Could it be that Queen Camilla has quietly, after all these years, been accepted by the British people? We’ve watched her navigate the past turbulent days with dignity and grit, just ploughing on with her public duties and keeping the drama low. I suspect that her steady-Eddy style is going down well, particularly since it’s now clear that the woman is a grafter, and we like a grafter.
Looking back, we could see that she was a first-class trooper at the end of January when she opened a new Maggie Centre at the Royal Free Hospital in London; elegant in turquoise and smiling her broad toothy smile. The public didn’t yet know about Charles’s cancer diagnosis, but surely Camilla did. And yet, you really couldn’t tell that anything was wrong as she gamely shook hands and posed for photographs.
Then, after the flash-visit of Prince Harry, she once again showed her mettle. Having settled Charles back at Sandringham she set off for Salisbury to attend a charity concert. By her own admission, she’s a bit doddery these days. Yet, when the helicopter was grounded due to treacherous weather, she travelled by car on that six-hour journey, arriving in the wind and rain, smile on, small-talk at the ready.
There will be a lot more of this to come over the coming weeks and months: getting up and getting on with the humdrum daily duties while supporting Charles at home. Yes, we all do it when times are hard. But to do it in public, always showing good cheer, never making a mistake, being high-energy at the age of 76 – that’s tough and in the spirit of our dear departed Queen, the hardest grafter of all.
It’s been a long road for Camilla – so vilified for her role as the third person in Charles’s marriage to Diana and, for the most part, unloved by the public in the years that followed the marital breakdown.