The Netflix series “The Crown” has focused on this turbulent period in recent seasons, introducing some viewers to Camilla while reminding others of her past.
So what can we expect from Britain’s new Queen Consort?
Born Camilla Shand in July 1947, she grew up in the English countryside where she developed a passion for horses.
She reportedly met and became friends with Prince Charles at a polo match in Windsor in 1970. The following year Charles joined the Royal Navy, and while he was away Camilla married cavalry officer Andrew Parker Bowles. The couple had two children in the 1970s.
Diana confirmed her and her own infidelity when she said during a bombshell interview with the BBC the following year, “We had the three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit of a crowd.”
Camilla divorced Andrew Parker Bowles in 1995. The following year, Charles and Diana divorced, and Camilla nearly disappeared from public life as public and media support swayed behind the princess. Pro-Diana, anti-Camilla sentiment was heightened by sympathy for Diana after she was killed in a high-speed car crash in Paris in 1997.
In 1999, Clarence House embarked on a program to reintroduce Camilla to the public with her first carefully edited appearance with Charles outside the Ritz Hotel in London. She moved to Clarence House to be with Charles, and her name started appearing in official papers.
Six years later, their decades-long love story culminated when they married in Windsor with the Queen’s consent. Camilla, now known as Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, has been confirmed as Charles’ official wife and future queen of the United Kingdom.
Despite her fear of flying, the Duchess started life as a senior royal, supporting Charles on official duties in the UK and on tours overseas. With his communal touch and ability to diffuse tension in a room, he soon became an asset to royalty and the British government.
“It’s always nice to have someone by your side,” Prince Charles told CNN in 2015. “He’s a huge support. The good thing is, we laugh a lot because he sees the funny side of life, thank goodness. It adds a tremendous amount to everything.”
Camilla also defined her own royal role, supporting causes that are close to her heart, such as children’s literacy, and supporting victims of domestic violence. During a visit to a women’s shelter in Bristol, England in 2017, she told CNN she was able to use her position to highlight the plight of “brave women” suffering at the hands of her partners. “Seeing is believing, hearing is believing,” she said.
The Duchess has also worked to raise awareness about osteoporosis, a disease that affects both her mother and grandmother. “He feels deeply about it,” Prince Charles told CNN in 2015.
“I think he’s done great things about violence against women, rape and sexual violence. I think he’s been pretty remarkable with what he’s done on that front. And again with all his work on literacy, because he’s angry. He’s reading and his father was a great reader and I think he encouraged him that way, that That’s why it devours all kinds of books.”
“I’m proud of him and everything he’s tried to support me with, which is great for him,” Charles said.
As Camilla’s family grew, a new passion for the grandchildren developed. “She’s a professional grandmother,” one of her aides told CNN in 2013.
Camilla automatically became queen as soon as her husband became king. However, Clarence House issued a statement in 2005 saying she would be known as “Princess Consort” instead, and it was long thought she would not use that title. At the time, some in the palace felt that the public was not ready for Camilla to take on a title given to Diana.
But over the years, attitudes towards Camilla have softened. In 2015, a CNN poll found that one in four Britons is starting to like her, and fewer and fewer people are opposed to being recognized as queen.
Then, in February 2022, the Queen used the landmark landmark of her Platinum Jubilee to bless the Duchess of Cornwall to be known as queen when her time comes.
In a message celebrating the 70th anniversary of her ascension to the British throne, she said: “I know that in time, when my son Charles becomes King, you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support you have given me, and when that time comes I sincerely wish Camilla to be known as the Queen Consort as she continues her faithful service. ”
In response, a spokesperson for Charles and Camilla said they were “impressed and honored by His Majesty’s words”.
It was an extremely important intervention by the monarch, who was the only one who could define royal titles.
Elizabeth’s move to future-proof the monarchy highlighted that Camilla was no longer seen – neither publicly nor within the palace walls – as a royal mistress, but as a central figure at the very heart of the “firm”.
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