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The ascension of Charles III to the throne has sparked fresh interest in not only his Queen Consort but also her two children.
Laura Lopes and Tom Parker Bowles – the offspring of Camilla and her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles – became step-siblings to Prince William and Prince Harry when their mother married Charles in 2005.
But Camilla’s children “haven’t actually built any trade-off from their relationship with the crown” and are not bestowed with any royal titles or duties, British Monarchs Society founder Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills told the i news site. “This is why they’ve been able to fly under the radar to have very private lives,” he added.
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Who is Tom Parker Bowles?
Camilla’s oldest child has the “curious honour” of having Charles as both a stepfather and a godfather, said Town & Country.
Parker Bowles was born on 18 December 1974 in Westminster in London, but grew up in Wiltshire. He was educated at Eton College and Oxford University, where he was a member of the Piers Gaveston Society, a dining club. But despite being an avid foodie, he later recalled having largely “survived on chips and curry sauce”.
“I basically went out all the time and ate crap,” he told the London Evening Standard in 2013.
After leaving university, Parker Bowles went into public relations, but landed in the spotlight himself when the News of the World reported that he was “high on coke” while working at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999. The BBC reported that his godfather had given him a “severe scolding” over the alleged drug use.
Charles was said to have told him: “You’ve been a bloody fool. Pull yourself together.”
In 2001, Parker Bowles left PR to become Tatler magazine’s food columnist. He has since written about food for a host of titles, including The Mail on Sunday, and is the author of a string of books including The Year of Eating Dangerously: A Global Adventure in Search of Culinary Extremes. He has also appeared as a judge on food-themed reality TV shows.
In 2005, he married fashion journalist Sara Buys, with whom he has two children: daughter Lola, born in 2007, and son Frederick, born in 2010. The couple split in 2018.
Parker Bowles was then in a relationship with writer Alice Procope for almost two years, until her death from cancer at the age of 42 last year.
And who is Laura Lopes?
While her brother’s career has made him “something of a celebrity in the UK”, said US Weekly magazine, “Laura has kept a relatively low profile since her mother married into the Royal Family”.
Born in Swindon on 1 January 1978, she was educated at St Mary’s Shaftesbury, a Catholic girls’ boarding school in Dorset, and attended Oxford Brookes University, where she studied history of art and marketing.
After an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, she had a brief stint as Tatler’s motoring correspondent, in 2001, before returning to the art world. She became a manager at The Space Gallery in London, before co-founding the city’s Eleven gallery in 2005.
The following year, she married former Calvin Klein model-turned-chartered accountant Harry Lopes, the grandson of Massey Lopes, 2nd Baron Roborough. The wedding cake, “made of thousands of chocolate muffins”, was cut with her retired brigadier father’s military sword, Tatler reported.
The “happy couple sped to Claridge’s for the night before heading to Vietnam for their honeymoon”, the magazine added.
They have since had three children: daughter Eliza, born in 2008, and twin sons Gus and Louis, born a year later. When Prince William wed Kate Middleton in April 2011, Eliza was one of the bridesmaids.
Lopes is set to inherit two stately homes, “though not through her mother’s royal connection”, said the Daily Express. Instead, Lopes and and her own aristocratic husband are in line to take over Gnaton Hall in Devon and the Skelpick Estate in the Scottish Highlands, as well as his family’s titles of baron and baroness.
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