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King Charles' unconventional second wedding with golden-clad Queen Camilla – all the photos

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

King Charles and Queen Camilla's wedding
Nichola Murphy
Nichola MurphyDeputy Lifestyle Editor
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It may not have been without controversy, but King Charles' on-off 35-year love story with Queen Camilla culminated with their royal wedding in 2005.

The late Queen Elizabeth II's son first met Camilla Shand in 1970 aged 23, but their romance cooled after Charles was called away on naval duties overseas. She went on to marry Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973 while he wed Princess Diana in 1981, but Charles and Camilla reportedly rekindled their romance in 1986. 

Following their respective divorces, Charles admitted to having an affair with Camilla, telling Jonathan Dimbleby his first marriage had become "irretrievably broken down, us both having tried." The King and Queen slowly went public with their romance following the death of Diana in 1997, and they announced their engagement in February 2005 before marrying two months later.

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. Look back at the best photos from their intimate royal wedding day at Windsor Castle, attended by just 28 guests…

Engagement ring heirloom

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

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.

Delayed wedding

Charles and Camilla at their civil marriage ceremony© Getty

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.

Civil ceremony

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

Charles and Camilla were all smiles for the ceremony at Windsor Guildhall outside of Windsor Castle. The couple waved to cameras as they departed in the car.

Camilla's first wedding dress

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

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.

Intimate guest list

camilla parker bowles wedding dress

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.

Missing royal wedding guests

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

"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.

Religious blessing

Charles and Camilla holding order of service© Getty

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.

Camilla's second wedding dress

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 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.

Wedding bouquet

Prince Charles Camilla Parker-Bowles wedding day© Getty

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.

Rule-breaking wedding guests

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

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.

Official photos

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

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!

Royal honeymoon

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

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

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