Luke Parker Bowles has a royal connection.
The film and television producer, 44, is the nephew of Queen Camilla and is sharing his story following the accession of her husband, King Charles III. Parker Bowles, who relocated from the UK to New Jersey in 2005, recently reflected on what it was like to grow up with a surname that shot to household fame as the spotlight got hotter on Camilla and Charles’ relationship in the 1990s.
“I read that when you were younger, you were actually sometimes bullied,” cohost Jenna Bush Hager said in a segment that aired Wednesday on TODAY.
“It was a rough time. It was not a great time to be a Parker Bowles, but it hasn’t scarred me,” each guest said. “All of us — my cousins, my brother — we’ve always been involved in charity. It’s much more important to be doing charitable things, not to be ‘holier than thou,’ just because it gives you a focus.”
Parker Bowles, who is linked to the Queen Consort through her first marriage to Andrew Parker Bowles, elaborated more about pouring his energy into positive causes in a similar interview with The New York Times.
“I learned to do charity at a very young age. It was instilled in me by my parents and grandparents because they didn’t want me to be part of the chaos of the early days of my aunt and Prince Charles’s relationship,” he told the paper in a profile published Sunday. “When I was at boarding school, I remember getting bullied and even death threats because people put together that Diana had died because of Camilla, and therefore I had killed Diana by association.”
“It was not a happy time, and I wanted to deflect that so I got involved in charities,” he continued. “I remember swimming three hours nonstop (which is bonkers) for charity. I loved it and I loved focusing on what I could do for other people, instead of focusing on getting bullied.”
Today, Parker Bowles is just as passionate about service. He is a director for The Queen Elizabeth II September 11th Garden in New York City, a memorial for the 67 British and Commonwealth citizens who died in the 2001 terrorist attacks. He also founded and runs CinemaLab, which helps refurbish and revive small-town movie theaters as community gathering places.
In professional accolades, he previously chaired BAFTA New York and worked on hit films like Love Actually, Bridget Jones’ Diary: The Edge of Reason and About a Boy. He also organizes the Montclair Film Festival, which Stephen Colbert is also involved in.
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Parker Bowles relocated from the UK to the US in 2005 after falling in love with his wife, Daniela. Today, the couple lives with their three children in Montclair, New Jersey, just outside Manhattan, and Parker Bowles says he’s proud to be an unofficial diplomat for his royal relations.
“I do like being an ambassador for her and His Majesty in New York,” he told the times. “I am the Parker Bowles who is here.”