Most people, royal fans or otherwise, already know about the royal love triangle between Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and Camilla Parker Bowles. The consequent scandal prompted two high-profile divorces and one of the messiest breakups in royal history. But one of the lesser known royal love triangles—which dovetails with that one—is the one between Princess Anne (Charles’ sister), Andrew Parker Bowles, and Camilla, who would later go on to be Andrew’s wife, and then ex-wife. As The Crown is expected to depict in season three, Anne and Andrew dated while Andrew and Camilla were off and on, and Anne was reportedly the reason that Andrew and Camilla broke up. So what’s the true story behind the fictional depiction?
Andrew dated both Camilla and Anne.
Andrew, both before and during his marriage to Camilla, was known for not being faithful. Apparently, before getting engaged to Camilla but while the couple was still dating, Andrew was seen out on a number of occasions with Anne. This apparently infuriated Camilla and caused her to explore her relationship with Charles (in a “tit-for-tat” move to teach Andrew a lesson).
Biographer Penny Junor explained, “So when she was introduced to Charles and he thought she was pretty special…he thought she was a bit of alright and she thought, ‘Andrew is at the moment off with Princess Anne, you know her brother, teach Andrew a lesson.’ So she had a fling with Charles.”
But Anne and Andrew were only together briefly.
It’s not totally clear how serious the relationship between Anne and Andrew was, but after they broke up, Andrew went on to marry Camilla (so it’s likely that was the stronger relationship). Even though the Queen apparently invited Andrew to Windsor Castle while Anne and Andrew were dating, Anne wouldn’t have been able to marry Andrew for the very simple reason that he was Catholic. Some sources say that this led to heartache on Anne’s part, but that’s probably speculation. Andrew was her first boyfriend, so that may have played a part in how outsiders saw the relationship.
Anne and Andrew keep in touch.
What’s hilarious is that the exes are friends and see each other regularly, particularly at horse racing and other social events: