Prince Charles Opens Up On Love Of His Life — Gushes Over Mistress-Turned-Wife Camilla [Video]

In a rare, revealing interview, Prince Charles opens up about the love of his life, his former mistress Camilla Parker Bowles, to whom he has now been married to for a decade — after waiting eight years from the death of his first wife Princess Diana in a Paris car crash.

Parker Bowles and Prince Charles had been deeply involved on an intimate level for about 25 years when they finally wed in a civil ceremony in 2005. The affair was well known within the British Royal Family throughout Prince Charles marriage to former Lady Diana Spencer, and played a major role in the divorce between what has been considered, albeit briefly, a storybook royal couple.

Charles himself was forced to publicly admit his adulterous affair on national television, after an illicitly tape-recorded phone call surfaced, in which Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were heard exchanging pillow talk of an overtly sexual nature.

At one point in the recording, Prince Charles is heard to tell Parker Bowles that after his death, “I want to be reincarnated as your tampon.”

Parker Bowles was herself married at the time.

After the 1997 death of Princess Diana, Parker Bowles became almost certainly the most loathed public figure in the United Kingdom, with nearly 90 percent of Britons saying they could never tolerate seeing her as England’s queen when Charles eventually succeeded his mother, Queen Elizabeth, on the British throne.

But that number has settled down to just 35 percent, in part due to a more relaxed approach to palace publicity — the latest example being a CNN interview with Prince Charles in advance of the Royal Couple’s second trip together to the United States.

Remarking on her “charm” and “charisma” in the interview, a relaxed, now 66-year-old Prince Charles waxes effusive — or as effusive as his reserved royal demeanor allows — over his 67-year-old spouse, who will officially be known as “Princess Consort” rather than “Queen,” when Charles becomes king, Buckingham Palace has said.

“It’s always marvelous to have somebody who, you know, you feel understands and wants to encourage. Although she certainly pokes fun if I get too serious about things. And all that helps,” Prince Charles tells CNN royal correspondent Max Foster in the interview.

He also has words of praise for the way Camilla Parker Bowles, now officially known as the Duchess of Cornwall, has taken on public issues, using her standing to promote causes about which she feels passionate.

“She’s done an enormous amount for the whole issue around osteoporosis, which of course runs in her family,” he says.

The CNN interview airs Saturday, March 14 at 1:30 pm and again at 9pm United States Eastern Time. Watch an excerpt from the interview in the video, above.

[Image: Royal Handout/Getty Images]