Prince Charles Once Had a ‘List’ of Suitors His Family Wanted Him to Marry — Including His Cousin

Prince Charles didn’t have an easy time finding someone to marry. The prince was slowly approaching his 30th birthday without a bride, which was unusual for a royal. But it turns out his family reportedly had a long list of women they wanted their son to end up with. None of them were Camilla Parker Bowles — and one of them was his second cousin.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana wed in 1981
Prince Charles and Princess Diana wed in 1981 | Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth reportedly didn’t want Prince Charles marrying Camilla

Charles’ love life hasn’t been quite the fairytale that one would expect in the royal family. Charles had always wanted to marry Camilla, but reports suggest that the queen would not come around to the idea of Charles marrying someone with so much baggage. And by baggage, we mean that Camilla had a “dating history,” which was seen as a strike against her some 40 years ago. (Thankfully, times have changed.) Camilla had been on and off with Andrew Parker Bowles for a while when she first met Charles.

With the royals not loving Camilla for Charles, plus her iffy relationship with Andrew, the couple’s relationship never got off the ground. Instead, when Charles left to spend some time in the Navy, Camilla married Andrew.

The royals supposedly had a list of eligible ‘suitors’ for Charles to marry

When Charles returned from the Navy, Camilla was married, and he needed to find a wife; it wasn’t a good look that he was almost 30 and still single. According to the British documentary “Paxman on the Queen’s Children,” Charles was approached with a list of suitors. However, he seemingly disliked every option on the list.

According to Charles’ former aide Broderick Munro-Wilson, Charles reportedly asked, “Shall I go gay?” when he saw the list and realized he didn’t want to marry any of the women. Munro-Wilson said that he was “not sure I can get terribly excited” about the list. Though the names of the women on the list were never fully revealed, Caroline of Monaco was rumored to be an option, along with Charles’ second cousin.

Charles proposed to his second cousin, but she turned him down

There was one woman, who, surprisingly, Charles was not opposed to marrying. And it happened to be Charles’ second cousin, Lady Amanda Knatchbull. Of course, most people would steer clear of marrying a second cousin these days, but in 1970s royal culture, it was still socially acceptable. Charles and Amanda reportedly spent some time away together, but when he asked if she’d marry him, she turned him down. Charles reportedly then asked another woman for her hand in marriage, and he was turned down once more. Finally, he met Diana and proposed after only 12 dates.

Charles might be the reason why marriage rules no longer exist

Charles’ road to finding love started and ended with Camilla, but there was so much in between — all because Camilla wasn’t seen as a good enough potential wife. But Charles might be the sole reason why marriage expectations no longer exist for royals. Meghan Markle is a commoner who had been divorced prior to meeting Prince Harry, but she was still welcomed into the family with open arms.

Though Charles and Camilla eventually found their way, it was a long road. But ultimately, Charles proves why it’s important to let people be with those they are truly in love with.