Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall

The Duchess of Cornwall during the 2017 tour of Canada.

The Duchess of Cornwall was born Camilla Rosemary Shand on July 17, 1947, in London, England. Her parents were Rosalind Shand and Major Bruce Shand. A Second World War hero, Major Shand was also deputy lord lieutenant of East Sussex, The Queen's official representative in the county.

Early life and education

The Duchess of Cornwall grew up on a country estate in Sussex and attended Queen's Gate School in London. Her Royal Highness also attended Mon Fertile finishing school in Switzerland and studied at the Institut Britannique in Paris.

After completing school, The Duchess moved to London. In 1965, Her Royal Highness made her official debut in London society.

Marriage and family

On July 4, 1973, The Duchess of Cornwall married Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles, an army officer. They had two children, Thomas Henry, born in 1974, and Laura Rose, born in 1978. The marriage was dissolved in 1995.

The Prince of Wales and Mrs. Parker Bowles (as The Duchess was then known) announced their engagement on Feb. 10, 2005.

The couple was married at the Guildhall in Windsor on April 9, 2005, in a civil ceremony. A prayer service and a reception followed at Windsor Castle. It is after the wedding that Camilla Parker Bowles became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.

The Duchess of Cornwall meets with members of The Queen’s Own Rifles during the 2017 tour of Canada

Charitable work and military appointments

In addition to the support The Duchess of Cornwall lends her husband, The Prince of Wales, in his work and role as Heir to the Throne, the Duchess is patron or president of her own charities, such as Britain's National Osteoporosis Society. Her Royal Highness, whose mother and grandmother both died from osteoporosis, visits bone units and hospitals to raise awareness about the disease.

Following her marriage to the Prince of Wales, The Duchess was appointed by The Queen to act as honorary head of various formations and units in the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. The Duchess of Cornwall holds military appointments such as the Royal Colonel of the 4th Battalion of The Rifles and the Commodore-in-Chief of the naval Medical Services.

The Duchess of Cornwall is the Colonel-in-Chief of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada.

Royal Patronage – Canadian Organizations

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during the 2017 tour of Canada.

Tours of Canada

The Duchess of Cornwall has a family connection to Canada dating back to the 19th century. Her Royal Highness is related to Sir Allan Napier MacNab, who served as Premier of the Province of Canada from 1845 to 1856. MacNab lived in a magnificent home, Dundurn Castle, part of Dundurn National Historic Site in Hamilton, Ontario.

The Duchess' trip to Canada in 2009 was her first official visit to this country.

For more information, visit the official website of the British Monarchy.

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