Camilla Parker Bowles Was Terrified To Meet Prince William for the First Time, Source Says

Though Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall was the other woman in Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage, Prince William and Prince Harry have only ever said kind and positive things about her. In fact, they’ve both grown pretty close to her over the years.

Still, after so much drama and press, Camilla was absolutely terrified to meet Prince William for the first time.

Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Prince Harry stand on the steps of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, following the Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen's 80th birthday on April 23, 2006
Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Prince Harry stand on the steps of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, following the Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s 80th birthday on April 23, 2006. | Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Prince William learned about Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles’ affair at age 10

Prince William knew very early on about his father’s affair with Camilla. In fact, it was his mother who told him. In a 1995 interview with BBC, Princess Diana recalled explaining things to her oldest son.

“I went to the school and put it to William, particularly, that if you find someone you love in life you must hang on to it and look after it, and if you were lucky enough to find someone who loved you then one must protect it,” Princess Diana told BBC. “William asked me what had been going on, and could I answer his questions, which I did. And I said, well, there were three of us in this marriage.”

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Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles’ relationship deeply affected Prince William

Seeing the demise of his parents’ marriage and watching his father defy everyone to choose the woman he wanted to be with deeply affected Prince William.

In William’s Princess, royal author Robert Jobson wrote about how his father and step-mother affected the prince’s relationship with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. He wrote,

After all, Prince William is an impressionable and intuitive young man who has always taken a keen interest in the press coverage of his parents’ divorce and affairs. It would make a lasting impression on the young prince, as witnessed later on in his own attempts to lead the press a merry dance when it came to his private life – particularly in his blossoming and deepening relationship with Kate.

Camilla Parker Bowles was terrified to meet Prince William for the first time

Initially, following his divorce from Princess Diana, Prince Charles had hoped to introduced Camilla to his sons. However, Princess Diana’s tragic death put that meeting on hold. In fact, when the Duchess of Cornwall was finally introduced to Prince William and Prince Harry, it was on separate occasions.

Though Camilla had weathered scrutiny and a media firestorm, even getting bread rolls hurled at her in a grocery store when news of her affair with the Prince of Wales went public, she was terrified to meet Prince William.

In his book Battle of Brothers, royal historian Robert Lacey writes that Camilla finally met Prince William in the summer of 1998 when the price was 16. “Her first instinct was to bolt when Charles told her that Wills was on the way. Lacy writes via Express, “But she powdered her nose, put on a brave face and smilingly bobbed William a curtsy.”

For his part, the Duke of Cambridge was unbothered by the entire ordeal. After all, he’s known about Camilla for years. “William appeared quite unruffled by the encounter – but the momentous meeting had left Camilla, by her own account, ‘trembling like a leaf,’ Lacey explained.