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The birthday Queen
Why Camilla is a crown jewel, as she celebrates her first milestone on the throne
Happy birthday, Queen Camilla. As she celebrates her 76th birthday on Monday, July 17, Camilla also marks her first milestone on the throne. Here’s seven reasons why we reckon she’s one of the crown jewels:
She’s funny: Camilla is renowned in royal circles as being one of the easiest people to talk to. She’s known for her sense of humour and skill at making people feel at ease. “She makes everyone laugh. She is also a good person to have around in a crisis,” The Times’ royal reporter Valentine Low said of her. “I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who didn’t like her,” said novelist and friend, Lord Jeffrey Archer.
She’s compassionate: Camilla is extremely caring and supports a wide range of charities, close to her heart – many which cover difficult topics, such as domestic abuse charity, SafeLives. “We all know somebody who it’s happened to. There’s been such a taboo. It becomes a sort of terrible hidden secret,” she said, setting about to change that. She is a patron of everything from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to the Mirabel Centre for sexual assault victims, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and The Big Lunch. Her annual Christmas tree-lighting party for terminally-ill children at Clarence House is a great example of her kindness.
She gets on with it: Camilla hasn’t had an easy journey to the throne. Once dubbed “the rottweiler” by Diana and “that wicked woman” by the late Queen, Camilla took it on the chin and rode out the negative headlines. What she thought in private, we’ll never know, but now, she’s one of the most popular members of the Royal Family. Speaking at her 75th birthday party, Camilla told her friends she follows Prince Philip’s motto. “The Duke of Edinburgh’s philosophy was clear, ‘Look up and look out, say less, do more – and get on with the job’,” she said, adding, “and that is just what I intend to do.”
She keeps it real: Yes, she might have a tiara on her head, but Camilla very much keeps it real when it comes to fashion and beauty. A country girl at heart, she looks smart, but is happy to age naturally. When she appeared in Vogue last year, she told the photographer, “Sorry you’ve got to photograph an old bat this morning,” and refused to wear purple, calling it ‘menopausal mauve’. “I think you can’t do much more about yourself. I think you just accept that you are who you are. You get to be a 75-year-old,” she said.
She’s loyal: Above all, Camilla is super-loyal and a great support to King Charles. She’s clever and calm and by his side as he navigates his new role. Being loyally by his side is something Camilla has excelled at throughout their relationship and she’s similarly committed to her family and friends. This quality was what won over the Queen and Prince Philip.
She loves books: One of our favourite things about Camilla is her love of reading. She’s such a bibliophile, she launched her own book club The Queen’s Reading Room, followed by a literary festival. “Books are my passion,” she said at a Book Aid visit in February. “It’s life changing to be able to pick up a book and read. It is a form of escapism and takes you into another world.”
And Paddington: We were delighted Camilla looked after the thousands of Paddington Bears left at Buckingham Palace gates in honour of the Queen’s passing last year. She had them cleaned and delivered to Barnardo’s, visiting a nursery in November with Hugh Bonnveille, where they shared marmalade sandwiches and a story. “It has been a pleasure to find a home for these bears - please look after them carefully,” she said.
Kate’s champion ladies day at Wimbledon
Looking bright and breezy, just like Saturday’s weather, the Princess of Wales wore a lime-coloured Self Portrait dress as she took her place in Centre Court’s Royal Box. Sitting next to 20-times Wimbledon champion Billie Jean King, they watched Marketa Vondrousova beat the 2022 runner-up Ons Jabeur in straight sets (6-4, 6-4), to become the first unseeded Ladies’ Singles Champion.
Last year, with a cast on a wrist, the Czech Republic player was a tourist in London and until this year had only ever won one match at Wimbledon. The world number 42 might also be the most-tattooed champion the tournament has ever seen. After receiving the Venus Rosewater Dish from Catherine (click pic above), Marketa said about her inkings: “I made a bet with my coach that if I won a Grand Slam he's going to get one also. I think we'll go tomorrow.”
As Marketa celebrated, Catherine, patron of The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club since 2017, comforted Ons, as the Tunisian struggled to hold back the tears. Hopefully she’ll take heart from the Princess’s social media post after the final: “This is why we love Wimbledon. An amazing performance from both players. Well done Marketa Vondrousova on your first title! Ons Jabeur you can keep your head held high after a tournament to be proud of.”
Charles meets President Biden
It was a flying visit, quite literally, when the US president helicoptered into the grounds of Windsor Castle to meet the King, inspect a Guard of Honour by the Welsh Guards and have a nice cup of tea in the Castle’s State Rooms.
Charles and Joe Biden looked very much at ease with each other during their meeting on Monday, where their passion for the environment was high on the agenda and they were briefed on joint UK and US climate action.
This was the third meeting between the monarch and President Biden, they met twice in 2021. The special relationship between Charles and US presidents started in 1959, when President Eisenhower was invited to Balmoral by the late Queen.
Plane to see - Louis steals the show again
When you are working parents with three kids off for the school holidays, combining royal engagements with childcare is totally the way forward.
All the Wales family rocked up to the Royal International Air Tattoo, at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire on Friday, and inspected the huge C-17 Globemaster transporter aircraft that flew Queen Elizabeth’s coffin back to London from Edinburgh last September.
Despite the heavy rain, Prince George, who celebrates his 10th birthday on Saturday 22 July, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis did not have their enthusiasm dampened. Although at one point, wannabe pilot Louis covered his ears and did his trademark wail as a loud plane flew overhead.
“A family day out at the Air Tattoo – in the wonderful British summer weather,” posted the Prince and Princess of Wales on social media. We bet Louis is already packing the noise-cancelling headphones for next year’s visit.
Admire the Coronation Robes
Buckingham Palace opened its doors to the public, for the summer, on Friday and this year, there’s an extra-special exhibit. The Coronation display includes the outfits, jewellery and insignia worn by the King and Queen in May. You can see the Robe of Estate worn by Charles and his grandfather King George VI, in 1937. And see Camilla’s beautiful Coronation Dress by Bruce Oldfield and Robe of Estate. Buckingham Palace is open until September 24. For tickets, visit rct.uk
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