Camilla’s public image being improved by Palace ahead of title change | Royal | News
According to a royal expert, Buckingham Palace will make a decision regarding the future title of Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, “based on how things stand” in terms of public popularity at the time of the Queen’s death. Jonathan Sacerdoti told Express.co.uk that despite Camilla’s position as the future king’s wife, her involvement in the separation of Prince Charles and Princess Diana has been “extremely difficult for them to overcome”. Ahead of the couple’s wedding in 2005, Clarence House stated that Camilla would be known as Princess Consort after Charles ascended the throne, however there is now speculation that she could become Queen Consort.
Royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti told Express.co.uk: “As a concept, the institution has benefitted from the leadership of a monarch who has been much-loved across the nation and they need him to have that same level of support, or one approaching it, for it to carry on well into the future.
“If he’s not popular, it makes the whole concept of the monarchy less popular.
“That’s why I think, if you look at those league tables, it’s interesting to see what’s happening with his popularity and indeed with Camilla’s popularity because it is clear that they are trying very hard to make sure we see their good side and their good deeds and their good behaviours.
“It’s unavoidable, unfortunately, that Camilla and Charles are well known in part because of the very complicated and difficult and tragic separation Charles had with Princess Diana and then her eventual death.
“There is no escaping Camilla’s part in that history, and that’s extremely difficult for them to overcome.”
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Prince Charles first met Camilla in a charity polo match in the early 1970s. They began a short-lived relationship, but Camilla went on to marry Andrew Parker-Bowles in 1973.
The two remained close friends, and Camilla was a guest at the wedding of Prince Charles to the young Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.
However, cracks soon began to emerge in the marriage of the Prince of Wales and Princess Diana, and by 1986, Charles and Camilla had resumed their relationship.
Their affair was exposed after Diana collaborated with the biographer Andrew Morton in 1992, and a recorded phone conversation between the couple was later leaked to the press. Princess Diana and Prince Charles separated in 1992 and divorced in 1995.
During this period, Camilla was frequently targeted by the press and was immensely unpopular amongst the general public. This situation worsened following the tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997 at the age of 36.
Jonathan Sacerdoti continued: “So when we look at what the role will be for Camilla officially, in terms of her title when Charles becomes monarch, I think we need to bear all of that in mind.
“I think that Buckingham Palace will bear all of that in mind and will choose something that is appropriate in terms of respecting her and the role that she plays and the work she does, and for her position as his wife, for good or for bad, that is who she is.
“People will have opinions on how she came to be his wife but she is his wife and we must respect that and I think whatever title they give her, it needs to reflect who she is now and their relationship now and her role in the Royal Family now and going forwards.
“So I think they’ll be very careful to make sure that they build the popularity and support that Charles and Camilla both enjoy now, so that when that time comes, they’ll make a decision based on how things stand at that time.”
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Prince Charles and Camilla eventually married in 2005 at Windsor Guildhall, and the Queen granted her new daughter-in-law the title of Duchess of Cornwall.
Over the last 16 years, Camilla’s approval ratings with the public have greatly improved, and she has become known as one of the most hard-working and reliable members of the Royal Family.
According to YouGov, she is currently the 10th most popular member of the Royal Family, ranking ahead of both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Whilst Clarence House stated she would be known as Princess Consort after the Queen’s death, that statement has now been removed from their official website.
In 2010, Prince Charles also suggested that she could be made Queen Consort when asked by a journalist, saying “That’s, well … We’ll see, won’t we? That could be.”