Earlier this evening, ITV aired a documentary called ‘Camilla: The Real Duchess of Cornwall’. Speaking to members of her family, friends and biographers, it showed us the real Camilla and the woman that Prince Charles loves.
Here is what we learnt about the Duchess from the programme.
Of course, we know that Camilla loves the countryside and we saw her walking her dogs in the grounds of Dumfries House. She spoke about the recuse mission Prince Charles undertook to save the 18th-century Adams house.
“It was so sad and un-lived in, unloved and neglected. And it had a really eerie feel about it,” the Duchess said. “There was definitely a ghost — without a shadow of a doubt.
“I walked up the steps, got into the hall and I thought I can’t go any further. I literally froze. If my hair could stand on end, it would have done.
“I remember thinking I don’t want to come back and I didn’t for a few years.”
However, Camilla enjoys her time there now, noting it felt different after it had been restored. “I walked in and whatever was there had disappeared. The whole thing seemed to be smiling again.”
She also went on to talk about the collection of clocks in the house. “I love the sound of chiming clocks…We have 10 or 11 of The Queen Mother’s collection.
“But of course, none of them chime in sync.”
It was also clear that the Duchess is a lover of her family and enjoys their company; she even joked that she spoils her grandchildren, giving them all the things their parents won’t!
We spotted a lovely family photo on the piano in the garden room at Clarence House.
In another part of the programme, The Prince of Wales touchingly referred to the Duchess as ‘my darling wife’, praising her: “My darling wife has been absolutely wonderful with all these charities and takes a huge interest.
“She does have a wonderful way with people. She’s remarkable, really. She’s the best listener in the world. She can get anything out of anybody and find out their history in a very short time.”
The programme naturally covered the couple’s young romance, and we saw numerous old snaps of the two.
Camilla has over 90 patronages, and attends hundreds of events each year, in support of Prince Charles, The Queen and her own organisations.
One event we all look forward to seeing, is the decoration of the Christmas Tree at Clarence House each December. Camilla invites ill children and their families from her patronages to help her add decorations to the tree at her London home. She described it as one of her ‘highlights at Christmas’.
‘How do you cope with the sad stories of the children?’ she was asked.
“I go and have a good cry,” The Duchess of Cornwall candidly responded, after the event was over. “It makes you realise how lucky you are. they don’t complain about it, they just get on with life.’
She was then asked about Christmas shopping and if she was ready with gifts.
“No, I never am till the last minute. Like everyone else I am rushing around!” she answered, also admitting that Prince Charles ‘is impossible to buy for’.
Her nephew, Ben, spoke to the programme makers and said he would buy his aunt ‘good fiction, some plants, and maybe a boxset of something crappy’.
Joanna Lumley, who knows Camilla personally, spoke of seeing her friend give her first public speech at the Ritz over a decade ago. She described Camilla as looking ‘desperately frightened and scared’ but ‘so brave’ for giving the speech anyway.
The unease that the public feel about Camilla was not brushed off, but was rightly pointed out that both William and Harry accept her and that she never seems to be able to leave Diana’s shadow – even decades after her death. However, we think this documentary may change the people’s minds (who bothered to watch it, that is!).
One point we especially liked was journalist Roya Nikkah’s statement: “Camilla will be Queen, if Charles is King.” Absolutely right, and she has more than deserved her place next to the Prince!
What did you think of the documentary? Let us know in the comments
Stills taken from ITV programme