How 'Queen Consort' Camilla emerged from Princess Diana's shadow
The second wife of King Charles III was once called a "Rottweiler" by Princess Diana, but is now the Queen Consort of the United Kingdom. As Charles takes over Britain after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, he will be accompanied by Queen Consort Camilla, the woman who "replaced" Diana. Here's more about Camilla, once the most hated woman in Britain.
Why does this story matter?
The longest-serving British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away on Thursday after serving as the ruler for seven decades. The Queen had reportedly been on a summer break in Scotland since July and had been experiencing trouble walking and standing since October last year. The 96-year-old had named Charles as her successor, who, interestingly, had been the longest-serving heir to the crown.
What is the controversy around the Queen Consort?
In 1997, Camilla was depicted as the most hated woman in the UK after Diana, Charles's first wife, died in a car crash at the age of 36. Camilla's accession to the throne, or her even marrying Charles, seemed inconceivable 25 years ago. Diana, who divorced Charles in 1996, blamed Camilla for "wrecking" their marriage, according to Reuters.
Camilla and Diana are often compared
The 75-year-old, portrayed as staid and dowdy, has often been compared to Diana, who holds relevance in pop culture even after 25 years of her death. However, after Camilla and Charles married in 2005, the former has been recognized as an important member of the royal family of UK. She has reportedly had a calming effect on the soon-to-be sworn-in King Charles III.
Camilla in the royal family
In June 2022, on the 70th anniversary of her rule, Queen Elizabeth blessed Camilla and said that it was her sincere wish that the latter take up the title of 'Queen Consort.' Charles has termed her as his "steadfast support." In a secretly recorded call published in 1993, Camilla told Charles, "I'd suffer anything for you. That's love. That's the strength of love."
Who is the new Queen Consort?
Born Camilla Shand, she grew up on a country estate in London and went on to study in France. The 75-year-old reportedly met Charles at a polo field in the early 1970s, who "turned her world upside down." It is said that she often reminded Charles that her great-grandmother Alice Keppel was the mistress of King Edward VII and said, "So how about it?"
Charles, Diana, and Camilla
Charles married Diana in 1981 but the relationship fizzled out after the birth of their sons. In 1987, Charles reportedly rekindled his relationship with Camilla. The transcript of a secretly recorded call between Camilla and Charles shocked the public in 1993, after which Diana called Camilla "the Rottweiler." "There were three of us in this marriage-so it was a bit crowded," Diana famously said.
The couple married in 2005
For the Brits, it was difficult to understand why Charles would choose a country-loving Camilla over the glamorous Diana. In his letter to Diana, Prince Philip (Queen Elizabeth's husband) said, "Charles was silly to risk everything with Camilla for a man in his position." But, people close to Charles say she provided him an escape from the life of a royal.