Frosty or friendly? The truth behind Princess Anne and Camilla's relationship

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The latest season of Netflix's The Crown has hinted at a past romantic connection between Princess Anne and Andrew Parker Bowles.

The Crown has been spilling the tea on royal relationships with its brand of dramatised truths. Season three stirred the pot by suggesting a past romance between Princess Anne and Andrew Parker Bowles.

According to biographer Sally Bedell Smith, this claim is not entirely off the mark. She confirms a relationship did exist, but it was never destined for the altar due to Parker Bowles' Catholic faith. Despite this, the two have maintained a bond over their love for horses and remain close, even after each of their marriages.

Bedell Smith wrote:

"They had separated three years earlier after persistent reports that both had been unfaithful - in Anne's case with, among others, Andrew Parker Bowles."

The real Royal drama

Digging deeper into the Royal archives, the dynamic between the hard-working Princess Anne and Queen Camilla has its own story. While The Crown may hint at Royal romances, the real buzz, according to Royal author Angela Levin, was Anne's "brutally honest prediction" about Camilla's future as Queen. Words like "frosty" and "cold shoulder" were used to describe their initial relationship, suggesting that the Princess didn't always see Camilla as the future consort.

Andrew Parker Bowles and Queen Camilla attend day two of Royal Ascot 2023 Samir Hussein

Fast forward to the present, and it's a different chapter for Anne and Camilla. Time, the great healer, seems to have mended fences. Levin points out that Anne's view of Camilla has evolved, noting her hard work and commitment to Royal duties. It's like the saying goes: actions speak louder than words, and Camilla's actions seem to have turned the tide in her favour.

Anne's initial apprehension towards Camilla, who became Queen with the accession of King Charles III to the throne, could have been fuelled by their shared history with Parker Bowles. Both women had dated him at different times, which certainly adds an awkward twist to family gatherings. Despite these complexities, the present narrative is one of reconciliation and mutual respect.

Royal reconciliation

It's clear that Royal lives are more than just crown jewels and state affairs; they're layered with personal journeys and evolving relationships. Princess Anne's shift from skepticism to acceptance of Camilla shows a deep understanding and a willingness to change, which is perhaps the true nature of any long-standing institution like the British monarchy.

Read more:

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