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From disgraced to queen: Camilla’s long road to the coronation

King Charles III isn’t the only person to wear a crown on Saturday – so His wife, Camilla. He was once vilified by the public, with many believing that he was responsible for the divorce of Charles and Princess Diana. But Charles and Camilla’s love had won and now she was making him queen.

After Queen Elizabeth III dies in 2022, Camilla initially assumed the title of Queen Consort, As the Queen wished. Unlike a royal queen, a queen consort has no real authority and the title is usually given to the consort of a king.

But while Charles said he and Camilla were “deeply aware of the honor conferred by my mother’s wishes”, when invitations to her coronation went out, Camilla’s title was changed to “Queen”. On Friday night, the palace referred to Camilla as queen for the first time, and Britain’s PA newswire reported that the change took effect since Coronation Day began, even before Camilla was officially crowned.

Camilla is a non-born member of the royal family, so she will not hold authority, but she was crowned queen alongside her husband, the king.

Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla - Coronation Day

Camilla, the Queen Consort, travels in the Diamond Jubilee Coach built in 2012 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

/ Getty Images

The pair first met when they were young and have walked a long, winding road to a point where Charles, 74, can call her his wife and, now, Queen.

“The fairy tale has been thrown around a lot,” CBS News contributor Tina Brown said during Saturday’s coverage of the coronation. “Here’s a king about to be crowned as his queen, the woman who’s been in his life since he was a teenager.”

“It’s a great formal occasion, a great state occasion with a lot of pomp, but a very personal story between the two of them that we’re going to witness today,” Brown said. “We’re going to witness the final culmination of a relationship that’s been the story of this moniker for 65 to 70 years, it’s fun to watch.”

Queen Camilla is crowned during the coronation ceremony

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby places Queen Mary’s crown on Camilla’s head during the coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey on May 6, 2023 in London.

Richard Pohle/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Charles and Camilla, who grew up in a noble family, were first romantically linked in the 1970s but eventually married other people. Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973 and Charles married Diana Spencer in 1981. Still, the pair remained close — Charles is even godfather to Camilla’s son Tom.

Now, he is stepfather to Tom and Camilla’s daughter Laura. After Charles and Diana divorced in 1992 and Diana died in a car accident in 1997, Charles and Camilla’s relationship finally went public.

Another first for the royal family: The couple married in 2005, the first non-religious, civil ceremony for the British royal family in England.

But even though she officially joined the royal family, Camilla was not welcomed by the public. A YouGov poll in 2005 found that only 7% of the public thought she should one day become Queen.

Before Diana and Charles divorced, the princess gave a very candid interview to Martin Bashir, during which she spoke about Camilla’s presence in their lives. “There were three of us at this wedding, so it was a bit crowded,” Diana said. She also admitted her own relationship with Army veteran James Hewitt.

After the dissolution of Charles and Diana’s marriage, Camilla was regarded as Britain’s most hated woman, facing hostility from ruthless paparazzi.

Although public perception has changed during her nearly 20-year marriage to Charles, some are still critical — including Prince Harry, who wrote in his book “Spare” that Camilla tried to rehabilitate his reputation at his expense.

Harry said that he and his brother, Prince William, told their father not to marry Camilla, saying it would “do more harm than good, and if she’s with her person now – sure enough,” the prince told Anderson Cooper. . An interview for CBS News “60 Minutes.”

The prince said Camilla’s need to fix her image made her dangerous because of how close she had become to the British press. Harry accused Camilla – and even his father – of using him and his brother for tabloid coverage, saying Camilla “sacrificed me on her personal PR altar.”

Journalist Petronella Watt, Camilla’s friend, told CBS News that Camilla may have been hurt by Harry’s words because “she was very, very good to Harry.”

“I think that Camilla (the Queen) will do brilliantly,” Watt said. “He’s always in a good mood. He’s not stroopy and difficult. I think he’ll shine quietly, letting Charles be the star.”

At the coronation, Camilla wore Queen Mary Crown, Diamonds from Queen Elizabeth II’s collection were added for the occasion.

More Caitlin O’Kane


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