The former Archbishop of Canterbury has recalled his secret meeting with the Queen Consort in Peckham, amid Camilla and the then Prince Charles reuniting following the royal’s divorce from Princess Diana.
George Carey, who was the most senior cleric from 1991 to 2002, told ITVX’s The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor that his ‘animated conversation’ with the then Camilla Parker Bowles convinced him to ‘talk to other people behind the scenes’.
It was said to be instrumental in smoothing the way for King Charles and Camilla’s 2005 wedding. Years prior, the late Queen Elizabeth II had refused to entertain the idea of the couple being together officially.
Recalling why he decided to meet in southeast London, Lord Carey said: ‘I wanted somewhere secret that wasn’t in my office and therefore wouldn’t arouse the interest of other people and get out. ‘I said, “I have a son in Peckham. This is his address. Can we meet?”‘
A few weeks later, Charles’ future wife visited the address and Lord Carey was struck by ‘nice-looking, intelligent’ Camilla, explaining: ‘We had a really animated conversation.
Charles and Camilla leaving The Ritz hotel in London after attending a 50th birthday party for Camilla’s sister in their first official outing together in 1999
‘We talked about her relationship with Charles, going way back to when they were teenagers,’ he continued during episode four.
‘And after she left I said, “Well, there’s no way I could ever treat her as other than a really nice human being who’s deeply in love with Charles.”
‘And that affected me in talking to other people behind the scenes. I hoped it had a way forward, I think it did.’
Speaking about the royal couple’s wedding in 2005, Lady Anne Glenconner, the late Princess Margaret’s lady-in-waiting, said Charles was ‘beaming’.
‘I’ve known [Charles] since he was about four and I’ve just never seen him look so happy. He realised at last he was where he wanted to be,’ she added.
In an earlier episode, the former Archbishop of Canterbury – who was ‘pitched in to help’ with King Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage – suggested they were never going to be ‘successful’.
Lord Carey told he was called in to try and rescue the couple’s turbulent relationship.
George Carey (pictured), who was the most senior cleric from 1991 to 2002, told ITVX’s The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor that his ‘animated conversation’ with the then Camilla Parker Bowles convinced him to ‘talk to other people behind the scenes’
In an earlier episode, the former Archbishop of Canterbury who was ‘pitched in to help’ with King Charles and Princess Diana’s (pictured in 1992 in South Korea) marriage suggested they were never going to be ‘successful’
He said: ‘I found myself as the Archbishop of Canterbury pitched in to this.
‘I remember one meeting at Number 10 Downing Street with [former Prime Minister] John Major and some members of the Cabinet, wrestling with what we could do to help.’
‘The role I took was to try and meet up,’ added Lord Carey, who claimed the ‘dynamic between’ Charles and Diana, then the Prince and Princess of Wales, ‘was not going to be successful’.
He continued: ‘Charles deep thinking, a slower personality, reflective. Diana, dynamic, vibrant, less driven, it wasn’t going to work.’
For centuries, Archbishops of Canterbury have been entrusted with helping members of the Royal Family tackle some of the trickiest issues of the day.
Perhaps most famously, Henry VIII and Thomas Cranmer wrestled with the King’s demand to divorce Anne Boleyn. Cranmer succeeded.
More recently, his modern-day successor, Justin Welby, was asked by King Charles to broker a deal to allow Prince Harry to attend his Coronation – but met resistance from Prince William, The Mail on Sunday revealed.
Charles wanted Mr Welby to strike an agreement with his warring sons that would allow Harry and his wife Meghan to attend the Westminster Abbey ceremony in May, senior sources close to Lambeth Palace say.
It was confirmed last week that Prince Harry will attend the Coronation alone, while his wife Meghan Markle, 41, stays in California with their children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, one.
The Coronation, which is just three weeks away, will see both King Charles III and Queen Camilla crowned in front of 2,000 people in Westminster Abbey.
All episodes of The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor are available to stream exclusively on ITVX from today
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