It isn’t easy to constantly be held in comparison to Princess Diana, who’s still
impossibly popular even more than two decades after her untimely death. And yet, over the past few decades, Camilla Parker Bowles has somehow still managed to thrive. On her 72nd birthday on Wednesday, it’s high time we recognize the unsung royal; after all, Meghan Markle has already begun to do so. (See: that time the Duchesses erupted into laughter when a bee flew into Prince Harry’s face in the middle of him giving a speech.) In any case, rest assured that we’re in for a promising season of The Crown. Bowles, played by the actress Emerald Fennell, will be front and center in the Netflix series’s upcoming episodes (though of course Princess Diana will as well). Get to know Bowles in her own right with a look back at some of her most delightful (and birthday cake-filled) moments over the years, here.
Camilla Parker Bowles wielding a knife in front of Prince Charles during a visit to Seppeltsfield Winery in Barossa Valley, Australia, November 2015.
Camilla Parker Bowles double-fisting ice cream during a visit to the village market in Droromore, Northern Ireland, May 2017.
Camilla Parker Bowles hanging out with a crew of “Donald Trumps” at the ICAP’s annual charity day in London, December 2017.
Camilla Parker Bowles trying some of her 61st birthday cake during her visit to the “Dig for Victory” organic allotment in St James’s Park in London, July 2008.
Camilla Parker Bowles holding a koala named Matilda with Prince Charles during their Diamond Jubilee Tour of Papua New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand, in Adelaide, November 2012.
Camilla Parker Bowles presenting a “special doggy cake” and long service certificate to a rescue dog named Ruby in Warminster, England, February 2015.
Camilla Parker Bowles holding an umbrella at the VE Day 65th anniversary tributes, in commemoration of Victory in Europe day, in London, May 2019.
Camilla Parker Bowles eating ice cream with Dame Judi Dench at the Queen Victoria’s private beach in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, July 2018.
Camilla Parker Bowles taking a sip of rum punch during a visit to the Hermitage Plantation House in Saint Kitts and Nevis, March 2019.
Camilla Parker Bowles encountering a reptile known as a Tuatara on her and Prince Charles’s visit to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary in Dunedin, New Zealand, November 2015
Camilla Parker Bowles reacting to Prince Charles lighting the candles of her 60th birthday cake during a visit to Bronham in Wiltshire, England, July 2007.
Camilla Parker Bowles preparing to take a shot of gin during a visit to a food market in Honiton, England, July 2018.
Camilla Parker Bowles taking in the action at the Essex Dog Training Centre in Brentwood, October 2011.
Camilla Parker Bowles marveling at a plastinated dog’s heart during a visit to Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital in London, February 2015.
Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles wielding boomerangs during a visit to Kings Park in Perth, Australia, November 2015.
Camilla Parker Bowles at a loss for words upon glimpsing the cake at the opening of Ebony Horse Club in London, October 2011.
Prince William and Camilla Parker Bowles laughing during the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games, a sporting event for wounded servicemen and women, in London, September 2014.
Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles reacting to a bald eagle flapping its wings during their visit to the Sandringham Flower Show in King’s Lynn, England, July 2015.
Camilla Parker Bowles double-fisting cupcakes at a “Women in Business” event during a royal tour of the Middle East, in Muscat, Oman, November 2016.
Camilla Parker Bowles preparing to cut a cake at the 30th anniversary celebration of the Queen Mother Hospital for Small Animals in Hatfield, England, April 2016.
Camilla Parker Bowles toting a giant teddy bear that an admirer gave her during an official visit to Leipzig, Germany, May 2019.
Camilla Parker Bowles sampling a spread on the set of ITV’s
This Morning, where she was celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Royal Television Society, in London, January 2018.
Camilla Parker Bowles sampling a glass of Australian wine during an Australian Day Reception at the Violin Factory in London, January 2015.