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March 20, 2018 09:37 AM

What did Queen Elizabeth really think about her son Prince Charles‘s affair with Camilla Parker Bowles?

She didn’t hold back, according to a new biography by British investigative journalist Tom Bower. In an excerpt published on Tuesday in the Daily Mail, the author claims that Charles — who carried on an affair with Camilla during his marriage to Princess Diana — confronted his mother about welcoming Camilla into the royal family during the summer following Diana’s death in 1997. Her response was brutally frank.

At the time, the Queen had drunk “several martinis, and to Charles’s surprise she replied forcefully: She would not condone his adultery, nor forgive Camilla for not leaving Charles alone to allow his marriage to recover,” Bower writes in Rebel Prince: The Power and Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles.

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles at a polo match in 1975.
REX/Shutterstock

Bower claims the Queen even called Camilla “that wicked woman,” and said, “I want nothing to do with her.” Charles “tearfully” then called Camilla to inform her of his mother’s response.

RELATED VIDEO: Prince Charles Tops Royals with Most Public Engagements

Despite Charles having the support of his mother’s sister, Princess Margaret (who died in 2002), she would not budge. Things eased after that year when his maternal grandmother, the Queen Mother, also died — as she was also publicly skeptical about accepting the relationship.

Charles and Camilla in 1979.
TIM GRAHAM/Getty Images

The couple ultimately wed in 2005, but not without controversy, Bower says. Because their affair had been a factor in the breakup of both of their marriages, they were not permitted to marry in the Church of England, so instead they wed formally in Windsor Town Hall. (They then had a blessing at St. George’s Chapel, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will wed on May 19.)

In the run-up to the ceremony, the Queen didn’t invite Camilla to ceremonies or official dinners and “even hinted that there was very little special Welsh gold left to make Camilla’s wedding ring,” Bower notes.

Charles and Camilla on their wedding day, April 9, 2005.
Anwar Hussein Collection/ROTA/WireImage

The Queen barred Charles’s close aide from organizing the reception and halted all talk of a glittering event for 650 people. Bower claims that Charles wallowed “in gloom” when a friend asked, half-jokingly, if the Queen might abdicate. Her son replied no.

“Can you imagine her looking out of the window of Clarence House and waving to me as I paraded in a carriage down The Mall?” Charles, 69, is said to have answered.

Camlla and Queen Elizabeth in November 2017.
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Since then, the Queen, 91, has publicly softened her stance on the marriage — and her daughter-in-law. She has invited Camilla, 70, to join her at various events, including the Windsor Horse Show, where the two women, who share an interest in horses, can be seen chatting enthusiastically about the animals.

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