The Queen’s Reign Begins
Queen Camilla, born on July 17, 1947 at King’s College Hospital in London, turns 76. This July 17, for the first time, Camilla’s birthday will be celebrated by the ringing of Westminster bells. An honor reserved until last year for Queen Elizabeth. Now on the throne is Camilla, the hated former mistress of Charles III.
The First Meeting of Charles and Camilla
Charles III and Camilla met for the first time in 1970 at a polo match. He was the Prince of Wales at the time, she a well-to-do girl without a drop of blue blood. Her father, Bruce Shand, was a hero of the Second World War, while her mother, Rosalind Cubitt, was the daughter of Lord Ashcombe and the granddaughter of Alice Keppel, the official mistress of King Edward VII. The daring Camilla did not fail to take advantage of this coincidence and the first thing she said to Charles when she met him in the early seventies, with the same impertinence that many still maintain, was: “Did you know that my great-grandmother and your great-grandfather were lovers? What do you think about that?“.
The Queen’s Hostility
Once Camilla was the first cause of the quarrels between Elizabeth II and her son Charles. In 1997, shortly before Diana died, everyone at court knew that Charles and Camilla were officially a couple. But the queen did not accept her son appearing in public with his mistress. Once, in order not to unleash the queen’s wrath, Charles even invited Camilla to a dinner at Buckingham Palace without including her name on the guest list. And he sat at the table next to the woman of his life: “When Ma’am is absent, the mice dance,” he said satisfied to the other diners, boasting like a child after a prank to his mother. When Lady D died in the tragic car accident in Paris on August 31, 1997, the sovereign forbade Camilla to attend the state funeral and eight years later, in 2005, imposed on Charles and his second wife a civil marriage at Windsor without too many ceremonies.