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Who is Camilla’s first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles?

His path intersected with the royal family's in more ways thank you might think.
Andrew Parker Bowles during Gold Cup Day at Cheltenham Racecourse
Andrew Parker Bowles during Gold Cup Day at Cheltenham Racecourse.Mike Egerton / PA Images via Getty Images

The highly anticipated fifth season of “The Crown” is out, and this time the reality-inspired Netflix drama covers the ‘90s, a time that featured scandals, tell-alls and eventually a rare royal divorce for the Prince and Princess of Wales

But theirs wasn’t the only relationship that came to an end during that decade.  

Camilla, the current queen consort and wife of King Charles III, also divorced her first spouse, Andrew Parker Bowles, with whom she shares two children, in those turbulent years.

“The Crown’s” audience got its introduction to Parker Bowles in the show’s third season, when stage and screen star Andrew Buchan played the part. But there’s more to the man than what the series showed.

So, who is Andrew Parker Bowles?

His earliest royal ties

His father, Derek Henry Parker Bowles, was a close friend of the Queen Mother (Elizabeth, queen consort of King George VI), per Sally Bedell Smith's Prince Charles biography.

At the age of 13, Andrew forged his own connection to the royals. According to Vanity Fair, the young Parker Bowles served as page at Queen Elizabeth II’s 1953 coronation.

The military man

Parker Bowles graduated from Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and joined the Royal Horse Guards, a calvary regiment of the British Army, per Blues and Royals regiment of the Royal Horse Guards, Vanity Fair.

Parker Bowles went on to become an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) and retired in 1994, per the London Gazette, after achieving the rank of brigadier.

Clarence House Announce Prince Charles And Camilla To Marry
Andrew Parker Bowles can be seen in his official role as Silver Stick in Waiting to the Queen in the 1980s at an unspecified event. Tim Graham Picture Library / Getty Images

A royal romance of his own

As “The Crown's” loyal viewers will have noted, before settling down with Camilla, Parker Bowles reportedly dated Queen Elizabeth’s daughter, Anne.

In “Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbably Life,” biographer Sally Bedell Smith notes that because Parker Bowles was Catholic, he was “an unlikely candidate” to marry Anne.

But she added that the one-time couple forged a strong bond all the same, writing, “Even when their romance eventually wound down, they remained lifelong friends.”

Princess Anne, The Princess Royal and Andrew Parker Bowles watch the racing as they attend day 4
Princess Anne, The Princess Royal and Andrew Parker Bowles watch the racing as they attend day 4, Gold Cup Day, of the Cheltenham Festival on March 18, 2016 in Cheltenham, England. Max Mumby / Indigo / Getty Images

Marriage to Camilla

In 1973, Parker Bowles became serious with a past girlfriend — then known as Camilla Shand, who’d notably dated Prince Charles before accepting a marriage proposal from Parker Bowles.

By July of that same year, the couple wed.

Parker-Bowles Marriage
Camilla Shand and Major Andrew Parker-Bowles pass through the Guard of Honour after their wedding at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks, July 4, 1973. Getty Images

They had two children together: A son, Tom, born in 1974, and a daughter, Laura, born in 1978.

Divorce and marriage to Rosemary Pitman

After scandals involving her rumored (and later admitted) affair with Britain’s heir to the throne, Camilla and Parker Bowles divorced in 1995. It was an amicable split, and they’ve remained friends in the years since their breakup and her remarriage.

Parker Bowles married again in 1996. He remained with his second wife, Rosemary Pitman, until her death in 2010.

Andrew Parker Bowles OBE and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall attend Ladies Day
Andrew Parker Bowles OBE and Camilla in 2014.Danny E. Martindale / Getty Images

His surprising connections to Charles

Prince Charles And Andrew Parker-bowles Playing Against Each Other At Pol
Prince Charles And Andrew Parker Bowles playing against each other at polo at Smiths Lawn, Windsor In The 1970's. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

In addition to being the ex-husband of King Charles’ wife and the ex-boyfriend of his sister, Parker Bowles and the sovereign have other connections.

For one, they played polo with (and against) each other. They also have intertwined god-families. Parker Bowles is godfather to Charles’ niece, Zara. And King Charles is godfather to Parker Bowles’ son Tom, per Sally Bedell Smith’s “Prince Charles.”

Andrew Parker Bowles and Zara Phillips attend day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival
Andrew Parker Bowles and Zara Phillips attend day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 17, 2011 in Cheltenham, England. Max Mumby / Indigo / Getty Images

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