Why even I’ve changed my mind on Queen Camilla

Scottish Daily Mail - - Platell’s People -

PRINCE Charles, in his BBC doc­u­men­tary on Thurs­day, seemed to be a man at ease in his own skin. De­voted to good causes, a lov­ing fa­ther and grand­fa­ther, he had shed the angst that once seemed to be­devil him and was clearly de­ter­mined to make his time as king-in-wait­ing worth­while.

And so far he has. He warned us of the per­ils of plas­tic decades be­fore ‘sin­gle-use’ be­came part of our vo­cab­u­lary, and the Prince’s Trust has helped more than 900,000 chil­dren from de­prived back­grounds find a place in the world.

In­evitably, the head­lines have con­cen­trated on his com­ments about what kind of king he wants to be. But the doc­u­men­tary was ac­tu­ally most re­veal­ing about his wife Camilla and their mar­riage.

She ap­peared no fewer than five times in the first 15 min­utes and it was she who had the last word, fin­ish­ing the pro­gramme by de­scrib­ing the car­ing, lighter side of Charles she would like us all to see. She came across as his stan­dard bearer, ex­tolling his virtues with be­com­ing hu­mour in that husky ex-smoker’s voice of hers.

Whether she was shown jol­ly­ing him up on a te­dious for­eign tour or de­scrib­ing him play­ing with her grand­chil­dren, this was not so much about our fu­ture King but, whis­per it, our fu­ture Queen.

I have been one of Camilla’s fiercest crit­ics, not least about the way in which she and Charles be­trayed Di­ana. But it was crys­tal clear from this doc­u­men­tary that she is in­te­gral to his hap­pi­ness and they are meant for each other.

This de­mon­stra­tion of mu­tual trust and con­tent­ment only ac­cen­tu­ated how ill-matched Charles and Di­ana were, which must still be a source of pain to his sons.

In­deed, one of the most poignant mo­ments in the pro­gramme was when Prince Wil­liam lamented the fact that Charles hardly finds time to see lit­tle Ge­orge, Char­lotte and Louis. ‘It’s some­thing I’m work­ing more heav­ily on, put it that way...’ said Wills. ‘I would like him to have more time with the chil­dren.’

Yet Camilla re­vealed that Charles is won­der­ful with her grand­chil­dren, play­fully swing­ing them around and read­ing them Harry Potter books, with all the dif­fer­ent voices.

Those of us who be­lieve in an en­dur­ing monar­chy should per­haps ac­cept that when Charles be­comes King, Camilla will be his Queen. They are ev­i­dently a per­fect match.

But amid the cel­e­bra­tions to mark his 70th — and Happy Birth­day, Sir — I just hope Charles takes heed of Wil­liam’s plea and finds a lit­tle more time for Di­ana’s grand­chil­dren.

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