Camilla’s 50-year relationship with Charles has been tumultuous, but after years of being stigmatized as the “other lady”, she is becoming comfortable in the affection of the British public. Many see him as a no-fuss royal, with neither temper nor aristocratic air, the steadfast peace on Charles’ side.
a YouGov Poll shows that 53 per cent of Britons approve of Camilla and say she would do well as queen consort, up from 33 per cent five years ago. Her highest ratings come from women and people over 50.
“It’s a wonderful transformation,” said William Shawcross, a royal biographer who has known Camilla since they were children and who attended Charles’ wedding.
“They have found it much easier than expected to adapt to the pressures and stresses of royal life,” he said. “She is absolutely indispensable to him.”
Justin Roberts, Founder and CEO mums netThe UK’s largest online forum for parents, said there has been a “sea change” in Camilla’s perceptions.
“At first they had to deal with being the ‘other woman,’ but it’s pretty clear they’re pretty much committed to each other and it’s a real romance,” Roberts said.
Roberts said Camilla’s work on a range of causes, including violence against women and girls, has helped elevate her image. “Looks like he’s a really caring person,” she said.
In the nonstop media coverage since the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week, Camilla has been in the public eye almost constantly. She seems to take little interest in being the center of attention herself, preferring to just stand aside.
Camilla and Charles have lived in the interconnected world of the British upper crust for their entire lives. They met in 1970 at a polo match and began dating. When Charles left to serve in the Navy in 1972 without asking Camilla any commitments, he didn’t wait.
The next year, she married Andrew Parker Bowles, an aristocrat seven years older than her, who was a page at the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and played polo with Charles when he was younger.
Charles remained friendly with the couple, who had two children together, Tom and Laura. Charles became Tom’s godfather (and now his stepfather too).
Charles married Diana in 1981, with Camilla and her husband in attendance as guests. As soon as both marriages started falling apart, Charles and Camilla’s affair started.
Queen Elizabeth II was not happy. In her biography of the Queen, Sally Bedell Smith reported that after several martinis, she referred to Camilla as “that evil lady”.
Princess Diana stepped on TV in 1995, a year before her divorce from Charles and complained “three of us“At her wedding. British media reported Camilla was pelted with bread rolls in a supermarket.
“That was a terrible time,” Shawcross said. “It was terrible.”
Of course, not all British people are fans of the monarchy, and even some people who adore royals are still not Camilla fans.
“If Diana were alive, she would be the Queen of England today. It’s hard not to think about it. Does that mean I like Charles and Camilla less? Maybe yes,” said 60-year-old London grocery store cashier William Snyder he said.
For a quarter century, a concerted effort has been made to improve Camilla’s image. After Diana’s death in a car accident in 1997, Camilla largely disappeared from public view.
Two years later, Charles consulted a public relations specialist, Mark Boland, who designed a media campaign to help Britons see Charles and Camilla as a couple.
In what he called “Operation Ritz”, Boland made sure every media outlet in the country knew that Charles and Camilla would make their first public appearance together at their sister’s 50th birthday party at the Ritz Hotel in London. Photos taken that night dominated newspapers, magazines and TV broadcasts.
It would take time to conquer the queen, but the two women shared love of horses And often went to races together.
Shawcross added that Camilla also “got along very well with Prince Philip. A lot of people were intimidated or intimidated by him. Not him.” She placed herself with Charles’ father.
Camilla began to be described as a companion, not a mistress. She moved in with Charles in 2003. And finally, 35 years after they met, they got married in 2005.
At the time, opinion polls showed that only 7 percent of Britons thought she should ever become queen.
Five months later, Prince Harry defended Camilla on her 21st birthday, telling the British press that she was “not a bad stepmother.”
“Everyone has to understand that this is very difficult for him,” he said. “Look at the situation she’s in. Don’t always feel sorry for me and William, feel sorry for her. … We’re so grateful to her. She’s made our father so happy.”
Camilla’s mischievous sense of humor went viral in 2019, during a visit to London by then-President Donald Trump.
After Charles and Camilla pose with Donald and Melania Trump for a photo op at Clarence House, Charles begins leading the Americans to another room for tea. Camilla turned in the opposite direction and To flirt To the members of the press.
It was a sly gesture that was widely interpreted, in a country where Trump was as popular as an empty pint glass, as the sharp-tongued Duchess said, “Can you believe it?”
Now, as they assume their new roles—King Charles III, 73, and Camilla, Queen Consort, 75—the public finds them familiar as furniture.
Many people also find their complicated family relatable. They are the first king and queen consort to have been previously divorced, and the first to have stepchildren.
Camilla’s children are far less important than those of Charles’ global celebrity sons, Princesses William and Harry. Tom Parker Bowles is a food critic, and Laura Lopes is an art curator.
In a recent interview UK version of Vogue To celebrate her 75th birthday in July, Camilla said she avoids wearing a color she describes as “menopausal mauve”. She said she plays Wordle every day on her iPad and compares the scores with her granddaughter’s.
The public has also come to know him and his sincere laughter through him. social media presenceIncluding videos on Instagram showing him applauding Covid first-responders or napping with rescue dogs for the 1972 hit “Puppy Love” by Donny Osmond.
This week, she was persuaded in a TikTok video to move from Charles’ “side chick” to his queen consort.
“I really like her,” said 22-year-old Jody Barrett, receptionist at a hair salon in London’s Chelsea neighborhood. Asked why, she said Camilla wasn’t as memorable as Diana, but found nothing to dislike.
Roberts said Camilla has been discussed a lot on Mumsnet’s online forums, most of which are friendly.
“It’s definitely won over what was initially a very suspicious crowd,” she said. “People think he’ll have a lot of fun having a drink with her – quite the opposite.”