The Duchess of Cornwall endured a difficult entrance into the royal family. Given the controversy around hers and Prince Charles’ relationship, and the adoration the nation showed Charles’ first wife Diana, Camilla arguably didn’t have the easiest path to happiness.
But despite the rocky start, Camilla’s now regarded in high esteem by the family, and alongside joining Charles, attends her own royal engagements as a senior member of the monarchy.
But of course, it wasn’t always that rosy. In a new biography by royal author Penny Juror, details are revealed about the Duchess of Cornwall’s life, inlcuding why she was so apprehensive on her wedding day, to the point that she couldn’t even get out of bed.
“No one, least of all Camilla, knew what the reaction of the crowd at Windsor would be, what the media would say, or how the whole thing would go. Having once been widely reviled as an adulteress, she was almost paralysed with fear.”
Up until then, it’s rumoured that the Queen had been begrudgingly accepting of her son’s relationship with Camilla.
But there was one moment at the wedding that signified to Camilla that finally, she had been accepted into the fold by the monarch.
Penny Juror recounts in the book how Queen’s Elizabeth’s speech at the wedding, which actually took place on the day of the Grand National, solidified that she now saw her as a member of the family.
(The Queen, Charles and Camilla on their wedding day)
Of course, the Queen is famously a huge fan of horse-racing, and subtly compared her son and Camilla’s marriage to the champions circle at the famous racecourse.
According to Penny, writing for the Daily Mail, “She began [her speech] by saying she had two important announcements to make. The first was that Hedgehunter had won the race at Aintree; the second was that, at Windsor, she was delighted to be welcoming her son and his bride to the ‘winners’ enclosure.
The Queen reportedly went on to say of Charles and her now daughter-in-law, “They have overcome Becher’s Brook and The Chair and all kinds of other terrible obstacles.
“They have come through and I’m very proud and wish them well. My son is home and dry with the woman he loves.”
The day was poignant of course for Camilla, but Penny notes how much it also meant to Charles. His wife had now been accepted into his private and public life and so, “For the Prince, that day brought an end to his loneliness.
(Charles and Camilla on their wedding day)
“Camilla already shared his private life but not all of his public life, and it was on the long, gruelling foreign tours that he missed her the most.
“Henceforward she would be with him to share the travel, the feting by his hosts, the wining and dining, the concerts and spectacles that were laid on for him, the beautiful views that he was always taken to see.
“She’d be there to laugh with him at the absurdities and mishaps along the way and to chat, have a drink and unwind at the end of each day.”