Charles and Camilla

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In 1970, eleven years before his marriage to Diana, the Prince of Wales met Camilla. On 9 April 2005 he married her. What happened in the meantime?

After their first meeting the Prince and Camilla became good friends, but he did not ask her to marry him. He started service in the navy in 1971, and was away from home for a year. During this time Camilla married an army officer, Andrew Parker Bowles, and ten years later Charles was married to Diana Spencer. Some people say that he did not want to marry her, but his father, Prince Philip, insisted on it.

Paparazzi are freelance photographers who aggressively pursues celebrities for the purpose of taking candid photographs. Princess Diana was chased everywhere by such photographers, even on the night she died (Getty Images)Paparazzi are freelance photographers who aggressively pursues celebrities for the purpose of taking candid photographs. Princess Diana was chased everywhere by such photographers, even on the night she died (Getty Images)

The couple had two sons, William and Harry, but the marriage was not happy for long: Charles had not forgotten Camilla, and Diana knew it. We do not know exactly what went on between Charles and Camilla, but we can guess. We do know that Diana had lovers. The marriage ended in 1992, and everyone who was old enough at the time will remember Diana's tragic death in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

It seems that Camilla’s marriage was not a great success either, and she and Parker Bowles divorced in 1995. So both were free to marry again. They did so, and they seem happy with each other. But there are important questions to be answered. When Queen Elizabeth dies, Charles will become King. Should Camilla be Queen? And should Charles abdicate and let his elder son William become King? The British people do not agree on the matter. What do you think? 


Activity

Do you think Camilla should become Queen when the present Queen dies? Discuss this in small groups and report back to the rest of the class with your opinions and the reasons for them. 
 


Activities for the links below

1) At Wikipedia you will find an article on the abdication crisis of 1936. Read the introduction and the paragraphs under “Edward and Mrs Simpson”, and answer these questions. Do not copy directly from the text, but use your own words as far as possible.
 

  1. Why did the governments in the UK and the Dominions think Mrs Simpson was not a good choice for the King’s wife?
  2. What did the Establishment think her motives were for wanting to marry Edward?
  3. Did King Edward take much notice of these opinions? What did he decide to do?
  4. What did Edward do in December 1936?
  5. How did Edward break with tradition in the summer of 1936?
  6. What did Canadians and expatriate British people think of the King’s summer holiday?
  7. What did the Prime Minister tell the King on 16 November?
  8. If a similar situation arose in the British royal family today, do you think the outcome would be the same? And what about if it happened in Norway? Discuss these questions among yourselves.


2) At Times Online you will find an article on how Prince Charles plans to change the role of the British monarch when he becomes King. The English is rather difficult, so read the text to get the general idea of its content. Do not use a dictionary more than is absolutely necessary. Discuss the following questions in small groups, present your answers to the class, and write up your ideas in a paragraph headed “Should the monarch take part in public debates?”

  1. How does Charles intend to break with tradition?
  2. Does he seem qualified to express opinions on a wide range of subjects?
  3. Do you think that, when he becomes King, he should speak out or keep quiet?

 
3) Go to the CBBC website and read its profile on Princess Diana.

  1. What kind of picture do you think the profile gives of the princess?
  2. Look at the language used in the profile. How does the language reveal that this profile was written for fairly young children?