Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall GCVO CSM (Camilla Rosemary; née Shand, previously Parker Bowles; born 17 July 1947),[1] is the second wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, who is the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Elizabeth II. Instead of using the title "Princess of Wales", she is styled through her husband's secondary designations as "Duchess of Cornwall" and, in Scotland, "Duchess of Rothesay". These were adopted because of the strong association of the primary title with his first wife, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Camilla is the eldest child of Major Bruce Shand and his wife, The Honourable Rosalind Cubitt, the daughter of British aristocrat the 3rd Baron Ashcombe. She was raised in East Sussex, a county in South East England, and was educated in England, Switzerland and France. Subsequently, she worked for different firms based in central London, most notably the decorating firm Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler. In 1973, Camilla married British Army officer Andrew Parker Bowles, with whom she has two children and five grandchildren. They divorced in 1995, shortly after his retirement from the army.

For many years, Camilla and the Prince of Wales had a controversial relationship, which was highly publicised in the media and attracted worldwide scrutiny.[fn 2] In 2005, it culminated in a civil marriage at Windsor Guildhall, which was followed by a televised Anglican blessing by the Archbishop of CanterburyRowan Williams, at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

As the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla assists the Prince of Wales on his official duties. She is also the patron and president of numerous charities and organisations, and has taken action and raised awareness in areas including osteoporosis, rape and sexual abuse, and literacy, for which latterly she has been praised.


  [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Childhood and young adulthood[edit]Edit

Camilla was born Camilla Rosemary Shand at King's College Hospital, London, on 17 July 1947 at 7:00 am (BST).[2][fn 3][1] She grew up in the Laines, a house located in Plumpton, East Sussex, nearPlumpton Racecourse.[3] Her parents were British Army officer turned wine merchant Major Bruce Shand and his wife the Hon. Rosalind (née Cubitt), and she has one younger sister, Annabel Elliot. Her younger brother, Mark Shand, died in an accident aged 62 in April 2014.[4] Her maternal great-grandmother, Alice Keppel was a mistress of King Edward VII from 1898 to 1910.[5] On 1 November 1947, Camilla was baptised at Firle Church, Sussex. Her godparents were Hon. Henry Cubitt (her maternal uncle), Major Neil Speke, Heathcoat Amory, Lombard Hobson and Vivien Mosley.[6][7] The Shands had two homes: one in Plumpton, and another in South Kensington. During her childhood years, Camilla became an avid reader due to the influence of her father, who read to her frequently.[8] She grew up with dogs and cats,[9] and, at a young age, learnt how to ride a pony by joining pony camps with a pony club, and also learnt how to hunt.[10] According to her, childhood "was perfect in every way."[3] Biographer Gyles Brandreth describes her childhood:

Camilla is often described as having had an "Enid Blyton sort of Childhood." In fact, it was much grander than that. Camilla, as a little girl, may have had some personality traits of George, the tomboy girl among the Famous Five, but Enid Blyton’s children were essentially middle-class children and The Shands, without question, belonged to the upper class. The Shands had position and they had help – help in the house, help in the garden, help with children. They were gentry. They opened their garden for the local Conservative Party Association summer fête. Enough said.[9]

At the age of five, Camilla was sent to Dumbrells, a co-educational school in Ditchling village.[9] She left Dumbrells aged ten to attend the fashionable Queen's Gate School in South Kensington, due to the long distance from her home to Dumbrells. Her family wanted her to be a day student and Queen's Gate School was close to her home.[10] Her classmates while attending Queen's Gate knew her as "Milla"; her fellow pupils included the singer Twinkle. One of the teachers at the school was writer Penelope Fitzgerald, who then taught French; she remembered Camilla as "bright and lively". Camilla left Queen's Gate with one O-level in 1964; her parents did not make her stay long enough for A-levels.[11] At the age of sixteen, she travelled abroad to attend the Mon Fertile finishing school in Switzerland.[12] After completing her course there, she made her own decision and travelled to France to learn French and French literature at the University of London Institute in Paris.[13][14]

On 25 March 1965, Camilla was a debutante in London.[15] According to Peter Townend, an editor of Tatler magazine, she was among 311 debutantes in 1965. Columnist Betty Kenward, who wrote in her column, Jennifer's Diary, published her coming-out party in the Queen magazine.[16] 150 guests attended the event, which was described by Kenward as "successful".[15][17] After moving from home, Camilla lived in a two-bedroom flat at Belgravia on Cundy Street around Victoria Coach Station. She shared the flat with her landlady Lady Moyra Campbell, the daughter of the Duke of Abercorn, and later with Virginia Carrington, daughter of the politician Lord Carrington.[18] Virginia was married to Camilla's uncle Henry Cubitt from 1973 until 1979.[19] In 2005, she became a special aide to Camilla and Prince Charles.[20] Camilla worked as a secretary for a variety of firms in the West End and later took a job at the decorating firm Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler in Mayfair.[21] In her spare time, she became an avidequestrienne and participated in fox hunting with the Beaufort Hunt.[22] Her personal interests included horse-riding, gardening, painting and horticulture.[23][24]

First marriage[edit]Edit

In the late 1960s, Camilla met Andrew Parker Bowles—then a Guards officer and lieutenant in the Blues and Royals[25] through his brother, Simon Parker Bowles; Simon, at the time, worked for her father's wine firm in South Audley Street, Mayfair.[26] The couple dated on and off for some years, though broke up again in 1970, and Parker Bowles began dating Princess Anne; however, the couple later reconciled and announced their engagement in The Times in 1973,[27][28] marrying on 4 July that year at the Guards ChapelWellington Barracks, London.[29] Camilla was twenty-six years old, while Parker Bowles was thirty-four. Her wedding dress was designed by British fashion house Bellville Sassoon, and the bridesmaids included Parker Bowles' goddaughter Lady Emma Herbert.[30] It was considered the "society wedding of the year"[31] with eight hundred guests in attendance. Royal guests present at the ceremony and reception were Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon.[29][31]

[1][2]Bolehyde Manor in Allington, Wiltshire

The couple made their home in Wiltshire, purchasing Bolehyde Manor in Allington and later Middlewick House in Corsham.[32] They had two children: Tom, born in the year after their marriage, who became a godson of Prince Charles,[33] and Laura, born in 1978;[34] both children were raised in their father's Roman Catholicfaith, although both were married in the Church of England; Tom, like his father, is in remainder to the Earldom of Macclesfield.[25]

In 1995, after twenty–two years of marriage, Camilla and her husband decided to divorce, the previous year her mother, Rosalind, died from osteoporosis. Her father later defined this as a "difficult time for her". The couple released a statement on their decision in 1995, stating their divorce was amicable and claimed it was due to different interests, which eventually led to separate lives.[35] The divorce was finalised on 3 March 1995.[36]

Relationship with the Prince of Wales[edit]Edit

Camilla and Prince Charles reportedly met in mid-1971.[37] Biographer Gyles Brandreth states that the couple did not meet at a polo match, as it is believed.[38]Instead, they were introduced to each other by a mutual friend, Lucia Santa Cruz.[39][40] They became friends and eventually began dating, which was well known in their social circle. When they became a couple, they regularly met at polo matches at Smith's Lawn in Windsor Great Park, where Charles often played polo.[39]They also became part of a set at Annabel's in Berkeley Square.[37] As the relationship grew stronger, Charles met Camilla’s family in Sussex and he introduced her to some members of his family.[41] The relationship was put on hold after Charles travelled overseas to join the Royal Navy in early 1973; However, it ended abruptly afterwards.[27][42]

There have been different statements on why the couple's relationship ended in 1973. Robert Lacey wrote in his 2008 book, Royal: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, that Charles had met Camilla too early, and that he had not asked her to wait for him when he went overseas for military duties.[43] Sarah Bradford wrote in her 2007 book, Diana, that a member of the close circle of his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten claimed Mountbatten arranged for Charles to be taken overseas to end the relationship with Camilla to make way for an engagement between his granddaughter, Amanda Knatchbull, and Charles.[44]Some sources also suggest the Queen Mother did not approve of the marriage because she wanted Charles to marry one of the Spencer family granddaughters of her close friend, Lady Fermoy.[45] Other sources also suggest Camilla did not want to marry Charles but instead wanted to marry Andrew Parker Bowles since she had an on and off relationship with Parker Bowles that began in the 1960s[46] or that Charles had decided he would not marry until he was thirty years old.[47]

Overall, the majority of royal biographers have agreed that even if Charles and Camilla wanted to marry or did try for approval to get married, it would have been declined, because according to Charles's cousin and godmother Patricia Mountbatten, palace courtiers at that time found Camilla unsuitable as a wife for the future king. In 2005, she stated, "With hindsight, you can say that Charles should have married Camilla when he first had the chance. They were ideally suited, we know that now. But it wasn't possible."[...][48] "it wouldn't have been possible, not then."[...][49]

When Charles heard of the engagement of Camilla and Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973, he wrote to Lord Mountbatten: "I suppose the feeling of emptiness will pass eventually."[50] Nevertheless they remained friends.[51][52] Charles and Camilla rekindled their relationship in 1979. They became close after the IRAassassinated Lord Mountbatten in August 1979.[53] Charles was said to have been grief-stricken and went to Camilla for solace over his death.[54]Reportedly, Parker Bowles gave consent to the relationship during their marriage,[55] while he also carried on relationships with other women.[56] They ended the relationship again after Charles married Diana Spencer in 1981.[57]

The affair became public knowledge in the press a decade later, with the publication of Diana: Her True Story in 1992,[58] followed by the Camillagate scandal in 1993,[59] wherein an intimate telephone conversation between Camilla and Charles was secretly recorded and the transcripts were published in the tabloids.[60] The book and tape instantly damaged Charles's reputation.[61] Meanwhile, the press vilified Camilla.[62][63] In 1994, Charles finally spoke about his relationship with Camilla in a televised interview with Jonathan Dimbleby. He told Dimbleby in the interview, "Mrs. Parker Bowles is a great friend of mine...a friend for a very long time. She will continue to be a friend for a long time."[64] The same year he admitted in his biography written by Dimbleby that the relationship between him and Camilla rekindled after his marriage had "irretrievably broken down" in 1986.[65] Following this, the Parker Bowleses announced their own divorce the following year, having been living apart for some time,[64] and a year later, Andrew Parker Bowles married his partner Rosemary Pitman.[66][67]

Image rehabilitation[edit]Edit

Following the two couples' divorces, Charles stated his relationship with Camilla was, and is, "non-negotiable."[68][69] Charles was aware that the relationship was receiving a lot of negative publicity, and appointed Mark Bolland—whom he had employed in 1995 to refurbish his own image—to enhance Camilla's public profile.[70] Camilla occasionally became Charles's unofficial companion at events. In 1999, the couple made their first public appearance together at the Ritz Hotel in London, where they attended a birthday party; about two hundred cameramen and reporters from around the world were there to witness them together.[71] In 2000, she accompanied Charles to Scotland for a number of official engagements, and in 2001, she became president of the National Osteoporosis Society, which first introduced her to the public.[72] She later met the Queen, for the first time since the relationship was made public, at the 60th birthday party of King Constantine II of Greece. This meeting was seen as an apparent seal of approval by the Queen on Charles and Camilla's relationship.[73][74]

After a series of appearances at public and private venues, the Queen invited Camilla to her Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002. She sat in the royal box behind the Queen for one of the concerts at Buckingham Palace.[75][76] Though she maintained her residence in Wiltshire, Camilla then moved into Clarence House (the former home of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) which became Charles's household and official residence in 2003.[77] In 2004, Camilla accompanied Charles on almost all of his official events, including a high profile visit together to the annual highland games in Scotland.[78]Throughout, the press speculated on when they would announce their engagement.[79] On 10 February 2005, Clarence House announced their engagement which received a huge amount of coverage in the media worldwide.[80] Polls conducted in the United Kingdom showed overall support for the marriage.[81]

Second marriage[edit]Edit

Engagement and wedding[edit]Edit

Further information: Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker Bowles and Wedding dress of Camilla Parker Bowles

On 10 February 2005, Clarence House announced that Camilla and the Prince of Wales were engaged; as an engagement ring, Charles gave Camilla a diamond ring that was believed to have been given to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, when she gave birth to her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II.[82] The ring comprises a square-cut diamond with three diamond baguettes on each side;[83][84] As he is the future Supreme Governor of the Church of England, the prospect of Charles marrying a divorcée was seen as controversial, but with the consent of the Queen, Parliament and the Church of England, the couple were able to wed. The Queen, Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, offered their congratulations in statements to the media.[85]

The marriage was to have been on 8 April 2005, and was to take place in a civil ceremony at Windsor Castle, with a subsequent religious blessing at St George's Chapel. To conduct a civil marriage at Windsor Castle would oblige the venue to obtain a licence for civil marriages, which it did not have. A condition of such a licence is that the licensed venue must be available for a period of one year to anyone wishing to be married there. As the royal family did not wish to make Windsor Castle available to the public for civil marriages, even just for one year, the location was changed to the town hall at Windsor Guildhall.[86] On 4 April, it was announced that the marriage would be delayed by one day to allow the Prince of Wales and some of the invited dignitaries to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II.[87][88]

Charles's parents did not attend the marriage ceremony (possibly because the Queen felt unable to attend the remarriage of a divorcee, due to her position as Supreme Governor of the Church of England);[89] neither did Camilla's father; instead, her son and Prince William acted as witnesses to the union.[90] The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh did, however, attend the service of blessing. Afterwards, a reception was held by the Queen for the newlyweds at Windsor Castle.[91] Performances at the wedding included the St George's Chapel ChoirPhilharmonia Orchestra and Welsh composer Alun Hoddinott.[92] As a wedding gift, The Marinsky Theatre Trust in St. Petersburg brought a Russian mezzo-soprano singer, Ekaterina Semenchuk to the UK to perform a special song for the couple.[93]Following the wedding, the couple travelled to the Prince's country home in Scotland, Birkhall,[94] and carried out their first public duties as a couple during their honeymoon.[95]

Duchess of Cornwall[edit]Edit

After becoming Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla automatically acquired rank as the second highest female in the United Kingdom Order of Precedence (after the Queen), and as typically fifth or sixth in theorders of precedence of her other realms, following the Queen, the relevant viceroy, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince of Wales. It was revealed that the Queen altered the royal order of precedence for private occasions, placing Camilla fourth, after the Queen, the Princess Royal, and Princess Alexandra.[96][97] Within two years of the marriage, the Queen extended Camilla visible tokens of membership in the royal family; she lent the Duchess a tiara previously belonging to the Queen Mother,[98] and granted her the badge of the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II.[99]

[4][5]The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during theDiamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012

In November 2010, the Duchess and her husband were indirectly involved in the 2010 British student protests when their car was attacked by protesters.[100][101] Clarence House later released a statement on the incident: "A car carrying Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall was attacked by protesters but the couple were unharmed."[102]

On 9 April 2012, the Queen appointed the Duchess of Cornwall to the Royal Victorian Order.[103] The Duchess was a prominent participant in the celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee during the extended weekend of 2–5 June 2012, especially following the absence of the Duke of Edinburgh owing to ill health on 4–5 June. She stood next to the Queen during the speech by the Prince of Wales at the conclusion of the Diamond Jubilee Concert and was seated next to the Queen the following day in the carriage procession from Westminster to Buckingham Palace.[104]

Royal duties[edit]Edit

Public appearances[edit]Edit

[6][7]Prince Charles and Camilla are greeted by Federal Emergency Management Agency officials as they arrive to tour the damage created byHurricane Katrina in New Orleans, November 2005

The Duchess made her inaugural overseas tour, to the United States, in November 2005.[105] During their tour in the United States, they met with President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at the White house.[106] Afterward they visited New Orleans to see the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and met with some of the residents whose lives were changed drastically by the Hurricane.[107] In March 2006, the couple undertook official visits to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and India.[108] In November 2007, the Duchess toured with the Prince of Wales on a four-day visit to Turkey.[109] In 2008, she joined the Prince of Wales to tour the Caribbean,JapanBrunei and Indonesia.[110] In 2009, they embarked on a tour of ChileBrazilEcuador,[111] Italy and Germany. Their visit to the Holy See included a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI.[112] The Pope gave them an honorary medal and a drawing of the St Peter's Basilica.[113] They later visited Canada. In early 2010, they undertook an official visit to Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland.[114] In October 2010, she accompanied the Prince of Wales to DelhiIndia for the opening of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.[115]

[8][9]Official opening of the Fourth Assembly at the Senedd in Cardiff, Wales. From left to right: Carwyn Jones, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Queen andRosemary Butler, 7 June 2011

In March 2011, the Duchess went with the Prince of Wales to undertake official visits in PortugalSpain, andMorocco.[116] The tour began in Lisbon, Portugal. The President of Portugal, President Aníbal Cavaco Silva met them. In Spain, the couple were received in Madrid by the Prince and Princess of Asturias. They later met King Juan Carlos I andQueen Sofía of Spain. The tour finished in Rabat, Morocco, where they met the King of Morocco.[117] The Duchess attended the 10th anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks along with the Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister,David Cameron, on 11 September 2011.[118] In August 2011, the Duchess accompanied the Prince of Wales toTottenham to visit the aftermath of the London riots.[119][120] The couple later went to see Tottenham residents in February 2012. They visited businesses destroyed in the August's Riots to see how they were doing on the London-riots anniversary.[121] In November 2011, the Duchess undertook official visits with the Prince of Wales to tour Commonwealth and Arab States of the Persian Gulf. They toured in South Africa and Tanzania and met with President Jacob Zuma and PresidentJakaya Kikwete.[122]

[10][11]The Duchess of Cornwall being driven away from St Paul's Cathedralduring the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, 5 June 2012

From 20 to 27 March 2012, the Duchess and the Prince of Wales undertook official visits to NorwaySweden andDenmark to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.[123] In May 2012, the royal couple undertook a four-day trip to Canada as part of the jubilee celebrations. Highlights of the tour included the celebration of Victoria Day which took place on 21 May 2012.[124] In November 2012, the Duchess and the Prince of Wales visited AustraliaNew Zealand and Papua New Guinea for a two-week jubilee tour.[125] During the Australian tour, they attended the 2012 Melbourne Cup, where the Duchess presented the Melbourne cup to the winner of the race.[126] In 2013, they went on a tour to Jordan and met with King Abdullah II and his wife Queen Rania. They also made a visit to Syria and visited refugee camps of the Syrian civil war.[127] That same year, they attended the Enthronement of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, as well as the preceding celebrations in honour ofQueen Beatrix.[128] From 5 to 6 June 2014, the Duchess and the Prince of Wales attended the 70th anniversary celebrations of D-Day in Normandy, France,[129]and will embark on a tour to Mexico and Colombia later of the year.[130]

The Duchess of Cornwall's first solo engagement was a visit to Southampton General Hospital;[131] she attended the Trooping the Colour for the first time in June 2005, making her appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace afterwards. She conducted the naming ceremony for HMS Astute on 8 June 2007, and, on 10 December, she did the same for the new Cunard cruise shipMS Queen Victoria,[132] it being said that the Queen had been surprised by Cunard's invitation. In May 2011, she attended the Classic Brit Awards and paid a tribute to James Bond composer and Oscar-winner John Barry with an award for his great contribution to music.[133] In June 2011, the Duchess alone represented the British royal family at the 125th Wimbledon Tennis Championships in Wimbledon.[134] The Duchess attended the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in May 2013 [135] and the same month she travelled to Paris on her first solo trip outside the UK.[14]


[12][13]The Duchess of Cornwall visitingDundurn Castle in 2009 of which she is patron

The Duchess is the Patron of The Royal School, Hampstead,[136] Animal Care Trust,[137] The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists,[138] Unicorn Theatre for Children, British Equestrian FederationCornwall Community Foundation, Dundurn Castle, Wiltshire Bobby van Trust, Youth Action Wiltshire, New Queen's HallOrchestraSt John's Smith SquareLondon Chamber Orchestra, Elmhurst School for Dance, Trinity Hospice, Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, Girl's Brigade in Scotland, St John's Hospital, Fan MuseumGeorgian Theatre Royal, The Cornish Air Ambulance Service, Arthritis Research UKThe Girls' Friendly SocietyNuffield Orthopaedic CentreRoyal National Hospital for Rheumatic DiseasesPlumpton College Charitable Foundation, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Richmond (a Joint Patron with the Prince of Wales), President of JDRF, as well as president or patron of other charities.[137]

She is the honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Navy Medical Service. In this role she visited the training-ship HMS Excellent in January 2012, to award medals to naval medical teams returning from service in Afghanistan.[139] The Duchess is also an honorary member of other patronages and in February 2012, she was elected a bencher of The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn.[140] In March 2012, the Duchess became the patron of the Big Jubilee Lunch (BJL), in which societies in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms planned lunches which included street parties and garden gatherings on 3 June 2012, as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.[141] In February 2013, she was appointed Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, a role which is ceremonial and will involve conferring graduates with their degrees [142] and took up the office in June 2013. She is the first female chancellor of the University of Aberdeen and only member of the royal family to hold the post since it was created in 1860.[143]

Areas of interest[edit]Edit


In 1994, she became a member of the National Osteoporosis Society after her mother and maternal grandmother died painfully from the disease. She became patron of the charity in 1997 and appointed president in 2001 in a highly publicised event, accompanied by the Prince of Wales.[144] In 2002, she attended the Roundtable of International Women Leaders to Examine Barriers to Reimbursement for Diagnosis and Treatment of Osteoporosis along with 13 eminent women from around the world. The event was hosted by Queen Rania of Jordan and during it, she made her first public speech. The international conference which took place in Lisbon, Portugal, brought together worldwide public figures to focus on osteoporosis treatment and called for government assistance around the world.[145]

In 2006, the Duchess launched the Big Bone walk campaign, which she led 90 children and osteoporosis sufferers on a climb across Balmoral Estate in Scotland to raise money for the charity.[146] The campaign continues almost every year as one of the fundraisers for the charity.[147] She has spoken at more than 60 functions on the disease in the UK and around the world and has also opened bone scanning units and osteoporosis centres to help sufferers of the disease.[144] Almost every year, the Duchess attends and partakes in the World Osteoporosis Day, which was launched by the International Osteoporosis Foundation and is celebrated on 20 October.[148]

For her works on raising awareness of osteoporosis around the world, the Duchess was honoured with an Ethel LeFrak award in 2005 from the U.S[149] and received a Kohn Award in 2007.[150][151] In 2007, the Duchess opened The Duchess of Cornwall Centre for Osteoporosis, named after her at Royal Cornwall Hospital, in recognition to the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, whose devotion to the treatment of osteoporosis and bone illness had been successful. The naming of the centre took place on 5 July 2007 in Truro, Cornwall where the hospital is located.[152][153] The National Osteoporosis Society also created The Duchess of Cornwall Award which is awarded to other advocates of Osteoporosis.[154]

Rape and sexual abuse victims[edit]Edit

After visiting nine rape crisis centres in 2009 and hearing stories by survivors, the Duchess began raising awareness and advocating ways to help rape and sexual abuse victims to overcome and move past their trauma. According to The Times, "The stories Her Royal Highness heard on her first visit and the stories she heard subsequently have left her with a strong desire to raise awareness about rape and sexual abuse and to try to help those affected."[155] She often speaks to victims at a rape crisis centre in Croydon and often visits other centres to meet with victims getting help.[156] In 2010, she teamed up with Mayor of LondonBoris Johnson and they opened a new centre in Ealing, West London for rape victims. The centre also opened to other areas including HillingdonFulhamHounslow, andHammersmith.[157]

[14][15]Antrim Area Hospital, where the Duchess opened The Rowan centre in Northern Ireland

In 2013, she held a meeting at Clarence House, which brought together rape victims and rape support groups. Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer and Home Secretary Theresa May were guests at the occasion. At the occasion, she introduced a plan to help the victims. About 750 wash-bags, packed with luxury toiletries were distributed to victims at the centres. Her staff at Clarence House created the wash-bags. The Duchess thought of the small gesture after visiting a centre at Derbyshire and asked victims what they would like to help them feel at ease after the trauma and forensic examinations. This has been wholly received and appreciated by victims, rape support groups and organisations. According to Clarence House, the event was the first meeting, which was attended by different envoys and high profile figures around the UK to focus exclusively on rape and sexual abuse subjects.[156][158] The same year, the Duchess travelled to Northern Ireland and opened The Rowan, a sexual assault and referral centre at Antrim Area Hospital.[159] The Rowan is the first centre opened to provide help and comfort to rape and sexual abuse victims in Northern Ireland.[160]

Other areas[edit]Edit

[16][17]The Duchess of Cornwall withPeter McLaughlin, headmaster ofThe Doon School which she visited in November 2013 on her India tour[161]

Being an avid reader, the Duchess is an advocate for literacy. She is the patron of the National Literacy Trust and other literacy charities. She often visits schools, libraries and children organisations to read to young children. Additionally, she partakes in literacy celebrations, includingInternational Literacy Day and World Book Day.[162] In 2011, she attended the Hay Festival to support children literacy and while there, she donated books to theOxfam bookshop.[163] The same year, she donated money to support the Evening Standard's literacy campaign.[164] The Duchess has also launched campaigns and programmes to promote literacy.[165][166]

The Duchess is a supporter of animal welfare and patron of many animal welfare charities including the Langford Trust for Animal Health and Welfare and president of Brooke Hospital for Animals.[167] She often visits other animal shelters to show her support and to see how the animals are cared for. In 2011, she adopted a rescue puppy, a Jack Russel Terrier from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home,[168] and in 2012 adopted another from the shelter.[169] Also in 2012, she opened twoveterinary facilities at the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences at Langford, Somerset, which will provide treatment to sick animals.[170]

The Duchess supports organisations that battle around the world on poverty and homelessness. She is the patron of Emmaus UK, and in 2013 during her solo trip to Paris, she went to see the efforts and works done by the charity in the city. Every year around Christmas, she visits Emmaus communities across the UK.[14]She also supports healthy-eatingarts and heritage related organisations and programmes.[137]

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]Edit

Titles and styles[edit]Edit

[18][19]Royal Monogram*17 July 1947 – 4 July 1973Miss Camilla Rosemary Shand

  • 4 July 1973 – 3 March 1995Mrs Andrew Parker Bowles
  • 3 March 1995 – 9 April 2005Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles
  • 9 April 2005 – present : Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall
    • in Scotland9 April 2005 – presentHer Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay[171]

Camilla's title and style in full: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Chester, Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.[171]

Because the title Princess of Wales became strongly associated with the previous holder of that title, Diana, Princess of Wales, Camilla has adopted the feminine form of her husband's highest-ranking subsidiary title, Duke of Cornwall[171] although legally she is Princess of Wales. Unless any specific Act of Parliament is passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom (and other Commonwealth states) to the contrary, when Prince Charles becomes king, she can assume by courtesy the style of "Queen Camilla".[172][173] However, Clarence House stated[174] that when Charles becomes king, it is intended that Camilla will adopt the unprecedented style of Princess Consort, similar to the style of Prince Albert. This is not the same usage as her father-in-law, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who does not hold the title of Prince Consort although he was created a Prince of the United Kingdom by his wife, Queen Elizabeth II.[175]


See also List of honours of the British Royal Family by country




Honorary degrees[edit]Edit

Honorary military appointments[edit]Edit

[26][27]General Sir John McColl, Lieutenant Governor of Jersey with the Duchess of Cornwall in 2012

The Duchess of Cornwall holds the following military appointments:

[28] Australia
[30] Canada
[32] United Kingdom


Arms of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
On the Duchess's 58th birthday, Clarence House announced that Camilla had been granted by the Queen a coat of arms for her own personal use. It was reported that the Queen, Charles, and Camilla all took a "keen interest" in the arms' creation, and they were prepared by Peter Gwynn-Jones, Garter Principal King of Arms.[182] The Duchess's coat of arms impale the Prince's main coat of arms to the dexter, with her father's coat of arms to the sinister.[183]
17 July 2005
Coronet of the Prince of Wales
Quarterly 1st and 4th gules three lions passant guardant in pale or armed and langed azure 2nd or a lion rampant gules armed and langued azure within a double tressure flory counterflory of the second 3rd azure a harp or stringed argent (the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom), the whole difference with a label of three points Argent; with an inescutcheon of four lions passant guardant, in gold and red, counterchanged, surmounted by the coronet of the heir (for the Principality of Wales); impaled with a shield of Azure a Boar's Head erased close Argent armed and langued Or on a Chief engrailed Argent between two Mullets Gules a Cross crosslet fitchy Sable.[183]
Dexter: a lion rampant gardant Or crowned with the coronet of the heir, differenced with a label of three points Argent; sinister: a Boar Azure armed and unguled Or langued Gules and gorged with a Coronet composed of crosses formy and fleurs-de-lys attached thereto a Chain reflexed over the back and ending in a ring all Or.[183]
The Royal Victorian Order circlet.


Other elements
Insignia of GCVO appended
Aside from the invention of a boar supporter (reflected in her paternal arms) for the sinister side, Camilla's coat of arms is entirely consistent with the historical heraldic arrangement for a married woman who is not a heraldic heiress.
Previous versions
Previous versions were depicted without the Royal Victorian Order, in which she was only appointed in 2012.


Name Birth Marriage Issue
Tom Parker Bowles 18 December 1974 10 September 2005 Sara Buys Lola Rosalind Parker Bowles

Freddy Parker Bowles

Laura Parker Bowles 1 January 1978 6 May 2006 Harry Lopes Eliza Lopes

Louis Lopes Gus Lopes


According to genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner, the Duchess of Cornwall's ancestry is predominantly French, English, Dutch, and Scottish.[184] Camilla is descended from Dutch emigrant Arnold Joost van Keppel, who was created the Earl of Albemarle by King William III of England in 1696.[185] His son, Willem van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle, married Lady Anne Lennox, who was the daughter ofCharles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, illegitimate son of King Charles II. Through Anne Lennox, her bloodline is descended from the House of Stuart.[186] Through her great-great-grandfather George Cubitt, 1st Baron Ashcombe, she is descended from Thomas Cubitt, a prominent architect during the Victorian era.[187]

Through her French lineage, Camilla's maternal line great-great-grandmother was Sophia Mary MacNab of Hamilton, Ontario, who was the descendant of 17th century immigrants to Quebec, and the daughter of Sir Allan MacNab, who was the Prime Minister of the Province of Canada before Confederation.[188] Sophia was the wife of William Keppel, 7th Earl of Albemarle and their son was The Hon.George Keppel, who is the great-grandfather of Camilla. Through George Keppel on Camilla's side and through the Queen Mother on Charles's side, Camilla and Charles are ninth cousins once removed.[189][190] She is also a descendant of French colonist Zacharie Cloutier, who founded one of the principal families of Quebec City.[5]


  1. Jump up^ On the unusual occasions when a surname is used, it is Mountbatten-Windsor. Her first married name was Camilla Parker Bowles. Her full maiden name is Camilla Rosemary Shand.
  2. Jump up^ Charles and Camilla: Portrait of a Love Affair by biographer Gyles Brandreth depicts Charles and Camilla's relationship as controversial due to its longevity and throughout the book shows the media's interest and representation to the public.
  3. Jump up^ Some sources report that she was born in Plumpton, but it seems that this is a confusion of her childhood home with her birth place.
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