Queen Elizabeth’s Camilla Wedding Controversy Goes Viral

Queen Elizabeth II’s controversial style choice at the wedding of King Charles and Queen Camilla back in 2005 has become the focus of a new viral video, as footage from the day has been posted to social media site X (formerly Twitter) as the couple mark their 19th wedding anniversary.

Charles and Camilla married on April 9, 2005, ending a decades long road to the altar that involved a series of dramas and setbacks, including divorces from their previous spouses Princess Diana and Andrew Parker Bowles.

The couple’s controversial romance was criticized in the aftermath of Diana’s 1997 death, though by the time of their engagement eight years later, public opinion had begun to soften towards the then-heir to the throne and his intended bride.

Queen Camilla and Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Camilla, left, and Queen Elizabeth II, right, are photographed on the day of the royal wedding at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, on April 9, 2005. Elizabeth’s choice of outfit sparked speculation for appearing to… ANWAR HUSSEIN/GETTY IMAGES/TIM GRAHAM PHOTO LIBRARY VIA GETTY IMAGES
One member of the royal family who was pivotal to Charles and Camilla’s marriage was the prince’s mother, Queen Elizabeth. As head of the monarchy and head of the Church of England, granting permission for the heir to the throne to remarry a divorcee who was unpopular among the general public required a large degree of personal and institutional flexibility.

Though the queen granted her permission for her son to remarry, she was mindful of the church’s teaching that marriage is indissoluble. Though Charles, in the eyes of the church, was a single man free to remarry after the death of his first wife, Camilla’s ex-husband was still living and so conflicted with the church’s principles.

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As a way to work around her personal scruples and in order not to come into public conflict with the teachings of the church, Elizabeth decided not to attend her eldest son’s legal marriage, which took place at a registry office in Windsor, and instead attended a blessing of the union at St. George’s Chapel that occurred immediately afterwards. The blessing was a way of recognizing Charles and Camilla’s marriage in the eyes of the Church of England without the institution having the responsibility of ordaining it.

Though the queen made considerable personal allowances for Charles and Camilla’s marriage, one major aspect of the day prompted speculation over whether she truly approved—her choice of outfit.

For the chapel blessing, Elizabeth appeared to break established etiquette surrounding weddings by wearing white. Some commentators and social media users have interpreted this as a perceived dig at Camilla who it has been claimed wore white to Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981.

Uploaded to X by user @historyinmemes (better known as Historic Vids) on April 4, footage of Charles’ 1981 marriage to Diana and 2005 marriage to Camilla has gone viral, being viewed over 22 million times on the platform so far.

Captioned “I love how Queen Elizabeth still honored her after all those years,” the clip appears to suggest that the monarch’s white outfit in 2005 was somehow a tribute to the late princess.

The reasons for the queen’s fashion choice are ultimately unknown, however, it is considered unlikely that they were linked to Camilla’s appearance at Charles’ wedding because Diana herself said that Camilla wore gray to the ceremony not white.

Recounting seeing her new husband’s ex-girlfriend as she walked down the aisle of St. Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981, Diana told her biographer some years later that: “I knew she was in there, of course. I looked for her…So walking down the aisle, I spotted Camilla, pale gray, veiled pillbox hat, saw it all, her son Tom standing on a chair. To this day, you know—vivid memory.”

Queen Camilla and Queen Elizabeth Royal WeddingsLeft, Queen Camilla is seen at the wedding of King Charles and Princess Diana in London 1981. Right, the king and queen on their wedding day at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor in 2005, with… FOX PHOTOS/HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES/TIM GRAHAM PHOTO LIBRARY VIA GETTY IMAGES
The video has received in excess of 61,000 likes and over 500 comments.

For her part, Camilla has praised Queen Elizabeth’s sense of humor around the time of her 2005 marriage. In a rare interview released after Elizabeth’s death in September 2022, the new queen shared an anecdote about her nerves at the time.

“I remember coming from here, Clarence House, to go to Windsor the day I got married, when I probably wasn’t firing on all cylinders—quite nervous!” she said.

“For some unknown reason, I put on a pair of shoes, and one had an inch heel and one had a two-inch heel. So, I mean, talk about hop-along! There was nothing I could do,” Camilla said. “I was halfway down in the car before I realized. And [the queen] could see it, and she laughed about it and just said, ‘I’m terribly sorry,’ and she did have a good sense of humor.”

Elizabeth’s attitude towards Charles and Camilla’s wedding and the event as it unfolded was recently dramatized in the final season of Netflix’s hit royal drama, The Crown.

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