This Is Why Camilla Parker Bowles’s Children Are Rarely Seen in Royal Outings

Updated: Apr. 01, 2022

Her son and daughter both have successful careers, but they don't spend much time at royal functions.

David Hartley/REX/Shutterstock

Camilla Parker Bowles married Prince Charles in 2005, after a long-term love affair with the future king. The two were an item before (and during) Charles’ marriage to Princess Diana, so it’s easy to forget that while Charles was having a family, Camilla was doing the same. Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973, and the couple had two kids, Tom and Laura. Find out why Charles didn’t marry Camilla in the first place.

We see plenty of pictures of Camilla with Princes William and Harry, who seem to get on well with their stepmom. So why are Tom and Laura always absent at the royal family’s events?

Actually, while he might not be a household name in America like his stepbrothers are, Tom Parker Bowles (who happens to be both stepson and godson of Prince Charles) has certainly made a name for himself in his own right. He’s a successful food writer and food critic, having written eight cookbooks and served as a presenter for British cooking show Market Kitchen. He doesn’t shy away from the spotlight and seems comfortable in front of the camera during interviews.

Meanwhile, Camilla’s daughter, Laura Lopes (who married Harry Lopes in 2006), leads a more private life. The mother of three curates art for exhibitions and keeps a low profile.

Tabloids have been up in arms over the fact that Laura and William didn’t mesh well when they were first introduced back in 1998, blaming each other’s parents for tearing their families apart. But that old squabble doesn’t explain why they don’t share the spotlight now—there certainly doesn’t seem to be bad blood anymore. All stepsiblings have attended each other’s weddings, and Laura’s daughter, Eliza, was even a bridesmaid in William and Kate’s ceremony in 2011. Check out these 14 other unlikely royal friendships that will surprise you.

So that brings us back to the question: Is there a reason Tom and Laura aren’t more involved in royal outings?

Turns out, just because Tom and Laura’s mom is the Duchess of Cornwall doesn’t mean her kids want to be part of the ever-scrutinized royal family, and they seem to have intentionally created some distance. “[Laura and I are] not quite part of the royal family, to be honest,” Tom explained on Good Morning Britain in December 2018. “My mother married into it. She’s part of it. We’re the common children. We’re just on the side.” And that’s just how they like it. Don’t miss these 20 things you didn’t know about Duchess Camilla.