Fans of The Crown may find it hard to ship Charles and Camilla, but IMO, those two were always endgame. In Robert Lacey's 2020 book Battle of the Brothers: William and Harry, the royal biographer claimed Prince Charles reportedly knew Camilla Parker Bowles was his "soulmate" before either of them ever married other people — but unfortunately, Charles didn't act on his feelings at the time. According to Lacey, the moment Charles realized he wanted to marry Camilla was in December 1972, when the two took a trip to the Broadlands. Soon after, Charles set sail for the Caribbean with the Royal Navy and didn't see Camilla for eight months.
A few months after Charles departed, Camilla became engaged to her first husband, Captain Andrew Parker Bowles. By July 1973, the two were married. In his biography, Lacey claimed Charles eventually pointed to that last weekend in the Broadlands as "the moment when he first realized for sure that he wanted to marry Camilla — that she was his life's soulmate. But he did not have the courage to tell her properly or strongly enough." Having missed his chance with Camilla, Charles began dating Lady Diana Spencer in 1980, and soon enough, she became his wife. However, his heart still belonged to Camilla.
Even after marrying other people, Charles and Camilla remained close — probably too close. The two famously carried on an affair for years, and in 1992, Charles and Diana separated before divorcing in 1996. Camilla's own marriage ended in divorce in 1995. A decade later — and over 32 years after that weekend in the Broadlands — Charles and Camila finally tied the knot in a civil ceremony in 2005. Though Charles' parents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, held a reception for the couple in Windsor Castle, they chose not to attend the ceremony.
Tumultuous first marriages and scandalous affair aside, there's no denying Charles and Camilla have had a pretty epic romance... but if Charles had made his move during that weekend 1972, they probs would have saved the palace a lot of headaches. Just saying.