Who Was Camilla Parker Bowles’ Father, and Why Didn’t He Want Her to Marry Prince Charles?
It seems we know everything we could possibly know about each member of the royal family. However, we often forget that those who married a royal have an entire line of family members we aren’t as familiar with. When it comes to Camilla Parker Bowles, her father apparently wasn’t keen on her marrying Prince Charles. Here’s everything we know about Parker Bowles’ father — including why he didn’t want her to join the royal family.
Major Bruce Shand, Parker Bowles’ father
Parker Bowles’ father was an officer in the British Army. According to Good Housekeeping, despite his impressive military ranking, he was a notably “shy man.” He ended up captured by Nazi forces in 1945 while in battle in El Alamein, Egypt, becoming a prisoner until the war had ended.
Only one year later, after his return to Britain, he married Parker Bowles’ mother, Rosalind Cubitt. Parker Bowles is the oldest of their children, born in 1947. They had two more children, Annabel and Mark. Sadly, Mark died at 62 as a result of a head injury.
Shand dabbled in the wine business after having children, but by the early 1970s, he began working in association with the royal family. His title became the Vice Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex — which required him to look after the royal family anytime they were in his assigned area.
He pushed his daughter to marry Andrew Parker Bowles
Parker Bowles met her eventual first husband in 1966, Andrew Parker Bowles. He was a lieutenant serving in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Royal Horse Guards. Their relationship didn’t move as quickly as Shand would have liked for his daughter — so he decided to step in.
In an effort to pressure Andrew to propose, Shand and Andrew’s brother published an engagement notice in The Times, according to Sally Bedell Smith (author of Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life). They ended up getting married in 1973, but divorcing by 1995.
He was against her marrying Prince Charles
When Parker Bowles was still married to her first husband, she and Charles rekindled their romance. They’d dated briefly after meeting in 1970. However, after Charles left to serve in the Royal Navy for eight months, she married someone else. Charles was still married to Princess Diana during their affair, so no one was exactly pulling for their relationship.
Charles and Diana separated in 1992, and officially divorced in 1996 — meaning Charles and Parker Bowles were free to officially get back together. Thanks to the controversy surrounding their relationship, Parker Bowles’ father was against it.
According to Good Housekeeping, “[Shand] had a private meeting with Charles where he allegedly reproached him for ‘ruining his daughter’s life’ and reduced him to tears.” Luckily, his feelings against Charles didn’t last for too long. He eventually claimed the prince “came across as very fair-minded and sincere” and he had “no doubt that he [Charles] will make a perfect king.”
Shand died in 2006
Parker Bowles’ father sadly ended up passing away in 2006 at 89 years old. Luckily, he did live to see his daughter marry Charles in 2005 — and officially become Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.