Who is Andrew Parker Bowles?
He’s probably known best as the ex-husband of now Queen Camilla, however, Andrew Parker Bowles’ connection with the royal family goes back a long way. He’s a retired British Army officer, who dated Princess Anne for a few years back in the ‘70s. However, according to American journalist and biographer, Sally Bedell Smith, this relationship couldn’t blossom into a marriage, since Andrew is a Catholic.
Let us tell you more about his life, his career in the British Army, and what happened with his and Camilla’s marriage.
Early life, family, and education
Born Andrew Henry Parker Bowles under the zodiac sign of Capricorn on 27 December 1939, he’s today aged 83 (as of July 2023), and the eldest of four children of Ann Parker Bowles and Derek Henry Parker Bowles. His mother was the daughter of Sir Humphrey de Trafford, 4th Baronet, a multi-millionaire race-horse owner, and Andrew’s father was the great-grandson of Thomas Augustus Wolstenholme Parker, 6th Earl of Macclesfield, a British peer (member of the House of Lords).
When it comes to Andrew’s educational background, he attended Benedictine Ampleforth College, and then continued his education at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the British Army’s initial officer training center.
Andrew was commissioned into the Royal Horse Guards in 1960, and was then aide-de-camp (a personal assistant in the military) to Sir Bernard Fergusson, the Governor-General of New Zealand, until 1965. From 1967 to 1969, Andrew served as the Adjutant of the Royal Horse Guards also known as The Blues; on 31 December 1971, he was promoted to Major in The Blues and Royals.
In the following year, Andrew was Squadron Leader of ‘B’ Squadron in Operation Motorman in Ulster. He was later Lord Soames’ Senior Military Liaison officer when Soames was the governor of (then) Southern Rhodesia during its transition to a majority Zimbabwean state in 1979-1980. Andrew was staff qualified, and became a lieutenant colonel on 30 June 1980, and the same year received the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.
In the early ’80s, Andrew served as the Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, and was in this position at the time of the Hyde Park and Regent’s Park bombings when an explosion killed eleven military personnel and seven horses – one of them, named Sefton, was saved thanks to Andrew’s orders.
Andrew later served as the Colonel Commanding the Household Cavalry (1987-1990) before being promoted to brigadier on 30 June 1990. From 1991 through 1994 when he retired, Andrew was the director of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps.
Marriage to Camilla
Andrew met Camilla in the early ’70s and about at the same time, Camilla was introduced to the then-Prince of Wales, Charles. Camilla and Charles began a relationship, however, after Charles joined the Royal Navy, the two went heir separate ways.
Camilla then reconnected with Andrew, and they began dating; Camilla soon accepted Andrew’s marriage proposal, and the two wed in 1973. The couple lived at Bolehyde Manor, in Allington, until 1986, when they moved to Middlewick House, in Wiltshire.
Their first child, a son named Thomas Henry Charles Parker Bowles was born on 18 December 1974. He is today a food critic and food writer. Camilla gave birth to their second child, a daughter named Laura Rose Parker Bowles on 1 January 1978. She’s an art curator and is married to Harry Marcus George Lopes, the grandson of Massey Lopes, 2nd Baron Roborough.
Reportedly, during his marriage with Camilla, Andrew had numerous extramarital relationships, and some of his mistresses were Camilla’s close friends. The two divorced in 1995.
— Tatler (@Tatlermagazine) July 4, 2023
Andrew’s second marriage
A year after his divorce from Camilla, Andrew married Rosemary Alice Pitman, his long-time companion. Rosemary was previously married to British Army Lieutenant Colonel John Hugh Pitman, with whom she shares three sons. When Camilla married Prince Charles on 9 April 2005, Andrew and Rosemary were guests at the wedding.
Rosemary was diagnosed with cancer, and complications lead to her death in 2010. Camilla was present at her memorial service.
How rich is Andrew Parker Bowles?
Being born and raised in an aristocratic England family certainly contributed to Andrew’s wealth. However, for over 30 years he served in the British Army, and was one of the most respected officers. According to sources, as of July 2023, Andrew Parker Bowles has a net worth estimated at over £4 million (around $5 million).
Briefly about Queen Camilla
Born Camilla Rosemary Shand under the zodiac sign of Cancer on 17 July 1947, she recently celebrated her 76th birthday. A native of London, England, Camilla was raised by her mother, Rosalind Cubitt, the daughter of Roland Cubitt, 3rd Baron Ashcombe, and her father, the British Army Major, Bruce Shand. Camilla has two siblings, Mark Roland, and Sonia Annabel.
When it comes to Camilla’s educational background, when aged five she was sent to a co-educational school in Ditchling village, and then five years later, she enrolled at Queen’s Gate School in London. Aged 16, Camilla studied abroad in Tolochenaz, Switzerland, and upon finishing her course there, enrolled at the University of London Institute in Paris, France, where she spent six months.
On 25 March 1965, Camilla was one of 311 debutantes that year, presented to society at a formal ‘debut’, which originally meant that she was old enough to be married. Camilla worked as a secretary for various companies, and was a receptionist for Sybil Colefax & John Fowler’s decorating firm.
Camilla was a well-known equestrian, and also had a passion for painting, fishing and gardening.
Reportedly, during her marriage with Andrew, Camilla rekindled her intimate relationship with Prince Charles, in the ‘80s. However, Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, and although Prince Charles claimed that Camilla was just a very close friend, he later admitted that they were lovers, during his marriage with Lady Diana, which as he put it, was ‘irretrievably broken down’.
As mentioned, Camilla married Prince Charles in a wedding ceremony held on 9 April 2005, and became the Duchess of Cornwall. On 6 May 2023, Camilla was crowned alongside now-King Charles, becoming the Queen of the United Kingdom. Andrew and Queen Camilla are still close friends.