CAMILLA, the Duchess of Cornwall, caused controversy in 2007 when Prince Harry and Prince William threw a benefit concert in memory of the late Princess Diana.
Princess Diana tragically died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, a year after her divorce to Prince Charles was finalised. Following her death, Prince Harry and Prince William’s father went public with his relationship with his long-term mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles. Charles and Camilla eventually married in 2005.
In 2007, William and Harry organised a benefit concert in memory of their mother, which the entire Royal Family was expected to attend – including Camilla.
However, whether Camilla would attend alongside her husband and the Queen or not caused much controversy, and even ended with the Duchess of Cornwall being branded “inappropriate”, a book has claimed.
In 2011 book “The Making of a Royal Romance” by Katie Nicholl, the royal expert claimed: “As had been the case for most of Diana’s married life, Camilla unwittingly cast something of a shadow over the memorial service.”
Ms Nicholls added: “There was a furore when it was reported that the Duchess would be attending. Camilla herself had had misgivings and wanted to stay away, but Charles had insisted she be there.”
At the time Diana’s close friend Rosa Monckton – who had been on holiday with Diana before her death – told the Mail on Sunday: “I know such services should be an occasion for forgiveness, but I can’t help feeling Camilla’s attendance is deeply inappropriate.”
The criticism from the public is said to have left Camilla “tearful”, even though William and Harry had invited their stepmother.
The debate on whether Camilla should attend even caused a rift in her marriage to Charles, Ms Nicholls also claimed..
She said: “Camilla found herself under terrible pressure, and she and Charles argued on a daily basis over whether she should attend.”
At the time of the concert, the public is believed to have “by no means embraced their potential future Queen”.
In the end, the Queen stepped in and gave Camilla her “blessing” to stay away from the event.
Camilla issued a personal statement at the time saying: “On reflection I believe my attendance could divert attention from the purpose of the occasion, which is to focus on the life and service of Diana.”
Source: ExPRESS CO UK