The Queen has given her full support to Camilla in a rare statement backing her to become Queen Consort when Prince Charles takes the throne – but their relationship hasn’t always been totally smooth
The Duchess of Cornwall has received the ultimate seal of approval from her mother-in-law the Queen.
In a statement to mark her Platinum Jubilee, Her Majesty expressed her “sincere wish” for Camilla to be Queen Consort when Prince Charles takes the throne.
It marks a remarkable turnaround for Camilla, who had previously struggled to win over the public following her extra-marital affair with Charles when he was still married to the late Princess Diana.
But it’s not just the public Camilla had to win over – she’s also apparently had a tricky bond with the Queen herself – who, according to author Tom Bower, used to call the Duchess “that wicked woman”.
Refusal to meet
Camilla had an extremely difficult beginning to her royal journey, especially after Diana’s infamous Panorama interview with Martin Bashir.
In it, she talked about Camilla’s relationship with Charles and famously said: “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
In his book Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles, author Tom Bower claims the Queen had been set against the Prince’s long-term mistress from the beginning.
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Princess Margaret even tried to intercede on his behalf but the Queen did not want to meet or even discuss Camilla.
The author writes that Charles tried to speak to his mother on several occasions, but she would not condone his adultery, nor forgive Camilla for not leaving Charles alone to allow his marriage to recover.
At a reception for King Constantine in Greece in 2000, the Queen reportedly refused to be introduced to Camilla.
The Queen also continued to exclude Camilla from royal ceremonies and official dinners in the lead up to her wedding to Prince Charles in 2005.
Signs of the Queen’s early acceptance of Camilla came before she became engaged to Charles.
It is believed that Charles asked his mother, and his sons Prince William and Prince Harry, for their blessing before popping the question.
And all three are thought to have been supportive of his decision.
However, despite giving her marriage blessing, when the wedding day itself came, the Queen did not attend the civil ceremony and only went to the wedding reception.
Writing in The Telegraph in April 2005, Andrew Alderson explained: “The Queen has let it be known that the reason she will not be attending the wedding of Prince of Wales is because she is putting her duties as the head of the Church of England before family feelings.”
She reportedly told a friend: “I am not able to go. I do not feel that my position [as Supreme Governor of the Church of England] allow it.”
However she did attend the wedding reception, but Tom Bower claims she didn’t speak to Camilla and stood with her for just “52 seconds” for an official photo.
When it was the Queen’s time to give a speech, she mainly referred to the Grand National – which was also taking place that day.
The Monarch actually made sure the timings of the day allowed her to pop off and watch the race, setting up a TV in a side room.
However, it appears that in the years after the wedding the Queen’s, as well as the public’s, opinion on Camilla had begun to soften.
And could it be the Queen and Camilla strengthened their bond over on major shared interest – horses?
Of course, Her Majesty is horse-mad and Camilla has also spoken out in the past about her passion for the animals and is a regular at race meetings.
And last year, Camilla praised the Queen’s huge knowledge of the racing world during a visit to Royal Ascot.
She told ITV Racing: “She could tell you every horse she’s bred and owned from the very beginning – she doesn’t forget anything. I can hardly remember what I bred a year ago but she’s encyclopaedic about her knowledge.”
Camilla has played a vital role in The Firm and continues to work hard to support the Queen and champion causes close to her heart with passion and dedication.
And in recent years, the Queen has recognized her hard work by giving her several top honours.
In 2016, she was appointed to the Privy Council, which advises the monarch on matters of state.
In recent years, she’s also accompanied Prince Charles and the Queen to the State Opening of Parliament and has been at receptions for world leaders at the G7 summit in June and the COP26 summit.
And at the beginning of this year, it was revealed that she had been made a Royal Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, which is the oldest and most senior of the Orders of Chivalry – and one of the highest honors from the Queen.
seal of approval
However, Camilla’s ultimate seal of approval from the Queen came just this weekend in a statement to mark 70 years on the throne.
She used her Platinum Jubilee message to tell the world she wants Camilla to become Queen Consort when she dies and Charles takes the throne.
She wrote: “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 that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”
Her words show the drastic change in her relationship with her daughter-in-law.