Royal author Christopher Andersen wrote in his book “Game Of Crowns” how Camilla Parker-Bowles seems to have planned her way from being the third party in Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage to being the future queen. Describing Camilla as a “wicked, wicked woman,” Andersen recounted how Camilla found her way to the royal circle from the first time she met Prince Charles when she was only 24.

On their first meeting, Camilla Parker-Bowles curtsied to Prince Charles and told him about her great-grandmother’s affair with his great-great-grandfather. “My great-grandmother and your great-great-grandfather were lovers,” she said. “So what about it?” she added.

Camilla’s great grandmother, Alice Keppel, was the famous mistress of King Edward VII. Keppel, who was famous for her line “My job is to curtsy first and then jump into bed,” conducted her affairs right under the nose of her husband, George Keppel.

According to Andersen, the young Camilla still took pride in her great-grandmother’s exploits, even ordering her classmates to bow down before her because she’s the great-granddaughter of the King’s lover. “We’re practically royalty,” she told her classmates.

Actress Lynn Redgrave, Camilla’s senior in their school at Queen’s Gate, revealed in a previous interview that landing a wealthy husband had always been on the top of Camilla’s agenda. The actress revealed that even at a young age, Camilla already thought that marrying well would be the most exciting of all. Another Queen’s Gate alumna, Carolyn Benson, supported Redgrave’s claim and described Camilla as “quite a flirt” during their teenage years, always talking to boys to catch their attention.

Andersen revealed in his book that when Camilla worked in London and shared a flat with two aristocratic young women, her flatmates asked her why she still wasn’t married to a wealthy man like them. “I’m holding out for a king,” she said, suggesting that her real business was to land an heir to the throne. That explains why even as Camilla married Army officer Andrew Parker-Bowles and Prince Charles wed Princess Diana, she never stopped seeing the Prince of Wales.

Years later, Princess Diana found out about their secret affair and confronted her husband’s mistress. Things like that seem unthinkable in royal circles, but it did happen. In 1996, Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorced, a year after Camilla left her husband, Andrew. At the time of their split, Camilla had been carrying on her affair with Prince Charles for 23 long years.

Just a year after Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s divorce was finalized, Camilla approached a media spin master to help her with how she could win the hearts and minds of the people. In 1997, she met over lunch with Prince Charles and two PR practitioners to come up with a top-secret scheme to make the scorned mistress’ image acceptable as Princess Diana’s successor. The plan was known as “Operation Parker Bowles.”

According to Lady Elsa Bowker, Camilla immediately plotted to become the next queen after Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s divorce. “She thought the most she could hope for was to someday be the king’s mistress, but now Diana was out of the way and Camilla wanted more,” she said.

After Princess Diana’s death, Camilla allegedly continued to flaunt her status as the official mistress of the future monarch, attending events with the diamond brooch that bears the Prince of Wales’ distinctive emblem. On her public appearances with Prince Charles, she wore Princess Diana’s favorite $200,000 necklace.

When Prince Charles married her in 2005, Camilla said she was not after the title of Princess of Wales. However, she clearly ramped up efforts to win the public’s approval and be accepted as the next king’s rightful companion. Today, her transformation from “scarlet woman” to the Duchess of Cornwall is pretty remarkable, and many seem to have already forgotten how she broke Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ marriage more than two decades ago.

When Prince Charles becomes king, Camilla will automatically be called queen consort, whether the public approves of her or not. For Camilla not to be called queen when Prince Charles takes over the throne will require a change in ancient royal laws since all kings’ wives in the past have been called queens. With Prince Charles being the first in line to the throne, Camilla is only one step closer to fulfilling her dream of being a king’s wife.

Camilla Parker Bowles Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, visits Jasmine Villa Hospice on March 28, 2019, in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Chris Jackson-WPA Pool/Getty Images