Of all the great introductions in history, the line Camilla is claimed to have uttered to Prince Charles when they first met in the early '70s was a doozy: "You know, sir, my great-grandmother was the mistress of your great-great-grandfather — so how about it?"
Sadly, that wasn't what she actually said.
Biographer and former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown, in her seminal The Diana Chronicles, claims that the first words the passionate equestrian said to the future king during a polo match were the much more restrained — but still quite saucy: "That's a fine animal you have there sir".
(There is a third version, which has Charles' former girlfriend Lucia Santa Cruz, the daughter of a former Chilean ambassador, introducing the couple.)
Whatever the true story, by the early '70s, the future king was the most eligible man in the world and was (allegedly) having a glorious time doing what 20-something boys do everywhere — date with glee abandon.
And then, the coup de grace, in the summer of 1971 when he met Camilla.
At the time, her own love life was complicated.
In 1966, then aged 19, she had met the dashing Andrew Parker Bowles. He was a lieutenant in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Royal Horse Guards, his parents were wealthy (they owned a castle in Berkshire) and connected.
His father was close to the Queen Mother and Andrew himself had served as a page during Queen Elizabeth's 1953 coronation.
Camilla, by all accounts, was smitten with Andrew from word go. The couple would go on to date on and off for years before she finally would get him to the altar.
However, during that time quite a few other women were also charmed by the dashing military man, including Princess Anne.
A friend of his has said, "Andrew could never resist a challenge, and there's nothing so aphrodisiac as the unattainable. Women had no hesitation in falling for him — he seemed to compel them into loving him."
By 1970, Anne and Andrew were in the midst of what Brown describes as a "torrid affair", and there was speculation at the time that marriage might even be on the cards. Though as Andrew was a Catholic, Anne would have had to renounce any claim to the throne.
Lending credence to this was the appearance of Andrew by Anne's side during Royal Ascot and him even staying at Windsor Castle.
So was it coincidence that come 1971, as the man she wanted to marry was romancing the Princess Royal, Camilla just happened to start an affair with her romantic rival's older brother?
Junor thinks not and in her book The Duchess claims Camilla reacted with "fury" when she discovered her Andrew — prior to their engagement — was dating Princess Anne and furthered her love affair with Charles "to have some excitement and make Andrew jealous".
"When she (Camilla) was introduced to Charles he thought she was pretty special and she thought he was a bit of all right," Junor said in 2017. "And she thought 'Andrew is at the moment off with Princess Anne, I'll teach him a lesson' so she had a fling with Charles."
In her 2007 biography The Diana Chronicles, Brown wrote: "There was a romantic re-enactment of (the sexually-charged play) La Ronde on the dance floor at Annabel's one night in 1971 when it was clear that Princess Anne was in love with Andrew Parker Bowles, Camilla was in love with him too, and Charles was in love with Camilla.".
Things were getting very complicated.
For the first little while, Charles and Camilla's affair continued, relatively happily, with the duo hitting the town or going to the opera.
In December 1972, the Prince finally took the plunge and told his girlfriend he loved her during a weekend at Broadlands, his uncle Lord Mountbatten's country estate, which he allegedly often used for assignations of the heart.
Whether he should have proposed that weekend is up for debate. (Camilla was a woman "with a past" as they say, so was not marriage material in the eyes of the establishment anyway.) However, perhaps the more interesting question is whether Camilla would have said yes.
"The love of Camilla's life was not Prince Charles but the man she married first — Andrew Parker Bowles," Brown has argued.
In 1973, Charles was set to leave the UK for eight months for a naval tour of the Caribbean. In April of that year he came on shore in Antigua to learn that Andrew and Camilla were set to wed.
(One story is that her parents were so tired of the "will they, won't they" they just put an engagement announcement in The Times to force Andrew's hand.)
According to Junor, after learning the devastating news, Charles wrote to Camilla, pleading with her not to go through with the wedding, but to no good.
The Prince was heartbroken. "I suppose the feeling of emptiness will pass eventually," he wrote to a friend at the time, saying that his time with Camilla had been "such a blissful, peaceful and mutually happy relationship".
Andrew and Camilla's union in July 1973 was the society wedding of the year, with 800 guests including the Queen Mother, Princess Anne and Princess Margaret.
Just two months earlier in May of that year, Princess Anne had married Captain Mark Phillips during a televised royal wedding at Westminster Abbey which was watched by around 500 million people.
From the start the Parker-Bowles' union was rocky, with allegations that Andrew was unfaithful from fairly early on in their marriage, including with his wife's friends. For whatever reason, Camilla largely turned a blind eye and in 1974 their first child, son Tom was born. And who did she ask to be godfather? Who else but Charles.
It was a tragedy that finally brought Charles and Camilla back together.
In 1979, the IRA assassinated Lord Mountbatten, a man who had played an enormous role in the future king's life, and she immediately offered her unwavering support. Coincidentally, only four months later, Andrew was posted to Zimbabwe to help the country transition to independence.
When rumours of Andrew's alleged infidelity while in Africa reached his wife, it seems nearly inevitable what happened next. The Prince, who was now dating Lady Diana Spencer, fell back into the arms of his former paramour. (As one wag put it: "Only Camilla Parker Bowles could find a way to reheat a souffle.")
And the rest is messy history.
Today, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall are two septuagenarians who appear to be in love as ever. And during Ascot week this year, Princess Anne was photographed enjoying a smashing day out with a very familiar face by her side — Andrew Parker Bowles.