How The Devotion Of A King Created Queen Camilla

A new era begins for the royal family.

queen camilla Salma Bashir Motiwala / Shutterstock

The coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla marked a significant milestone in the evolution of the British monarchy. It symbolized a departure from the traditional narrative of British monarchs and signified a shift in the values and morals of the royal family.

The path to the throne for Charles and Camilla was not an easy one. History and public sentiment were stacked against them. Yet, on coronation day in London, they seemed always to have been destined to stand together as King and Queen of the United Kingdom.


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A checkered history of fraught relationships

Camilla's great-grandmother was the mistress of King Charles's great-great-grandfather when there was a strict playbook for the relationship between the monarch and mistress. Marriage was always out of the question.


The scandal that arose from King Edward VIII's decision to marry the twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson led to his abdication and exile in France. Queen Elizabeth II's uncle, David, also known as King Edward VIII, committed several PR blunders, including a photo op with Hitler, which led to his loss of the throne.

Camilla started her journey to the throne as a favorite of Prince Charles, but she initially refused his proposals of marriage due to the stringent limitations of the royal lifestyle. The rule to "know your place and don't rock the boat" was a significant factor in the downfall of both Diana and Fergie, who struggled against The Firm's rules and regulations that had changed little since Queen Victoria's harsh dictate of "I am not amused."

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Love would not be denied

Eventually, it became public knowledge that Charles and Camilla had never severed their ties and that they had continued their affair. When the infamous tell-all BBC interview with Lady Diana was aired, it shocked the general public and led to the Prince and Princess of Wales's divorce. Diana's revelations about her own infidelities led to her losing the possibility of becoming queen.


In a royal family, the monarch's permission is required to marry or divorce, and eventually, in 1996, after being separated for four years, Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, officially divorced with Queen Elizabeth's approval. In exchange for a generous settlement, the right to retain her apartments at Kensington Palace, and her title of "Princess of Wales," Diana agreed to relinquish the title of "Her Royal Highness" and any future claims to the British throne, which were the key to the future of Camilla and Charles's relationship.

After Charles and Camilla married in 2005, she became a major force among the "working royals" who appear at events and fundraisers and support charitable causes. Her devotion to duty and to Charles has transformed her image from the most hated woman in Britain to become an admired — possibly even beloved — queen.

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A new era for the royal family

Camilla's support and love for King Charles, despite the apparently slim chance of becoming queen, demonstrated that love rather than ambition motivated her. This demonstration of love, which we know from years of coverage in the London tabloids, has always been fun, sexy, and stable, and has brought forth an entirely new life force to the British monarchy.


During the reign of Queen Elizabeth's father, King George VI, the decision was made to enhance the image of the British royal family as an actual family, something that the nation could understand and appreciate. This change in approach veered away from her Uncle David's playboy habits and embraced the idea of a family man, which became the new normal for The Firm.

This new direction is a perfect fit for Charles and Camilla, who represent a more modern and compassionate face of the monarchy. With the ascent of Queen Camilla, the institution has finally realized that it needs to adapt and evolve with the changing times to remain relevant to the people it serves.

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Susan Allan is a certified mediator and coach and the founder of the Marriage Forum Inc and creator of The 6 Part Conversation and The 7 Stages of Marriage and Divorce training to help people understand their own needs and their partners.