The Crown Season 3 introduces an unexpected suitor in the mix of eligible young royals: Andrew Parker Bowles.
We first see the royal affiliate (portrayed by Andrew Buchan of Broadchurch and All the Money in the World) in Episode 8, when he's dumped by Camilla Shand (Emerald Fennell) but promptly rebounds with Princess Anne (Erin Doherty). By the end of the season—spoiler alert—Camilla ends her romance with Prince Charles and goes running back to Andrew.
So who is this integral fourth member of the tricky royal love quadrangle, real-life military veteran, and former husband to the now-Duchess of Cornwall? Below are the basics on Andrew Parker Bowles.
He served in the military.
Parker Bowles graduated from Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and became a lieutenant in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Royal Horse Guards, Vanity Fair reported. He was an officer in The Household Cavalry and Royal Army Veterinary Corps from 1960 to 1995, according to the Animal in War Memorial Fund, an organization where he serves as vice chairman.
He has a lot of connections with the royal family.
According to Vanity Fair, "His father was a close friend of the Queen Mother’s, his mother was chief commissioner of the Girl Guides (Britain’s Girl Scouts), and Andrew had been a page at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, in 1953."
He and Camilla Shand met at a party.
Parker Bowles and Shand first met at a debutante party in 1965, according to royal biographer Penny Junor, who documented the now-duchess's life. However, Vanity Fair reports that they met in 1966, when Shand was 19 years old and Parker Bowles was 27. They dated for seven years before getting hitched.
Camilla reportedly met Prince Charles in 1970.
They were married from 1973 to 1995.
Andrew and Camilla tied the knot at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks on July 4, 1973. They had two children together: Thomas, born in 1974, and Laura, born in 1978. Through their kids, the former couple share five grandchildren.
Despite being in separate marriages, Camilla and Charles stayed connected, and reportedly rekindled their romance in 1986, according to People. Private tapes of the duo's intimate telephone call in 1989 was leaked in 1993, confirming their affair.
When Andrew and Camilla Parker Bowles announced their divorce, they were already living apart for two years, The New York Times reported. They said the reason for their separation was that "there is little of common interest between us," according to a statement from their lawyers. Prince Charles and Princess Diana finalized their divorce in 1996.
Parker Bowles remarried in 1996.
Camilla married Prince Charles and became the Duchess of Cornwall in 2005, but her first husband moved on much earlier.
Parker Bowles married Rosemary Pitman, a garden designer who was also previously married, a year after his marriage with Camilla was dissolved. She'd had three children with her previous husband.
Andrew and Rose remained on good terms with Camilla and Charles despite their romantic entanglements. According to The Telegraph, they joined the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at Sandringham, the queen's country estate, "on a number of occasions."
Pitman died of cancer in 2010 at the age of 69.
He apparently had a fling with Princess Anne.
There may be some truth behind Anne and Andrew's onscreen romance in The Crown, although it was never publicly confirmed by either party in real life.
"This is really funny. Princess Anne, who we always think is the grumpy one with the bun – she had an affair with Andrew Parker Bowles," royal commentator Angela Mollard said in the podcast Royals, per Express. "There was a royal triangle going on."
Similarly, royal biographer Penny Junor said that Camilla linked up with Prince Charles to get back at Andrew, who was reportedly known to attract a lot of women. "[She] thought, ‘Andrew is at the moment off with Princess Anne, you know her brother, teach Andrew a lesson.’ So she had a fling with Charles," Junor revealed in 2016.
In 1970, Andrew Parker Bowles accompanied Princess Anne to during Royal Ascot week and stayed as a guest at Windsor Castle, but it seems things didn't get too serious. Vanity Fair reported, "Although he was Catholic and Anne would have had to renounce her right to the throne to marry him, there was much talk of a growing romance between the winning lieutenant and the Queen’s only daughter."
He's the godfather to Princess Anne's daughter, and his son is Prince Charles's godson.
Parker Bowles is a godfather to Zara Phillips (now Zara Tindall), the daughter of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips. Meanwhile, his and Camilla's son, Tom, is the godson of Prince Charles.
Seems like they're all quite close.
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