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How the Queen really felt about Charles and Camilla’s wedding in 2005

The final installment of The Crown season six is almost here, as viewers can expect to witness the wedding between King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

On 14 December, the critically-acclaimed Netflix historical drama will come to an end with the last six episodes of season six. The final season of The Crown is set between the late 1990s to the mid-2000s, as part one depicted the last moments of the late Princess of Wales’ life before her untimely death. Part two is set to focus on the aftermath of her death, including the 2005 nuptials of then Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.

In September, Netflix teased that the final installment will depict the royal couple’s wedding at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. “After six seasons, seven years and three casts, The Crown comes to an end later this year. Here’s a hint at what’s to come in our final season,” the official Netflix account wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. The post included a sneak peek at the program for the royal wedding of Charles and Camilla on 9 April 2005.

After many years of dating, the royal couple finally tied the knot during a civil ceremony held in the Windsor Guildhall, followed by a martial blessing in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Because both Charles and Camilla had been divorced before - Camilla divorced her husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, in 1995 and the Prince of Wales split from Princess Diana in 1996 - the two elected for a civil ceremony rather than a church service. It also marked Charles as the first British royal to marry in a civil ceremony. Following the wedding, Camilla was formally recognised as HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

However, the event was not attended by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Many members of the royal family were on hand to see Charles and Camilla tie the knot in 2005 - including his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. But Charles’ parents, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, opted not to attend the wedding ceremony.

 (AP2005)
(AP2005)

When it was publicly announced in February 2005 that Charles and Camilla were to be married in April that year, Buckingham Palace released a statement that the Queen would not be in attendance due to her role as head of the Church of England - which discourages divorce. Because the Queen didn’t want to be seen as going against her royal duties, she instead attended the religious service at St George’s Chapel after the civil ceremony.

“The Queen decided not to attend the civil ceremony at Windsor’s Guildhall because the couple wanted to keep the ceremony low-key and her presence would not allow that to happen,” a Palace spokesman told CNN back in 2005. Her Majesty instead hosted a reception for the newlywed couple at Windsor Castle later that day.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, issued a statement at the time clarifying that the arrangements were “consistent with Church of England guidelines concerning remarriage” which Charles had fully accepted “as a committed Anglican” to the church.

 (AP2005)
(AP2005)

There was much speculation that the Queen disapproved of the wedding venue, Windsor Guildhall, because she didn’t want to attend a humiliating "town hall" service, the Telegraph reported at the time. However, a senior royal aide maintained that the wedding location was never an issue. “The venue was never the issue for the Queen,” they told the outlet. “The civil nature of the service is the issue. She did not feel it was appropriate for her to attend.”

The Queen made one of the most public displays of support for their union when she announced Camilla would become Queen Consort when Charles ascended the throne. In February 2022, the Queen said it was her “sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort”.

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022, Charles succeeded the throne as King Charles III. During his coronation on 6 May 2023, Camilla was also crowned alongside him as Queen Camilla.

The second installment of The Crown season six will be released on 14 December. Part one is available to stream on Netflix.