Conscientious Camilla plans to put future title to public benefit

News Letter editorial of Thursday February 24 2022:

By Editorial
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 2:34 am
Updated Thursday, 24th February 2022, 2:36 am
News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

It is human nature to make pronouncements about events and what we think it will all mean for the future.

When Princess of Wales died tragically in Paris in 1997, there was a sense of worldwide shock and mourning, and inevitable speculation as to the implications for her former husband, Prince Charles.

Lady Diana had captured the hearts of people around the globe, and there was an added layer of sympathy for her because of the perception that in some respects she had had a difficult emotional life, despite being a princess.

At the time of road crash which killed her, Diana had been separated from the Prince of Wales only five years previously and the Charles-Diana divorce had been finalised the previous year, 1996. After the death of the Princess of Wales, it was often said that Charles and Camilla would never be able to marry. It was thought that there would be too much public feeling against Camilla, in that she would always be seen as a key factor in a drama in which Diana was a wronged woman.

But Camilla Parker Bowles had known the royal family for a long time, having met Prince Charles as early as 1971. She seemed to know instinctively how the public warmed to dignitaries who worked hard, how public opinion could turn suddenly, and how the royals respected discretion, loyalty and a sense of public duty. Thus there was no public outcry when Charles and Camilla had a low key wedding in 2005.

Since that time, the Duchess of Cornwall, as she became, was gradually and relentlessly introduced into the public eye. Here in Northern Ireland, as in the rest of the UK, she has become a regular visitor and a much loved figure.

The Queen confirmed her own approval of the duchess when the monarch marked 70 years on the throne earlier this month, saying Camilla would be able to use the title of Queen when Charles becomes king. Now the duchess has said it will be a “great honour” to become Queen Consort and that it will help her highlight causes she supports. It is no surprise that she plans to put her well earned accolade to public benefit.

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