Duchess Camilla reveals her dream dinner party guests after 'boring' experience with neighbours

Duchess Camilla shared a list of fictional characters she'd invite to a dinner party after being forced to endure them as a child

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visits Westonbirt, The National Arboretum
(Image credit: Pool/Max Mumby / Contributor)

Duchess Camilla shared her dream dinner party guests at a recent engagement, after admitting she was forced to suffer through the 'boring' events as a child.

The Duchess of Cornwall has shared which fictional characters she'd host at a dinner party after previously admitting that her parents would force her to endure the 'boring' social gatherings as a child. 

The exciting snippet comes shortly after Camilla Parker Bowles revealed that the Queen watches Strictly Come Dancing, and even voted for its winner, Rose Ayling-Ellis. 

During her visit to the opening of the Meta offices in London with Prince Charles last week, the 74-year-old appeared in a short video for her book club, the Duchess' Reading Room. 

The virtual engagement saw the future Queen Consort answer members' questions on all things literary—including who she'd invite from the pages of her favorite novels for a get-together at Clarence House

"Well, I've got quite an extraordinary mixture," she announced, before launching into her detailed lineup for the imaginary shindig. 

First on the Duchess' guest list would be Edmond Dantès, the protagonist of Alexandre Dumas's 1844 adventure novel, The Count of Monte Cristo. She'd then 'spice up the whole thing' with 'two rather devious characters', Mrs. Danvers, from Daphne du Maurier's 1938 novel Rebecca, and "Count Fosco from The Woman in White." 

"I think they'd cause quite a lot of trouble and I wanted somebody a bit different," she explained. "Then I'd have a heroine of mine, Elizabeth Bennet. Just a good strong woman to keep the show on the road, so to speak." 

The last character to make Camilla's cut was Uncle Matthew from the 1945 novel, Pursuit of Love, by Nancy Mitford. The Duchess added that the abusive patriarch would 'probably' be asked to bring his 'entrenching tool to keep everyone under control.' 

"[There are] A lot more people I'd like to have but I think that would be a very good mixture."

It's hardly a surprise that the Duchess has put so much thought into this hypothetical scenario. The royal icon was obliged by her parents, Bruce and Rosalind Shand, to participate in the social gatherings from a young age and likely picked up a thing or two about what qualities warrant a seat at the table. 

The experiences also taught her the art of small talk—a skill that would later come in handy when she married Prince Charles and became a full-time working royal. 

"Once there was a dinner party at home with some of the most boring neighbors in the world and we were dragged down to join them for dinner,” Camilla said in a  2017 interview. 

“We used to complain and say, ‘Can’t we stay here and watch the television over fish fingers?’ and she’d [her mother] sit us down at the dinner table and the minute there was a silence, she used to say, ‘Talk! I don’t care what you talk about, talk about your budgie or your pony but keep the conversation going . . . ’ And so I’ve never been able not to talk. It’s in the psyche, not to leave a silence." 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.