Royal family members aren’t perfect — not even a little bit. From cheating scandals to multiple royal feuds throughout the years, there’s been no shortage of drama amongst the Mountbatten-Windsors. And a lot of the aggravation comes from none other than Prince Charles wife, Camilla Parker Bowles.
It took a long time for everyone to accept Camilla into the family. For decades, Camilla was painted as the villain, the evil woman who broke up the royal family by tempting Prince Charles away from his wife. The truth is a bit more complicated than that. But no matter what everyone thought of Camilla, there’s no denying that Prince Charles truly loves her. He just couldn’t stand one thing she used to do.
Prince Charles fell in love with Camilla early in life
The Prince of Wales met Camilla Parker Bowles in the early 1970s when they were both young and single. Many royal insiders believe that Charles wanted to marry Camilla from the start, but other higher-ranking royals including his uncle Lord Mountbatten discouraged him from getting too serious.
“Lovely for you two to have a fling, but this absolutely cannot end in marriage,” his uncle said. The reason for this was Camilla didn’t have an appropriately posh background, plus she wasn’t a virgin.
Camilla and Charles carried on an affair while he was still married
Despite the fact that Prince Charles listened to his family and married a more suitable, virginal bride, he still never forgot Camilla. When his marriage with Princess Diana fell apart but before they formally separated, Prince Charles began sneaking off to be with Camilla behind his wife’s back. The scandal rocked the royal family.
Now several decades later, Prince Charles is married to Camilla and royal fans have gradually come around to her. One of the reasons? It’s clear that the Prince of Wales is truly, deeply in love with her. There’s just one problem — he hated her one nasty habit, which she eventually gave up.
Camilla used to be a heavy smoker
Before she married Prince Charles, Camilla was a serious smoker, and she continued this dirty habit even after they took their relationship public. One royal biographer claims that Camilla even made excessive demands of the royal staff to accommodate her habit.
“Footmen are instructed to place silver cigarette boxes containing her favorite brand [of cigarette] in every room,” Brian Hoey said. They also had to “make sure that matchbox holders in solid silver containers are placed upright near at hand with one match half withdrawn so she does not have to scrabble about looking for a light.”
Prince Charles made Camilla quit
But her husband never approved of his wife’s habit, and eventually, his opinions coupled with Camilla’s concerns about her health inspired her to quit. After 30 years of smoking, Camilla finally quit with the assistance of an alternative health guru.
Camilla isn’t the only royal family member who smoked. Prince Harry also used to enjoy cigarettes, and even Kate Middleton was caught on camera smoking on more than one occasion. Both of them have given up the habit.