The former Archbishop of Canterbury recalled his secret meeting with the Queen in Peckham, amid Camilla and Prince Charles’ return home after the royal family’s divorce from Princess Diana.
George Carey, who was the most senior clergyman from 1991 to 2002, told ITVX’s The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor that his “moving conversation” with then-Camilla Parker Bowles convinced him to “talk to other people behind the scenes”.
They were said to be instrumental in setting the stage for King Charles and Camilla’s wedding in 2005. Years ago, the late Queen Elizabeth II refused to accept the idea of the couple being officially together.
‘I wanted a secret place which was not in my office,’ said Lord Carey, recalling why he had decided to meet in south-east London, and so would not interest others and go out. I said, “I have a son in Peckham. That’s his address. Can we meet?”
A few weeks later, Charles’ future wife visited the address and Lord Carey was amazed by the “sweet and intelligent” Camilla, explaining: “We had a really lively conversation.
Charles and Camilla leave the Ritz Hotel in London after attending Camilla’s sister’s 50th birthday party on their first official outing together in 1999
“We talked about her relationship with Charles, way back when they were teenagers,” he continued during the fourth episode.
And after she left I said, “Well, there’s no way I could take her as a really nice non-human who loves Charles so badly.”
And that influenced me to talk to other people behind the scenes. I was hoping it would have a way forward, I think it did.
Speaking about the royal couple’s wedding in 2005, the late Princess Margaret’s first lady, Anne Glenconner, said Charles was “delighted”.
I’ve known Charles since he was four and I’ve never seen him so happy. He finally realized that he was where he wanted to be.
In an earlier episode, the former Archbishop of Canterbury – who was “introduced to help” in King Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage – suggested they would never be “successful”.
Lord tells Carrie that he has been called in to try to salvage the couple’s troubled relationship.
George Carey (pictured), who was the elder clergyman from 1991 to 2002, told ITVX’s The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor that his ‘moving conversation’ with 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 “introduced to help” in King Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage (pictured in 1992 in South Korea) suggested that they would never be “successful”.
‘I found myself when the Archbishop of Canterbury got involved in this,’ he said.
“I remember 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 dynamic between ‘Charles and Diana, then Prince and Princess,’ would not work,” added Lord Carey, who claimed that “the role I took was to try to get together.”
He continued, “Charles is a deep thinker, slower, reflective character.” Diana, dynamic, vibrant, less forceful, will not work.
For centuries, the Archbishops of Canterbury have been charged with helping members of the royal family tackle some of the toughest issues of the day.
Perhaps most famously, Henry VIII and Thomas Cranmer grappled with the king’s claim to divorce Anne Boleyn. Cranmer succeeded.
Most recently, King Charles asked his modern-day successor, Justin Welby, 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 Welby to make Welby an agreement with his feuding sons that would allow Harry and his wife Meghan to attend the Westminster Abbey ceremony in May, according to senior sources close to Lambeth Palace.
It was confirmed last week that Prince Harry will attend the coronation alone, while his wife Meghan Markle, 41, is staying in California with their children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, one of them.
The coronation, which is just three weeks away, will see King Charles III and Queen Camilla be crowned in front of 2,000 people at Westminster Abbey.
All episodes of The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor are available to stream exclusively on ITVX from today