“Warm-hearted with a wicked sense of humour” – this is how many royal commentators describe The Duchess of Cornwall who has now been married to Prince Charles for almost ten years. But despite the warm praise she receives from some, there is no doubt that Camilla is one of the most controversial members of The Royal Family in recent times.
Many blamed the 70-year-old for the inevitable marriage break-up between Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Some individuals even make such outlandish claims that Camilla was responsible for Diana’s death in 1997. The unjust controversy continued for years, especially when she married the heir to the throne in 2005. However, in 2014, people are at last starting to see and accept what a kind and generous person The Duchess really is, and with this, she is finally beginning to capture the heart of the nation.
Diana famously said in an interview before her death: “There were three of us in this marriage”. Camilla may well have played a small role at the end of the Charles & Diana’s break-up. Why? Because Charles has publicly said that Camilla had changed his world for the better. Neither Charles or Diana were happy together in the early nineties, which is why there was so much tension between them.
Also, Camilla is well received by her stepsons, Prince William and Prince Harry, as well as Her Majesty The Queen who is often seen laughing and joking with Camilla when together. If anybody says that Charles & Diana were better together than Charles & Camilla, they are very wrong!
There are still many loyal Diana fans around who are not willing to accept The Duchess of Cornwall for who she is. To them, I say this: Camilla is the only married woman in the UK (not including peers or Dames) not to have taken up her husband’s rank upon marriage. Instead of becoming The Princess of Wales, she became The Duchess of Cornwall so as not to diminish the memory of the late Diana. She is clearly very sensitive to the public’s attitude towards her, and despite the public dislike, Camilla has continued to undertake engagements and
support Prince Charles in his role. People who have met Camilla have noted her kindness and compassion, much like any other prominent female royal. Today, people cannot deny that The Duchess fits into The Royal Family perfectly, and always tries to please as many people as she can. Camilla is often seen joining in at official engagements, whether it trying on oversized hats or graciously greeting young children and putting them at ease.
But what is it that finally made the public see the real Camilla and how has she finally got the people’s backing? No doubt one of the reasons we admire Camilla is because we can see how much she enjoys herself and gets involved at engagements. Recent examples include her trying on fancy dress costumes that local school children made for her, and putting on a show for photographers when she danced some ballroom steps with Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood. And who can forget the time, alongside her husband, The Duchess gracefully presented the weather forecast on a tour of the BBC? All of these photo opportunities and public engagements certainly are a contributing factor to the public’s affection towards The Duchess.
However, it is her genuine interest and compassion which is what I think makes her the perfect Royal. When a child asks her a question, she will always answer. When somebody is talking, she will listen. When you write a letter to her, she replies personally to as many people as she can. I am not going to deny, Camilla will never have the same public support and interest that Diana had. However, for frequent Royal followers and watchers, it is clear that The Duchess has her own identity and does not need to be compared to Diana.
Before 2005, The Duchess tried to keep a low profile, most probably hurt by the media’s witch-hunt against her. Her civil marriage to Prince Charles was also very low profile and, compared to Charles & Diana’s and William & Kate’s wedding, it is barely memorable. It was a mistake in my opinion that The Queen did not attend their wedding due to religious reasons – this was just another reason for the public to mindlessly insult Camilla and use her as a scapegoat for being the cause of Diana’s death.
Hopefully, because of the increased public support and fondness of Camilla, she will one day become the next Queen. However, whether she will or won’t is still surrounded by a cloud of uncertainty. Click here to read a previous article on Royal Central, written by our former Editor-in-Chief Martin, explaining why Camilla must become Queen. It is time to recognise that The Duchess not only has the legal right to be crowned with her husband but that it would be unreasonable if she were not.
Has Camilla captured your heart and backing? Let us know in the comment box below why.