Camilla Parker Bowles reveals the Prince Charles that no one knows
Sitting back amid the sun-dappled glories of an old mansion which serves as the officers’ mess at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire, the Duchess of Cornwall kicks off her shoes.
Camilla has spent the morning handing out awards at a graduation day parade for young cadets. She will go on to meet several hundred more officers and their families personally at a reception before the day is out.
‘Sorry, I’ve just had my shoes off,’ she confessed when we bumped into each other shortly afterwards. ‘But I’ve got a Coca-Cola to revive me.’
Are you a ‘full-fat’ or ‘diet’ lady? ‘Oh full fat. Forget anything diet. I want the full kick!’
And no wonder. While most women her age — she marks the milestone of turning 70 today — might favour pottering in their gardens and relaxing in front of the telly, Camilla’s workload is heavier than ever.
One drawback to this unwavering duty, she once confided in me, is that she wishes she could see more of her five grandchildren, by her son Tom Parker Bowles and daughter Laura Lopes.
‘I would like to have more time with them but, you know, it’s the nature of the beast. I can’t. But every given opportunity, I see them.’
There have been reports that Charles, too, would like to spend more days with his own grandchildren by William and Kate: the amount of time he gets to spend with them has been the subject of intense speculation.
The trouble is that the couple’s official duties mean that opportunities for Camilla to kick off her shoes more regularly are, increasingly, few and far between.
Last year, the Queen’s daughter-in-law undertook 221 royal duties at home and abroad.
It’s a tally that doesn’t yet rival that of the monarch, who, at 91, still conducts well in excess of 300 engagements a year.
But it far outdoes that of Her Majesty’s ‘working’ grandchildren, William and Harry, along with the Duchess of Cambridge, who last year failed even to break the 200 engagement mark between them.
And while not everyone will feel sympathy for Camilla, becoming a Duchess by marrying into this privileged life of butlers, gold plates and palaces, it does have its own peculiar set of demands.
As a debutante, Camilla wasn’t expected — and didn’t especially need — to have a job when she was a young woman. And that didn’t change during her first marriage to Army officer Andrew Parker Bowles. Today, in her royal role, things are very different.
So how is Camilla — once described by a royal courtier as ‘the laziest woman in Britain’ — facing the challenge of being a working woman in her 70s?
Source: YOUTUBE News Capital
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