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King Charles III

Back to school with the Duchess of Cornwall

Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall

The Duchess of Cornwall first started her education at the age of five. A co-educational school in Sussex, Dumbrells School was the first of many schools for Camilla.

Biographer Gyles Brandreth described Camilla’s childhood as an “Enid Blyton sort of Childhood”.

When she turned ten, the future Duchess of Cornwall went to Queen’s Gate in South Kensington. Some have described the school as providing “wives for the Foreign Office and most of the nobility.”  When leaving the school that taught lessons such as cookery and flower arranging, she had one O-level.

Her parents transferred her before her A-levels.

Lynn Ripley, pop singer of Twinkle, went to school with Camilla at Queen’s Gate, who gave insight into what the popular student known as “Milla” of “inner strength” exuding “magnetism and confidence” was like.

“[Camilla] started to wear way-out clothes, but Milla never got out of her twinsets and tweed skirts. She didn’t seem to mind being different to the others. Girls can be cruel, but there was an inner something in Milla that others recognised as stronger,” recalled Ripley.

By the time she was 16-years-old, Camilla went to Mon Fertile, a finishing school in Switzerland. Camilla had the reputation as “quite deliciously wonderful.”

A fellow pupil spoke of Camilla’s charm: “When a boy hove into view, she could turn on the headlights — and how!”

After graduating in Switzerland, she made her own choice to head to Paris where at the University of London Institute in Paris to study French literature and learn the language for six months.

Upon returning to London, she appeared as a debutante and moved into a Kensington flat with her friend Jane Wyndham.

Before marrying Andrew Parker Bowles, Camilla worked as a secretary at a few different firms and a receptionist at the decorating firm Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler.