Camilla Queen mourns her first love, Kevin Burke, dead at 77.


The Romance Between Camilla and Kevin

Kevin Burke, the man who first made the future queen Camilla fall in love, has died at the age of 77. The two met in 1965 during a party organized at an exclusive Knightsbridge venue by Major Bruce and Rosalind Shand in honor of their seventeen-year-old daughter ready to enter society. For Milla Shand, as she was known then, it was love at first sight, if it is true that only a few days later she lost her virginity with the young gentleman. A detail that, according to the British press, changed history: when Camilla met Charles five years later, the lost innocence – according to royal etiquette – would have been one of the main impediments to a possible marriage. The story between Milla and Kevin was short but intense. He himself spoke of it in 2012 in the biography of Jessica Jayne The Duchess of Cornwall: the story and secrets of Camilla. “Every night we had two or three cocktail parties to go to and a couple of dances to choose from at the weekend in the countryside. All we needed was enough money for the petrol (Kevin had a yellow Jaguar that Camilla had nicknamed The Egg, ed). It was the best time, with the best and most fun partner I could wish for. Camilla was very funny, immensely popular and, although she was not a beauty, she was attractive and sexy. She was never shy and always had something funny to say. I stayed with Camilla all that year. I suppose we were in love. Then she dumped me.

The Relationship Between Camilla and Andrew Parker Bowles

Why did Camilla dump him? The short answer is that she was busy with her dances in London. In fact, Camilla, who was often photographed at London parties with different boys at the time, was falling in love with Andrew Parker Bowles, an army officer whose parents were intimate friends of the Queen Mother, whom she married in 1973 and from whom she had two children Tom and Laura. At first, however, the story between Camilla and the captain was a continuous tug of war: during an “off” period he even had a relationship with Princess Anne. And it was during this period that Camilla, at a polo match, met the future lover Charles, who only in 2005 would become her second husband. For his part, Kevin repeatedly declared himself hostile to the marriage for many years.

Kevin Burke’s Later Life

But in the end he also went to the altar twice: the first, at the age of 42, with the 26-year-old advertising executive Peta Baker (from whom he separated in 2001); the second with the former headhunter Luisa Fairey, from whom, at the age of 58, he had his only son. The millionaire Burke’s funeral, a commercial doctor and director of three oil companies, will take place at St Mary’s Church, Petworth, on September 5, 2023.


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