The Women Who Were Almost Royals - OZY | A Modern Media Company

The Women Who Were Almost Royals

The Women Who Were Almost Royals

By Molly Fosco

During the 1970s Prince Charles (born 1948) was an eligible bachelor, romantically linked to a series of young women. He is seen here angling with Caroline Worsley.
SourceManchester Daily Express/Getty


Because there’s a lot more to know about Charles’ past than Diana and Camilla. 

By Molly Fosco

Some 750 million people around the world tuned in to watch the royal wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and Charles, Prince of Wales, nearly 37 years ago. But before His Royal Highness married the “people’s princess” on July 29, 1981, he spent more than a decade searching for a suitable partner, a quest that reportedly produced more than 20 liaisons. As the world prepares for the wedding of Charles’ son Prince Harry and the American ex-actress Meghan Markle, let’s take a look at some of the significant past romances of the future King Charles III. While not all of the experts monitoring the royals agree on every date and detail, here’s the consensus on the next monarch’s pre-Diana trysts.

The Almost Royals:

  1. Cindy Buxton Dated Charles on and off from 1967 to 1970; she was ultimately more interested in making films than marrying the prince. 
  2. Camilla Parker Bowles First dated Charles in 1970; a romance that lasted for decades, ultimately ending in happy matrimony. 
  3. Kanga Tryon Born Dale Elizabeth Harper, she dated Charles in the early 1970s and married a close friend of His Royal Highness, but that didn’t stop their affair.
  4. Lady Jane Wellesley Dated Charles in 1973–74; a good match, but she couldn’t handle the media spotlight. 
  5. Laura Watkins Dated Charles in 1974; in a tale as old as time, Catholic Laura could never marry Protestant Charles.
  6. Davina Sheffield Dated Charles in 1976; removed from the running by another ancient rule — one that demands all princesses be virgins before the wedding night.
  7. Lady Sarah Spencer Dated Charles in 1977; figured Charles might hit it off a bit better with her younger sister Diana.
  8. Fiona Watson Dated Charles in 1977; the royal family was not impressed by her 11-page Penthouse magazine spread.
  9. Susan George Dated Charles in 1978; a casual fling, she has remained tight-lipped about her tryst with the prince.
  10. Sabrina Guinness Dated Charles in 1979; her other famous beaus included Mick Jagger, Jack Nicholson, Rod Stewart and David Bowie.
  11. Amanda Knatchbull Dated Charles in 1980; he proposed, but since they’re second cousins, she turned him down.
  12. Anna Wallace Dated Charles in 1980; he proposed, but she declined and broke it off for good after he left her alone for hours at a palace ball.

The Runners-Up:

  • Lucia Santa Cruz
  • Sibylla Dorman
  • Caroline Longman
  • Lady Angela Nevill
  • Lady Jane Grosvenor
  • Lady Camilla Fane
  • Rosie Clifton
  • Lady Caroline Percy
  • Lady Bettina Lindsay
  • Lady Henrietta Fitzroy
  • Lady Georgiana Russell
  • Lady Cecil Kerr

Sign up for the weekly newsletter!

Related Stories