Camilla, Queen consort of the United Kingdom
Camilla Parker Bowles, aka Camilla, Queen consort of the United Kingdom, was the second wife of Charles, King of the United Kingdom (as of September 8, 2022, upon the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II,) dedicated herself to charity and assisting her husband on his official duties. Born on July 17, 1947, in London, England, Camilla's childhood was spent in East Sussex and South Kensington, before she was sent to finishing school in Tolochenaz, Switzerland at the age of sixteen. After completing her studies in Switzerland, Camilla moved to Paris for six months, where she attended classes in French and French Literature at the University of London Institute in Paris. Upon returning to London as a debutante in March of 1965, Camilla lived with other daughters of the aristocracy and worked for several design firms in the West End, spending her spare time reading, riding horses, and painting. Sometime in the late 1960s, she met her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, a guards officer. Their relationship was rocky from the start, and they briefly separated in 1970, when Bowles began dating Princess Anne. Around this time, roughly 1971, Camilla was formally introduced to Prince Charles by their mutual friend, Lucia Santa Cruz. At first, they were close friends, attending polo matches and society parties, but soon their relationship grew more serious. However, when Charles left the country to join the Royal Navy in early 1973, the relationship fell apart. On July 4, 1973, Camilla and Andrew Parker Bowles were married. They settled in the town of Wilshire, purchasing a palatial estate called Bolehyde Manor. The couple had two children together, Tom, born in 1974, and Laura, born in 1978. In 1979, Charles came back into the picture: his beloved great-uncle, Lord Mountbatten, had just been assassinated by the IRA, and in his devastation, he turned to Camilla for solace. But once again, their union proved to be brief, as Charles's family reportedly did not approve of Camilla, and in 1981, he married Lady Diana Spencer. Years later, Charles would admit that by 1986, his marriage to Diana had "irretrievably broken down," and he and Camilla began seeing each other in secret yet again. However, to the public, it seemed to be a fairy tale romance, until 1992, when Charles and Diana formally separated. The next year, Charles acknowledged publicly that he and Camilla had carried on an affair, and Andrew Parker Bowles filed for divorce. In 1999, Charles and Camilla made their first public appearance as a couple at the Ritz Hotel in London. The following year she accompanied Charles to Scotland on royal business, and in 2001, she met the Queen for the first time, and was elected president of the National Osteoporosis Society, which began a fruitful career in charity work. On April 9, 2005, Charles and Camilla were officially married in a civil ceremony at Windsor Castle. Following their marriage, Camilla took the title "Duchess of Cornwall," as she thought her actual title "Princess of Wales" was now and forever linked to the late Princess Diana. Camilla frequently traveled the world with Charles over the next decade, acting as the second highest-ranking female in the Royal Family, after the Queen. In addition to her work for curing osteoporosis, Camilla also became an advocate for survivors of rape and sexual assault, a patron of the National Literacy Trust, a supporter of animal welfare, and a patron of many different organizations that battle poverty and homelessness around the world.