Queen Camilla’s ‘sanity valve’ to help her balance ‘goldfish bowl’ scrutiny of royal life

Queen Camilla has kept a 'small part' of her life which is 'almost hers alone' despite her very public role, according to a royal expert

Queen Camilla’s "sanity valve" to balance royal life revealed by an expert. Seen here Queen Camilla names the new Household Cavalry Drum Horse
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Queen Camilla’s “sanity valve” that reportedly helps her balance the “goldfish bowl” scrutiny of royal life has been revealed by a royal expert.  

The months since the coronation have been packed with engagements and occasions for King Charles and Queen Camilla, including their first Holyrood Week as King and Queen Consort and Royal Ascot. On July 17, Her Majesty celebrated her 76th birthday in private though there was an epic first for Queen Camilla as the date was publicly honoured with a 41 gun salute in London. It’s not known how she spent her big day, though it’s possible Queen Camilla’s children and grandchildren enjoyed precious time with her.

Her ability to enjoy time outside the “goldfish bowl” of royal life is something that the BBC’s former Royal Correspondent Jennie Bond admires. Getting candid with OK! she suggested that Her Majesty has managed to keep a “small part” of her life entirely private. 

Queen Camilla with Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes watch the racing

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"Camilla has maintained a small part of her life which is hers and and almost hers alone and I rather admire that," she declared. "She has her own house where she can put her muddy Wellington boots on and a pair of old jeans and and romp around the garden with her grandchildren or just on her own, and just have some peace and calm and quiet.”

She bought Ray Mill House in Wiltshire after her divorce from Andrew Parker Bowles and it holds a special place in Queen Camilla’s heart. It was here that she chose to be photographed by the Princess of Wales for the cover of Country Life that she guest edited last year.

"We have to remember that Camilla agreed to get into this extraordinary goldfish bowl of royal life in her mid fifties - an age where most of us are very established in our lives,” Jennie explained.

King Charles and Queen Camilla in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle on their wedding day

(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein Collection/ROTA/WireImage via Getty)

According to Jennie it’s also part of Queen Camilla’s “sanity valve” as the royal expert claimed that keeping this “independent life” helps to balance the “intense” nature of royal life.

The former royal correspondent continued, "She has a history, she has a family, she has an independent life and has kept some of that, albeit a very small part, to herself. And I think it's almost like a sanity valve.” 

“Life as a royal is so intense, so strange, so scrutinised that just to be able to unscrew your lid once or twice a month and let all that steam out and just be yourself without the prying eyes of the world on you must keep her very balanced,” Jennie added. 

Queen Camilla visits Westonbirt, The National Arboretum

(Image credit: Photo by Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images)

Although it has not been officially confirmed, it was suggested that Ray Mill House was where Queen Camilla spent her time during King Charles’ solo vacation to Transylvania in June. Her time with family is also largely spent away from public scrutiny, though her children and grandchildren did attend her and the King’s coronation. Now it seems like her ability to keep part of her independent pre-royal life “to herself” helps to balance the pressure of her royal role.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!