Royal biographer Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story, William & Catherine: Their Lives, Their Wedding) spoke to Celebuzz about his theory on Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and her alleged plan to become queen when Prince Charles ascends the throne.
With William safely in her pocket, Camilla’s focus has subsequently turned to Catherine. She is the most glamorous royal, the most talked about new arrival into the House of Windsor since, yes, Princess Diana. Camilla is happy to bask in her reflected glory, pleased to be accepted by the super-popular Catherine and, by association, acceptable to the British public.
Charles formally introduced Prince William to Camilla (then Parker-Bowles) at St. James’s Palace in 1998, a meeting which prompted Camilla to request a “stiff gin” afterwards.
It is a slow, subtle process. When Charles married Camilla in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall, on 9 April 2005, it was stated that she would never be Queen. As time passes and as memories fade, however, Camilla has become a familiar part of the royal family. Throughout the four-day Jubilee celebration, Diana’s name was barely mentioned. In the grand plan to make Camilla Queen one day, the link with Catherine — ‘The New Diana’ — is an invaluable and vital stepping stone.
With all due respect, I take great issue in turning the Duchess of Cornwall into a Disney villain, eager to take the crown once Her Majesty’s reign comes to an end. Camilla, as we’ve seen, has done her best to blend into the background of royal life and not stand out too much. She’s taken on more royal engagements in the past couple of years, showing the British public that she’s not the calculating mistress everyone assumes she was.
True, the affair she carried on with Charles during his marriage to the late Diana was wrong, and I’m sure both he and Camilla know that. However, the fact that Charles and Camilla still remained together after the Princess of Wales’ untimely death, then marrying in 2005 shows how in love they are.
And the fact that she’s grown close to Catherine is, in my opinion, lovely. She’s one of the only royals who can give the Duchess of Cambridge tips on surviving life in the spotlight, and she’s known for her wicked sense of humor.
As for her role as a consort, Camilla has made it clear that she is not replacing Diana in any way (the reason she did not accept the Princess of Wales title upon marrying Charles. She feared it would remind people too much of the late princess and therefore never give her a chance to grown on them).
My friend and ABC royal reporter Victoria Arbiter confirmed my suspicions regarding Camilla’s title when Charles becomes king:
Though her wishes will be definitely considered, more than anything Camilla’s playing a very safe political game. She’s right, because even though there is a fondness growing in the country for Camilla, I think she’s actually a bit behooved. She obviously makes Charles happy and it helps that William and Harry like her, because that’s actually given her a subconscious seal of approval. But she also very aware of the fact that everyone was expecting Diana to be queen, and as a mark of respect to Diana, William and Harry, I think she’s very keen to not usurp and overstep her role.
They’ll both wait for public opinion, and they’ll wait for public approval and I don’t think Camilla is eager to be Queen. She didn’t get into all of this to be Queen. They sought this out because they were in love. And I think she’s just going to be a wonderful support to Prince Charles. She’s going to be by his side. We can probably see a role similar to Prince Philip supporting the Queen really.
In fact, it’s been reported that Camilla would prefer to have the title “Princess Consort” rather than Queen, but that decision is up to Parliament.
For Morton’s full story on the Duchess of Cornwall, head over to Celebuzz.