Camilla uses country 'bolthole' to escape royal life says expert
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The long-standing issue of which title the Duchess of Cornwall would assume following the accession to the throne of Prince Charles was resolved by Her Majesty through a statement released on February 5. On the eve of the beginning of her Platinum Jubilee, the Queen sanctioned the use of the Queen Consort title for Camilla.
After thanking the public for the unwavering support she has received during the past seven decades, the monarch said: “And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when the time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”
Royal author Andrew Morton, who recently released the biography The Queen, suggested this statement was helpful in solving the issue surrounding Camilla’s future title.
He told Express.co.uk: “The Queen adding her weight to Camilla being called Queen [Consort] has given it considerable impetus.
“But I am quite sure there are still people who feel she shouldn’t be Queen, that she should remain as a Duchess.”
Mr Morton, who in 1992 famously wrote the biography Diana: Her True Story with the secret help of the Princess of Wales, also said: “The ‘gorilla in the room’ is Camilla, it is unspoken.
“I’d be interested to see what an opinion poll says.
“I think most people find Camilla as a good egg, a decent person, she supported Charles and made him happy.
“But there is still that kind of sense of what would have happened had she not been around.”
Camilla and Prince Charles met in the 1970s, years before the Prince and Princess of Wales’ wedding in July 1981.
For years, the pair were involved in an extramarital affair that started in 1986, according to the Prince’s authorised biography by Jonathan Dimbleby.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles officially separated in December 1992, as announced by then Prime Minister John Major.
In January 1995, 11 months prior to the broadcast of Diana’s BBC Panorama interview, the now Duchess of Cornwall divorced Andrew Parker Bowles, the Army cavalry officer she had married in 1973.
In the following year, Diana and Charles also finalised their divorce.
Charles and Camilla made their relationship public in January 1999 by leaving together the 50th birthday party thrown at The Ritz Hotel in London for the Duchess’ sister.
Six years later, Camilla officially joined the Royal Family by marriage, as she tied the knot with the Prince of Wales in a civil ceremony during which Prince William was the groom’s best man.
In honour of Diana’s memory – and aware of the public’s negative feelings towards Camilla – Clarence House announced at the time the Duchess would not take on the title of Princess of Wales.
Similarly, upon the accession to the throne of Charles, royal officials said at the time the Duchess would take the title of Princess Consort rather than Queen Consort.
Both Prince Charles and Camilla spoke about the honour granted to the Duchess by the Queen’s February statement.
In a message penned by the Prince of Wales on February 6, Charles said: “We are deeply conscious of the honour represented by my mother’s wish.
“As we have sought together to serve and support Her Majesty and the people of our communities, my darling wife has been my own steadfast support throughout.”
A few days later, during an interview with presenter Emma Barnett about her work with victims of domestic violence, Camilla herself spoke about the Queen’s statement.
She said: “Of course it’s a great honour (becoming Queen Consort), it couldn’t be anything else.”
During the years, the Queen has shown her growing admiration and support for the Duchess.
In 2016, she was named to the Privy Council, a group of the sovereign’s most senior advisors.
Most recently, the Queen made Camilla a Lady of the Garter Order, the most senior order of knighthood in the British honours system.
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