Prince Charles & Camilla Parker-Bowles' Body Language Then & Now Reveals How Their Relationship Has Changed
Of all the royal love affairs, I think it's safe to say that Charles and Camilla's is among the least popular (sorry, Duke and Duchess — sometimes the truth hurts). While everyone adores watching William and Kate's family grow, and Americans and Brits alike are anxiously awaiting Harry and Meghan's upcoming nuptials, it seems that few royal-watchers are swooning over Charles and Camilla's relationship. And Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles' body language towards one another doesn't exactly make us love their love, if you know what I mean.
Though the pair's on-again, off-again romance has stretched on for over four decades — and they've now been married for more than 13 years — the future king and his wife aren't particularly effusive around one another (at least not when the cameras are rolling). We don't see them holding hands or wrapping their arms around one another, as we do William and Kate or Harry and Meghan. That said, after chatting with body language expert Tonya Reiman, it seems that Camilla and Charles are definitely comfortable around one another and have a natural, solid relationship — which wasn't always the case for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.
In case you don't read decades-old tabloids as fervently as I do, I'll catch you up on Charles and Camilla's relationship to date, as reported by The Telegraph. The two met and began dating all the way back in 1971, before Camilla (née Shand) broke things off and married Andrew Parker-Bowles two years later. In 1979, Charles met Diana Spencer; they got engaged and married in 1981.
Five years later, around 1986, Charles and Camilla allegedly reconnected — though both were still married to their respective spouses at the time. USA Today reports that Charles and Diana did not officially separate until late 1992, and their divorce was finalized in 1996, just a year before Diana's tragic death in Paris.
Both Charles and Camilla were vilified by the press and public in the months and years that followed, as many conspiracy theorists claim Charles was responsible for Diana's fatal car crash, (a story that many tabloids ran), which I would imagine puts a fair amount of stress on any couple.
All of that said, in 2005, the two officially tied the knot at a civil ceremony in Windsor, and it seems their most tumultuous days are behind them — or so their body language suggests. Here's a look at how Charles and Camilla's body language has, like their relationship, evolved and changed over time.
At A Polo Match In 1975
Taken way back in 1975 at a polo match (two years after Camilla married Andrew Parker-Bowles), this photo conveys both literal and figurative distance, according to Reiman.
Because the photo was taken in the middle of the prince's actions, "we can't tell if Charles has an upward palm (which might offer a 'trust me' type of message) or if he is about to swing the shirt over his shoulder," notes Reiman. "The two look quite serious, expression-wise. It appears she has some portion of her hands in her front pocket — this is typically indicative of discomfort... The distance between them is quite substantial."
"In this snapshot in time, my impression would be that they are two people who are experiencing a difficult and uncomfortable moment. The space tells me they are not close or intimate at this point," she says.
Considering the timing of this photo, it makes total sense that Charles and Camilla are looking uncomfortable. It's never fun to run into your ex, especially when they're dating (or married to!) a new beau — no matter how sparklingly white your polo attire might be.
On A Visit To Canada In 2009
Fast-forward to 2009 — a decade after the pair reconnected, and four years after their wedding — and we see Camilla and Charles looking much closer and cozier with one another.
"Here, [we] see the couple in close contact, sharing an intimate moment," points out Reiman. "[T]he expressions on their face are neutral, so no [matter] what information is being shared, the mere fact that they are willing to get this close both with [their] upper bodies and faces, expresses a healthy relationship."
We may not know what they're chatting about, but it's safe to say they're feeling much less distance and discomfort (on, like, every level) in this photo than they were at that polo match in the '70s.
"In addition, note how both have their hands in their laps, both are either leaning or orienting their bodies to the other, both have the same leg position," explains Reiman. "These two are closely mirroring one another and appear to have a healthy relationship."
On A Visit To Colombia In 2014
"Although they are not in direct sync, they are in crossover sync (her right leg and his left leg are moving simultaneously), allowing them to keep step with one another," says Reiman. "This is a good sign of a healthy relationship. In addition, she is holding Charles’ arm. Typically, this indicates that she depends on him and feels protected."
Though five years had passed between this photo and the duo's trip to Canada, little has changed about their body language in these pics.
"Other than the couple looking in opposite directions, this is a photo of two people who have a good relationship," explains Reiman.
On A Visit To Greece In 2018
Looking at the couple present-day, it seems that their relationship is still happy, healthy, and sailing fairly smoothly.
"In this photo, we see a comfortable couple," says Reiman. "Charles is leaning towards [Camilla] with both his body and his left foot... She is leaning towards him and her feet are pointing in his direction, indicating a close proximity comfort. They are both smiling and the smiles appear genuine with cheeks and eyes somewhat raised."
As in the photos from Canada and Colombia, Charles and Camilla are showing closeness and affection towards one another, even in the most subtle ways (side note: Should I start paying more attention to my dates' toe-pointing? Lemme know).
Despite the pair's very rocky past, it looks like Charles and Camilla's have found their rhythm as a couple. And like, here's hoping their marital future is as bright as Charles' sons'.