In all royal houses there have been lovers but very few have become queens. Anne Boleyn did it and we already know how it ended. Times have changed and Camilla, née Shand, Parker-Bowles for her first marriage and Duchess of Cornwall for her second, is about to break the curse and when her husband Charles of Wales is proclaimed king she will, as they were, Isabel II wishes, the title of queen.
The Duchess of Cornwall turns 75 today and does so, after decades in obscurity, as one of the assets of the British crown and part of the hard core of the family. She, Charles of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, Jorge, Carlota and Luis, were the only ones to appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace accompanying Queen Elizabeth during her few appearances during the Jubilee. They are the chosen ones.
Camila’s presence gradually left behind the shadow of Diana, the martyred princess. The fairy tale changed its plot and the one who held the position of stepmother, the witch for decades, who should not have been, ended up eclipsing the sweet princess who disappeared prematurely.
Camila Parker’s life gives many stories. The daughter of a family of the lower British aristocracy, she had been part of the circle of the Prince of Wales since 1970, when she, aged 23, and he, aged 21, met. When they first met, Camila reminded Carlos that his great-great-grandfather, King Edward VII, had been the lover of his great-grandmother Alice Keppel. Carlos was dazzled by the audacity of the young woman, different from the girls who, so polite and cold, aspired to be the chosen ones.
Following a relationship that began in 1970, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall married in 2005.
Camila captivated Carlos, became his accomplice but didn’t want to be his girlfriend, much less marry him or the fate that awaited him. In 1973 Camila Shand married Andrew Parker-Bowles, who in turn had an affair with Princess Anne. They had two children, Thomas (1974) and Laura (1978), and in good English marriage, once the mission to start a family, Camila and Andrew returned to their old friendships. As Carlos searched for a suitable wife, Camila regained her position as a close friend and confidant and even agreed on Diana’s choice, both believing the young princess would fit into the triangle.
This is without counting on the emotional instability (which they themselves contributed to exacerbate) of the Princess of Wales and the affair exploded with the confessions of Diana and the leaks of the sexual audios of Carlos and Camila. The Princes of Wales separated in 1992 and obtained a divorce in 1995. Andrew and Camilla Parker-Bowles broke off their marriage in 1996 and the former lovers lived out their love in private until Diana’s death in 1997 opens the door to marriage.
Eight years had to pass until they left behind the trauma of Diana’s disappearance, and unexpectedly and against all odds, Carlos and Camila were married on April 9, 2005. Since then, Camila has achieved what seemed impossible: winning over the British. With patience, humility and the help of Carlos, she went from being the most hated woman to, if not the most loved, then the least respected.
During these years she did not wear the title of Princess of Wales which corresponds to her and it was always thought that when Charles was king he would not wear that of Queen consort either. But, everything changes and it is Isabel II, aware of the positive influence that Camila has on Carlos and of the consistency of the evident love that they profess, who asked a few months ago all the honors for her beautiful -daughter. Camila won’t be queen consort for many years, but she managed, and it wasn’t easy for her, to be a real queen.