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Wed, 10 Apr, 2019Over60

Camilla's redemption: How she revamped her image and won the public's heart

She was once labelled “Britain’s most hated woman,” however the Duchess of Cornwall seems to have come very far since then. At 71 years old, with over 90 charities under her belt and having completed 219 engagements in 2018 alone, it is safe to say she might have done just that.

Blamed for being the person to “drive apart” Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Duchess Camilla has not had it easy from the public or the media in the slightest.

However, she has not let that deter her and has been on a mission to change the public's view of her. According to royal expert Phil Dampier, Camilla has become “now quite popular.”

“I think most people will accept her as Queen when the time comes,” he explained to the Daily Mail.

The Duchess met 70-year-old Prince Charles in the summer of 1971 and was instantly taken to her because she was “not in any way overawed by him, not fawning or sycophantic,” according to royal biographer Penny Juror.

But despite the undeniable chemistry that swirled around the couple, they were prevented from marrying back then, as the Duchess of Cornwall was deemed “unsuitable” with little aristocratic background despite her grandfather being a baron.

She went on to marry Andrew Parker Bowles, with whom she shares two children, before they divorced in 1995 after 22 years of marriage.

In April of 2005, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall wed in a ceremony at Windsor Guildhall.

With years of effort, Camilla has quietly refurbished her public image and given a new joy to the family.

Frequently seen in the public eye with her husband, the two are often dissolving into giggles and smiles.

She has even been described by a long-time friend as “witty,” and “100 per cent sure of who she is".

“She has no side, no complexity,” they said.

“She is warm, witty, endlessly cheerful and has the ability to laugh at everything and tease Charles out of his Eeyore grumpiness.”

Not only has she been seen as an injection of playfulness into the royal family, she has also proven herself to be a tireless member with over 90 charities under her belt and having completed 219 engagements in 2018 alone.

Her sensitive approach to the Princess of Wales

While the public has largely pinned the Duchess as “the other woman” and the wedge that drove both Prince Charles and Princess Diana apart – even long after the late Princess of Wales’ death, Duchess Camilla has taken a sensitive approach.

Although Camilla is technically the Princess of Wales, the royal chooses to not use the title due to its close association with Princess Di.

Choosing to to known as the Duchess of Cornwall, her full official title is Her Royal Highness The Princess Charles Philip Arthur George, Princess of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Chester, Countess of Carrick, Baroness of Renfrew, Lady of the Isles, Princess of Scotland, Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. 

She has the Queen’s approval

As a wedding gift when the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall wed, the Queen bestowed a particularly special title as Princess Consort.

In 2016, Her Majesty went a step further by making the Duchess a member of the Privy Council – her most senior advisory body.

To royal insiders and fans alike, the clear regard for her daughter-in-law shows that when Prince Charles is pronounced king, his wife will be able to be “in the room".

Although not all royal fans are convinced of Duchess Camilla, many have a newfound respect for the hardworking royal.

Are you a fan of the Duchess of Cornwall? Let us know in the comments below.

Scroll through the gallery above to see the Duchess of Cornwall through the ages.