Camilla Parker Bowles ‘Paved the Way’ for Meghan Markle, Royal Commentator Says

Thanks are in order for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. 

A royal commentator says Camilla made it possible for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex to get married in 2018. Ahead, learn how Camilla played a role in helping the British royal family and the monarchy move toward a more modern existence.

Camilla Parker Bowles and Meghan Markle
Camilla Parker Bowles and Meghan Markle | Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Camilla Parker Bowles wasn’t considered a suitable match for Prince Charles

Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla met in the early 1970s, hit it off right away, and began dating. They later broke up but not before the royal family told Charles the romance couldn’t go anywhere. Camilla had been deemed an unsuitable partner for the future leader of the British monarchy. Even though they split up and Charles knew marrying Camilla wasn’t an option, they remained close and were seen at a number of polo matches together in the 1970s. 

They remained close and later began having an affair 

After Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles and Charles married Diana, Princess of Wales, the two kept in contact and eventually rekindled their romance. In 1996, when Diana and Charles officially divorced, they’d both already admitted to seeing other people during their marriage but Charles’ longtime affair with Camilla had been viewed as the main reason for their split. 

Charles and Camilla planned on slowly introducing their relationship to the public in 1997 but then Diana died and they kept their romance quiet. In the years that followed they began going out in public together and in 2005 Queen Elizabeth II gave them permission to marry. 

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles | Hugo Burnand/Pool/Getty Images

According to a royal commentator, the couple’s story opened up the door for Meghan and Harry to get married. 

Camilla Parker Bowles and Meghan Markle both commoners and divorcees

When Meghan and Harry began dating in 2016, they didn’t have to worry about Meghan having been married once before. And that’s because the queen gave Charles permission to remarry after his divorce from Diana. Not only that she gave Charles permission to marry Camilla, the woman with whom he’d had an affair who herself had been through a divorce.

The queen giving Charles, her son and the first person in the royal family’s line of succession, permission to remarry proved to be a landmark moment made even bigger because she allowed him to marry a divorcee. In previous decades, marrying a divorced person or getting a divorce had not been accepted by the royal family. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, royal wedding
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, royal wedding | Aaron Chown – WPA Pool/Getty Images

In the documentary, Charles & Camilla: King and Queen in Waiting, Carole Malone, a TV broadcaster and journalist, shared why she felt Camilla had created a foundation for Harry and Meghan’s relationship, according to Express.

“In many ways, Camilla had paved the way for Meghan,” she said. “In the sense that they were both divorcees and neither of them was royals.”

A commoner, Meghan had been working as an actress on Suits when she first met Harry. In 2011, she married her longtime boyfriend, Trevor Engelson, and their relationship ended in divorce two years later. 

Because of his proximity to the throne, Harry had to ask his grandmother, the queen, for permission to marry Meghan but he probably sweated the process a little less knowing his father married Camilla, a divorcee, a little more than a decade earlier.