27 MARCH 2002
The Prince of Wales and his companion Camilla Parker Bowles were together at Buckingham Palace in the Queen’s presence for the first time on Tuesday night. The landmark encounter marked yet another significant step in their relationship.

Royals from throughout Europe converged on the Palace for a recital – arranged by Charles – of one of Queen Elizabeth’s favourite classical musicians, Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. The concert, which was hosted by Charles, featured the London Symphony Orchestra and was held in Buckingham Palace’s Grand Ballroom to celebrate the cellist’s 75th birthday..

Camilla was presented to the British monarch, but in a carefully stage-managed event the two were not pictured together. The first and last time they met was at a Highgrove barbecue to celebrate the 60th birthday of Ex-King Constantine of Greece two years ago. Although Camilla has visited Buckingham Palace with Charles before, the Queen has always been absent.

Following the recital there was a lavish banquet at which Camilla was seated next to King Juan Carlos of Spain – on the same table as Charles and the Queen of Spain. The Queen, however, was not present.

Members of the Royal Family attending the event included Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex. From mainland Europe came the King and Queen of Spain and their daughter the Infanta Elena; the Queen of Sweden, and Prince Albert of Monaco.



        

Charles and Camilla arrived for the musical soiree together (above). It was only the second time that Prince Charles's companion and the Queen have met. They were first presented at a barbecue to celebrate the 60th birthday of ex-King Constantine of Greece
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At the recital, which was organised by the Prince of Wales, the Queen and Charles sat in the front row, while Camilla was seated elsewhere in the audience
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Although Camilla was presented to the monarch, there were no photographs taken of them together at the carefully stage managed event

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