Why is Queen Camilla such good friends with her ex?

Queen Camilla remains ‘joined at the hip’ with her ex-husband and ‘co-conspirator’ Andrew Parker Bowles despite infidelity on both sides during their 22-year marriage (and she’s also on good terms with his new flame Anne Robinson!)

  • Andrew Parker Bowles has been in a relationship with Anne Robinson ‘for a year’
  • READ MORE: Camilla proves she’s the Queen of good cheer as she serves up bangers and mash (with a broccoli crown!)

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that learning your ex-partner has a new flame can be difficult to stomach – but as Andrew Parker Bowles and Anne Robinson’s romance is revealed, it’s likely Andrew’s former wife will be happy for him.

Queen Camilla, who was married to the former army brigadier for 22 years from 1973 until 1995, has maintained a strong and close friendship with Andrew – and he even had a special invitation on the guest list to the Coronation in May.

Their firm alliance comes despite a turbulent marriage spanning the two decades in which they welcomed two children, food writer Tom, 48 and artist Laura Lopes, 45, but both committed infidelities.

Camilla was famously Charles’s mistress during her marriage to Andrew, while the latter is described by friends as having been ‘very naughty with women’ throughout.

But it seems any differences have been put aside as the pair are ‘joined at the hip’, as one insider has previously put it – claiming they are constantly in touch and make a great team.

Pictured at the Cheltenham Festival in 2020, Andrew and Camilla remain close friends. One friend described them as  ‘joined at the hip’

The author Tina Brown has claimed it was Andrew, rather than Charles, who was the love of Camilla’s life. Whatever the truth, the man Brown describes as ‘a walking pink gin’ is said to remain one of her chief confidantes.

‘They are joined at the hip,’ according to a friend. ‘He arranges so much for her. They have lunch together the whole time. He’s right in there. He was always, and still is, Camilla’s co-conspirator.’

The Sun reported last night that the former Weakest Link and Countdown presenter has been in a relationship with the Queen’s ex-husband for around a year.

An insider told the paper: ‘They have judiciously avoided being photographed together as they both wanted to keep this quiet for as long as possible.

‘Annie proudly tells everyone she is the daughter of a market trader chicken-seller and is as far removed from a toff as could be – frankly it beats any storyline The Crown could possibly come up with.

‘Annie and Andrew get on splendidly, she makes him laugh, a lot, and he is one of the few people to get away with poking fun at her. She loves to joke she’s “new money”.’

Known as ‘The Brigadier’ in reference to his former career as an army officer who served with the Blues and Royals and was awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Bravery in Zimbabwe, Andrew has moved in royal circles for decades.

As a 13-year-old, he served as a page to Lord Simonds, then the Lord High Chancellor, at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

‘My mother was a good friend of the Duke of Norfolk,’ he recalled. ‘The Lord Chancellor had no children so Bernard Norfolk suggested me to Lord Simonds. I have to say that he was the nicest man alive and gave me a very nice set of cufflinks.’

The pair, who were married for more than two decades, have two children; food critic and writer Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes

Queen Camilla and Anne Robinson deep in conversation at the 2013 Man Booker Prize

The pair remain very close (pictured at their daughter Laura Lopes’s wedding in 2006) and Andrew has even been described as Camilla’s ‘co-conspirator’

Once, regarded as something of a ladies man, Parker Bowles had a brief fling with Princess Anne before marrying Camilla. The pair, pictured on Derby Day at Epsom, remain great friends

Andrew Parker Bowles and Camilla were married for 22 years and had two children, Tom and Laura, before they divorced in 1995

The pair dated on and off for several years before marrying at the Guards’ Chapel in 1973

He described a sword fight during the dress rehearsal, saying: ‘All the pages had these little swords. If a group of bored small boys all have swords, you know what’s going to happen.’

Prior to marrying Camilla, he had a brief fling with Princess Anne, but his Catholicism is said to have dampened the prospects of marriage. They remain great friends, however, and she later named him godfather to her daughter Zara.

He also played polo on the same team as Charles when both men were young and rode in the Grand National in 1969, coming 11th.

He first met Camilla in the late 1960s and they dated on and off for several years before marrying in 1973.  

According to Andrew’s cousin John Bowes Lyon, the couple were pressured into making the commitment when both their fathers published an engagement notice for them in The Times. 

‘His hand publicly forced, Andrew proposed to his girlfriend of nearly seven years,’ wrote the author Sarah Bedell Smith.

‘Camilla was very much in love with [Andrew],’ Bowes Lyon told Smith. ‘Her parents were very keen that Andrew should marry her.’

The Queen Mother, Princess Anne and Princess Margaret all attended their wedding, and the reception took place in St James’s Palace.

Andrew was a guest at Charles and Camilla’s wedding in April 2005. He is pictured here after attending the service of blessing at St George’s Chapel, Windsor

As a commanding officer of the Household Cavalry,  Andrew accompanied the newly married Charles and Diana on horseback following their wedding in 1981.

Tina Brown claimed that Camilla only resumed her affair with Charles because she  was angry at her husband’s infidelities. 

Once seen as a dashing figure and something of a ladies man, Parker Bowles is said to have provided at least some of the inspiration for Rupert Campbell-Black, a character in Jilly Cooper’s bonkbuster Riders.

Andrew and Camilla divorced in 1995, saying in a statement that ‘throughout our marriage we have always tended to follow rather different interests, but in recent years we have led completely separate lives.’

The following year, he married his long-term mistress Rosemary Pitman. They were together until Rosemary passed away in 2010 of cancer, aged 69. 

At the time of her death it was reported that Camilla was ‘deeply saddened’ by the news.

Andrew was a guest at Charles and Camilla’s wedding in April 2005, attending their service of blessing at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

The Marchioness of Lansdowne, one of Camilla’s Queen’s Companions, has said: ‘Everybody loves Andrew. He’s a real charmer but he’s always terribly misbehaving.

‘Andrew will ring her up and tell her when she’s got something wrong and she’ll ring him up and say when he’s misbehaving. 

‘Through adversity they’ve kept a really good family ethic. It helps with their children and grandchildren.’

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