Party held for Camilla on her 70th birthday
15 July 2017 National News
Prince Charles has held a private party for the Duchess of Cornwall to celebrate her 70th birthday.
Family and close friends were invited to the event on his Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire last night ahead of Camilla’s actual birthday on Monday.
It’s an occasion that has led many newspapers and commentators to reflect on the Duchess’s position within the Royal Family and ask whether public perception has changed towards the woman who for years lived in the shadow of Prince Charles’s ex-wife Princess Diana.
Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty Magazine said: “The public were doubtful about Camilla and that’s one of the reasons their marriage was, for a royal wedding, low-key.
“What she did was very gently introduce herself into royal life, so to start with she did very few engagements she was just at Prince Charles’s side so people could she was supportive of him.
“She always did charity work but it was very low profile, and then she took on some perhaps less glamorous charities, and very, very slowly she just was herself and people saw what a nice lady she is.”
There is still debate about whether the general public would accept her as Queen when Prince Charles becomes King.
In April constitutional expert Lord Norton of Louth, a peer in the House of Lords and professor at the University of Hull, told Sky News the constitutional position is very clear.
He said: “Upon the death of the Queen, Charles automatically becomes King, that is it, his wife will become Queen Consort, formally established by precedent. But if she wishes to be known by another title, that’s a matter of royal prerogative, so the monarch could determine that another style will be employed.”
When they were married in April 2005 it was announced that Camilla would be given, what some saw as the lesser title of Princess Consort and not Queen Consort when her husband became King.
Some suggested it was a nod to the public mood about their relationship and the death of Princess Diana.
Ms Seward said: “The whole Diana situation has always been very difficult for Camilla. It won’t go away and hasn’t gone away. But she can’t really acknowledge it as it is 20 years ago and whatever she does she doesn’t comment on it.
“Obviously there are people who will never like Camilla as they see her as the person who broke up the marriage.”
In the past decade Camilla has become an important part of the upper tier of the Royal Family, she carries out Royal duties on behalf of the Queen, and was also made a privy councillor by her mother in law.
Her charity work is also worthy of acknowledgement, but rarely gets a huge amount of media coverage.
She has a particular interest in literacy, animal welfare, osteoporosis but more striking is her work with rape crisis and domestic violence charities and the support she has given to campaigns against human trafficking and female genital mutilation.
Her 70th birthday has brought renewed interest in Camilla, probably quite overwhelming for a woman who is more than happy to stay out of the limelight when she can.