Prince Charles’ first love WASN’T Camilla – but he was FORBIDDEN from marrying girlfriend. PRINCE Charles’ first love was not Camilla, or Princess Diana, but the daughter of an aristocrat who he was forbidden from marrying. But perhaps poetic justice was served to the Royal Family for imposing their strict rules, as it was Lucia Santa Cruz who introduced Charles to a young Camilla Shand. That relationship would eventually cause the breakdown of the prince’s marriage to Diana, sparking a dramatic royal feud. Her part in shaping the history of the modern-day Royal Family is little known, with many not knowing her part in Charles’ affair with Camilla.
The history of the Royal Family could have been very different, after Prince Charles first met Lucia, daughter of the Chilean ambassador to Britain, via an introduction by Rab Butler at university in 1969. But despite Lucia being Charles’ “first love” he was not allowed to marry her because she was a Roman Catholic. As the heir to the throne, he was required to marry a Protestant, by law. Writing in ‘Charles Prince of Wales’, royal author Gill Knappett: “She was working for the master of Trinity as a research assistant on his memoirs. It has been claimed that she was ‘the first love of his life’, but a permanent relationship was out of the question.
“LUCIA WAS A ROMAN CATHOLIC AND THE HEIR TO THE THRONE WAS, AT THE TIME, REQUIRED BY LAW TO MARRY A PROTESTANT.
“HOWEVER TO THIS DAY, THEY REMAIN GOOD FRIENDS, AND IT WAS SHE WHO INTRODUCED HIM TO THE WOMAN WHO WAS TO HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON HIS LIFE: CAMILLA SHAND.”
Many royal watchers believe Charles first met Camilla at a polo match at Smith’s Lawn. Lucia was a Roman Catholic and the heir to the throne was, at the time, required by law to marry a Protestant.
But they actually met in the summer of 1972 through their mutual friend Lucia, who lived in the same block of flats as 25-year-old Camilla. Ms. Knappett added: “Charles was immediately smitten by the warm, unassuming 25-year-old who shared his love of the countryside, his sense of humor and his indifference to the latest fashions.”
The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker-Bowles have been married for 12 years, but the couple have a long and complicated history. Although they met at a young age, they both married other people – Camilla married Andrew Parker-Bowles, a retired military officer, but the pair divorced in 2005. Charles married Princess Diana, the mother of Prince William and Prince Harry. When Charles and Diana split, the Princess of Wales revealed there were “three people” in their marriage, in a bitter swipe at the pair.
After Diana’s death, the Charles and Camilla went public with their relationship, with Camilla attending a hunt with Charles, William and Harry. The pair were first photographed together as a couple in January 1999 as they left the Ritz Hotel after celebrating a party for Camilla’s sister, Annabel. Charles, 69, finally married Camilla, 70, in 2005, in a low key ceremony at Windsor Guildhall and Camilla was given an engagement ring that once belonged to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.