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Andrew Parker Bowles

Andrew Henry Parker Bowles

(1939-12-27) 27 December 1939 (age 83)
Surrey, England
  • (m. 1973; div. 1995)
  • Rosemary Pitman
    (m. 1996; died 2010)
  • Tom Parker Bowles
  • Laura Lopes
  • Ann de Trafford (mother)
Relatives Derek Paravicini (nephew)
Military career
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1960–1994
Rank Brigadier
  • Royal Horse Guards
  • Blues and Royals
  • Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Battles/wars Operation Motorman

Brigadier Andrew Henry Parker Bowles OBE (born 27 December 1939) is a retired British Army officer. He is the former husband of Queen Camilla, consort of King Charles III.

Early life and family

Andrew Parker Bowles was born on 27 December 1939 as the eldest of four children to Derek Henry Parker Bowles, who was a great-grandson of Thomas Parker, 6th Earl of Macclesfield, and his wife Ann Parker Bowles, daughter of multimillionaire racehorse owner Sir Humphrey de Trafford, 4th Baronet. His christening announcement in The Times listed his godparents as Sir Humphrey de Trafford, William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington who married Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy (the younger sister of U.S. President John F. Kennedy), Miss Mary de Trafford and Miss Swinnerton-Dyer. His parents were friends of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Some sources have stated that his godmother was also the Queen Mother. Parker Bowles was a page at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. He is an uncle of Derek Paravicini, a blind autistic savant.

As an amateur jockey, Parker Bowles rode in the 1969 Grand National on his horse, The Fossa, finishing the race in 11th place. He played on Prince Charles' polo team during their younger days.

Military career

Parker Bowles was educated at the Benedictine Ampleforth College and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was commissioned into the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) in 1960. He was aide-de-camp to the Governor-General of New Zealand, Sir Bernard Fergusson, in about 1965. He was then Adjutant Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) 1967–1969. The regiment became The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons) 1969, and he was the Adjutant of The Blues and Royals 1969–1970. Parker Bowles was promoted to major on 31 December 1971.

He was squadron leader of "B" squadron in 1972 on Operation Motorman in Ulster. Later he was Senior Military Liaison Officer to Lord Soames, when Soames was Governor of Southern Rhodesia during its transition to the majority rule state of Zimbabwe in 1979–1980. He was staff qualified (sq), and became a lieutenant colonel 30 June 1980. In 1980 he was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Bravery in Zimbabwe.

In 1981–1983, he was Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, and was commanding during the Hyde Park and Regent's Park bombings, when men and horses from his regiment were killed and injured by a terrorist bomb. He was one of the first to the scene, arriving on foot after hearing the bomb blast, and his orders led to the saving of later famous horse Sefton.

From 1987 to 1990, he was colonel Commanding the Household Cavalry and Silver Stick in Waiting to Queen Elizabeth II. On 30 June 1990 he was promoted to brigadier, and was director of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps 1991–1994. He retired in 1994.

Parker Bowles held the following ranks:

  • 23 January 1962, lieutenant
  • 23 July 1966, captain
  • 31 December 1971, major
  • 1 December 1980, seniority backdated to 30 June 1980, lieutenant colonel
  • 30 June 1987, colonel
  • 31 December 1990, seniority backdated to 30 June 1990, brigadier
  • 27 December 1994, retired

Relationships and children

His godchildren include the circus trapeze artist Lady Emma Herbert, who was a bridesmaid at his first marriage on 4 July 1973, and Zara Tindall, daughter of Princess Anne.

Princess Anne

Parker Bowles dated Princess Anne for a few years, beginning in June 1970. Parker Bowles's father, Derek, was a friend to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. According to biographer Sally Bedell Smith, the relationship could not have been "very serious between Anne and Andrew because Andrew was Catholic," therefore any potential marriage was unlikely. The relationship ended sometime prior to Parker Bowles's engagement to Camilla Shand. Parker Bowles and Princess Anne remain friends. Their relationship was depicted in the third season of The Crown.

Camilla Shand (1973–1995)

In 1973, after an intermittent relationship, Parker Bowles married Camilla Shand in a Roman Catholic ceremony. Shand was a former girlfriend of the then-Prince of Wales. After marriage, the couple lived at Bolehyde Manor and, later, Middlewick House in Corsham, Wiltshire and had two children, Tom and Laura. Laura attended St Mary's School, Shaftesbury, a Catholic girls' school in Dorset, while Tom attended Eton College. Parker Bowles and Camilla divorced in 1995.

Name Birth Marriage Children
Date Spouse
Tom Parker Bowles 18 December 1974 10 September 2005
Separated 2018
Sara Buys
  • Lola Parker Bowles
  • Freddy Parker Bowles
Laura Parker Bowles 19 April 1978 6 May 2006 Harry Lopes
  • Eliza Lopes
  • Louis Lopes
  • Gus Lopes

Rosemary Pitman (1996–2010)

Parker Bowles married his longtime companion Rosemary Alice Pitman (née Dickinson; 17 June 1940 – 10 January 2010) in 1996, a year after his divorce from Camilla. She was previously married to Lt Col John Hugh Pitman, with whom she had three sons. The couple attended the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, which took place on 9 April 2005. Rosemary died from complications due to cancer in 2010. Princess Anne was present at her funeral service at St Aldhelm's Roman Catholic Church, Malmesbury. Camilla attended her memorial service at the Guards Chapel in March 2010.

In the media

In 2003, Parker Bowles posed for the painting The Brigadier by Lucian Freud. In 2015 the work sold for $34.89 million at Christie's. He was portrayed by Simon Wilson in Whatever Love Means (2005) and by Andrew Buchan in The Crown (2019).


  • He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Veterinary College in 2003.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Andrew Parker Bowles para niños

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