described to Vogue the controversy they faced in the 1990s as "not easy", as she recalled being "scrutinized" and "criticized" after going public with their relationship following the death of Diana in 1997.

They announced their engagement in February 2005 before marrying two months later, aged 56 and 57. Since they were both divorcées, their second wedding was more unconventional, with the couple exchanging vows in a civil ceremony followed by an official religious blessing on 9 April 2005. 

The monarch has taken every opportunity since then to praise his wife. In his first speech as monarch in September 2022, he said: "I count on the loving help of my darling wife, Camilla," while she is said to be a key pillar of support following his cancer diagnosis. On their wedding anniversary, join us as we look back at the best photos from their intimate royal wedding day at Windsor Castle, attended by just 28 guests…

Camilla smiling and showing off her ring in February 2005© Getty Images

Engagement ring heirloom

The former Prince of Wales gave his second wife a gleaming art deco-style engagement ring which was a "royal family heirloom." The five-carat emerald-cut diamond flanked by three diamond baguettes on each side previously belonged to Charles' beloved grandmother, the Queen Mother, who was spotted wearing it back in 1985. It is estimated to be worth between £80k and £300k, but its sentimental value is much higher.

Charles and Camilla at their civil marriage ceremony© Getty

Delayed wedding

Buckingham Palace initially announced the couple would wed on 8 April, but it was delayed by a day so that Charles could represent the Queen at the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

King Charles and Queen Camilla waving at their royal wedding© Anwar Hussein

Health woes

Queen Camilla may have been all smiles as she arrived for her ceremony, but she was bedridden just hours beforehand. The royal bride was suffering from sinusitis, with Lucia Santa Cruz, who introduced Charles and Camilla, explaining to Vanity Fair: "She was really ill, stressed. She literally couldn’t get out of bed."

King Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in the car on their wedding day© David Lodge

Civil ceremony

Charles and Camilla waved to cameras as they departed Windsor Guildhall, Windsor Castle in the car.

Charles wore his beloved signet ring on his wedding day© Getty Images

Camilla's first wedding dress

The former Duchess of Cornwall stepped out in two equally elegant bridal looks by Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine – neither of which she paired with a tiara. Firstly, Camilla wore a white silk chiffon dress and matching coat alongside a feather hat by Phillip Treacy, a diamond tennis bracelet and a clutch bag carrying her bridal essentials.

camilla parker bowles wedding dress

Intimate guest list

Just 28 people witnessed their ceremony, including Charles' sons Princes William and Harry, Camilla's kids Tom and Laura, and Charles' siblings Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and Princess Anne. The couple's eldest sons acted as their witnesses.

King Charles and Queen Camilla at the blessing their marriage with members of the royal family© Tim Graham

Missing royal wedding guests

"The Duke of Edinburgh and I are very happy that the Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker Bowles are to marry," the Queen said in a statement, but as the head of the Church of England, she did not attend her divorced son's civil ceremony.

She did, however, host a reception for the newlyweds and attend the blessing and reiterated her support for the couple at her Platinum Jubilee in February 2022.

"When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me. And it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service," she said.

Charles and Camilla holding order of service© Getty

Religious blessing

The newlyweds shared several intimate glances at St. George's Chapel where they had a religious blessing by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.

King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla leave the Service of Prayer and Dedication blessing their marriage at Windsor Castle on April 9, 2005© Getty

Camilla's second wedding dress

Camilla had done an outfit change for the second half of the day, swapping her bridal white outfit for a blue coat dress embroidered with gold details and accessorised with a gold feather headpiece by Philip Treacy.

Prince Charles linking arms with his new wife Camilla© ODD ANDERSEN

Hidden wedding mishap

One part of her bridal outfit that remained hidden underneath her flowing blue dress was her mismatched heels, which she only noticed after getting in the car on the way to the celebrations.

"I remember going from Clarence House, here, to Windsor the day I got married when I probably wasn't firing on all cylinders – quite nervous – and for some unknown reason, I put on a pair of shoes and one had an inch heel and the other had a two-inch heel. Talk about hopalong!" she told the BBC, adding that her mother-in-law, the late Queen Elizabeth II, saw the funny side. "She laughed about it."

Prince Charles Camilla Parker-Bowles wedding day© Getty

Wedding bouquet

After being pictured with just a clutch bag in hand at the start of the day, Camilla debuted her wedding bouquet at the blessing. It featured lily-of-the-valley and yellow, purple and white primroses with a sprig of myrtle – a traditional addition to royal wedding flowers.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth wore a white coat dress to the wedding of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in 2005
© Getty

Rule-breaking wedding guests

Many royal fans may have wondered why the late monarch chose to wear a white mother-of-the-groom dress. Her late Majesty was pictured behind the happy couple on the steps in an off-white and yellow flecked midi coat with a matching hat and black gloves. Her choice of outfit could have been because she knew she would not be upstaging the bride, who had chosen not to wear a white ensemble.

The Queen attended Charles and Camilla's marriage blessing© Getty

Official photos

The royals gathered in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle for the photos, with the gold-panelled walls offering a luxurious backdrop for the pictures. And it coordinated perfectly with the bride's wedding dress!

Then-Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, in their role as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay undertake their first joint official engagement opening Monaltrie Park children's playground in Ballater near Balmoral on April 14, 2005 in Aberdeenshire, Scotland© Tim Graham,getty

Royal honeymoon

Charles and Camilla began their honeymoon at their Scottish home, Birkhall on the Balmoral estate.

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