As she turns 65, Camilla has won over the Royal Family
Time heals all wounds, as the saying goes, and nowhere is that more evident as the case of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who turns 65 today.
In 1998, a year after the death of Princess Diana, Charles went to his mother hoping to get her blessing for his relationship with Camilla, a relationship that had been well publicized for years and about which Diana had famously quipped: "There were three of us in this marriage". According to sources quoted in the Daily Mail: ‘The Queen told her son she never wanted to talk about that wicked woman, and wanted nothing to do with her.’
Fast forward to this summer and we find Camilla seated front and centre with the Queen during ceremonies marking Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. And a recent poll by The Sun in the UK (admittedly not the most rock solid source) found that a majority of its readers now favour Charles succeeding the Queen, a change from just a year ago when most favoured William being the next heir to ascend to the throne.
Here are a couple of articles about Camilla's rising stock in the Royal Family:
From the Daily Mail:
The sad absence of Prince Philip from the final glorious tableaux marking the Diamond Jubilee meant the Queen had the opportunity to decide with whom to share the affection of the public on that last open carriage ride through the streets of London to Buckingham Palace.
She chose the former Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles, now the Duchess of Cornwall.
The two women sat side by side, their comfortable level of intimacy plain to see. Prince Charles sat on the seat facing them. How true the old axiom that time changes everything.
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles leave the Ritz Hotel after a 50th birthday party for Parker-Bowles' sister on Jan. 28, 1999. It was the first time that the Prince allowed himself to be photographed with Parker-Bowles despite public knowledge of the couple's long-standing relationship. (Photo by Paul Hackett/Reuters)
And this from the Mirror:
IT was a royal seal of approval like no other.
Sitting in the 1902 State Landau in pride of place next to the Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall beamed as she waved to the crowds on the way to Buckingham Palace.
Her key role at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations underlined the amazing transformation of the woman who was once reviled by the public and seen by some royal courtiers as the woman who broke up Charles and Diana’s marriage.
For years she was the “other woman”, but yesterday Camilla’s increased prominence demonstrated she has been truly accepted as part of the Windsors’ future in the Queen’s new slimmed-down version of the Royal Family.
Her Majesty’s decision to have Camilla sitting in the Landau’s seat in the absence of Prince Philip, who was suddenly taken ill, emphatically told the country her daughter in law is now an important part of “The Firm”.
Queen Elizabeth is accompanied by Camilla along The Mall during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee procession in London on June 5, 2012. Queen Elizabeth II's husband Prince Philip was ill that day. Tom Hevezi/AFP/GettyImages
Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II, Camilla, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are seen onboard the Spirit of Chartwell during the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames during the Diamond Jubilee Thames River Pageant on June 3, 2012 in London. (Photo by John Stillwell WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles and Camilla are accompanied by Starblanket First Nation Chief Mike Starr at the The First Nations University of Canada in Regina on May 23, 2012. Charles and Camilla travelled to Canada as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Happy birthday indeed.