Camilla, finally the queen consort, went to the gathering a long time ago

Camilla, finally the queen consort, went to the gathering a long time ago

It happened that I was a guest at the Governor General’s garden party that day, and it was evident from the start that the Duchess had a happy knack for attracting people.

She proved to be warm and fun and possessed a quality that put those she met at ease. Her bursts of laughter accompanied her as she walked around, reaching out to offer a pearl to each guest.

“We’ve met before, haven’t we?” he declared she as he reached my corner.

I confessed to my notebook and followed her and Charles as they embarked on a series of visits to Melbourne a few days earlier, but I couldn’t imagine how she could imagine we had actually met.

“I never forget a face, you know,” she said, and asked mischievously why I might care to follow her around. She wanted to know who was the lovely young woman who was accompanying me (she was my daughter) and if I liked garden parties and champagne or if I preferred to participate in a barbecue with beer. It was a wonderfully casual, if slightly bizarre, conversation.

No one was quite sure then if Camilla would become queen when Charles eventually became king. Clarence House has argued for years that she would be known simply as “princess consort”, a step up from Queen.

King Charles III and Camilla, the queen consort, observe the floral tributes at Buckingham Palace.

King Charles III and Camilla, the queen consort, observe the floral tributes at Buckingham Palace.Credit:Getty

Queen Elizabeth II finally hushed up when in her 2022 message to celebrate the 70th anniversary of her reign, she stated that it was her “sincere wish” that Camilla would be known as “queen consort” after the accession to the throne of Charles.

As Camilla is therefore the queen consort of the King of Australia now that Queen Elizabeth is gone, that visit to Australia in 2012 was an important step.

It was, to put it simply, a test to see if he could pass the gathering among the colonials.

That he had captivated guests with his charm was perhaps not surprising. Camilla learned the arts of aristocratic behavior at 16 when she attended a Swiss postgraduate school. She lived a life in the spotlight of an often critical audience and the media has clearly taught her a lot about resilience ever since.

Memorably, Charles and his first wife, Diana, Princess of Wales, had spent a month in Australia in 1983 when Diana insisted on bringing their baby William. Diana proved immensely popular, drawing adoring crowds wherever the tour took the couple.

In fact, his popularity far outshone that of Charles, who has been reliably reported as irritated.

He often seemed tense and aloof when he and Diana flew back to Albury in the evening from their interstate tour, to be greeted by a consistently large crowd. Their base was on a property called Woomargama Station north of Albury, which proved convenient for my account of that royal tour from long ago: I was stationed in those days at the Albury Border Morning Mail.

Diana and Charles separated in 1992, divorced in 1996, and Diana died in a car accident in Paris in 1997.

Carlo and his longtime mistress, Camilla – both divorced, whose relationship dates back to the early 1970s – were married on April 5, 2005. It was the first time a divorced man had married the heir to the throne without upsetting the family. ‘Ascension Day .

Despite the onset of public unease – and a hint of indignation – over such a controversial meeting, it has long been clear to anyone who cares to watch that the relationship between Charles and Camilla is genuinely close.

Even that day under the awning on the Governor-General’s lawn, the couple – circulating separately, as required by protocol – often caught each other’s attention, as if sharing secret messages and jokes.

Camilla, who celebrated her 75th birthday on July 17, 2022, has over the years become a central and hardworking member of The Firm, the tough shortcut to the royal family, as one would expect from a future queen.

He has assumed nearly 100 sponsorships and presidencies of charities, arts and literacy organizations, health groups and animal welfare concerns. He worked constantly to raise awareness of osteoporosis and revealed that her mother was in pain and died from her condition.

At the center of his interests are organizations dedicated to survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse and rape. She regularly and privately visits shelters for men and women, both in Britain and during her travels abroad.


Camilla has two children, Tom and Laura, from her previous marriage to British Army Officer Andrew Parker Bowles, from whom she divorced in 1995. There are five teenage grandchildren, to whom Camilla admits she spends a lot of time texting text and swap treats.

All her duties, however, prevent her from spending much time with Charles.

In a long and rare interview with Vogue magazine in 2022, Camilla said she and her husband tried to meet every day.

“Sometimes it is as if the ships go by at night, but we always sit down, have a cup of tea and discuss the day. We have a moment, “she was quoted in the article.

“It’s nice to catch up when we have some time. You know when we leave, the coolest thing is that we actually sit and read our books in different corners of the room. It’s very relaxing because you know we don’t have to have conversation. Sit down and stay together.

And so a Camilla emerged who no longer has to undergo the scrutiny of strangers to be judged if she goes to the gathering as real.

After a long and often tumultuous journey, she is the Queen consort, happy to be in easy communion with her longtime lover and since 2005 her husband, now King, when the daily duties are over.

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