Why Insiders Think Camilla Saved Charles' Relationship With The Queen

Queen Elizabeth's oldest son finally saw his destiny realized, as he was proclaimed King Charles III following her death. Unlike his mother, who ascended to the throne as a young bride, the newly minted king comes to his post with a history some Britons still find uncomfortable. While married to Diana Spencer, the late Princess of Wales, Charles carried out an affair with his first love, the also-married Camilla Parker Bowles. Both eventually divorced, then finally had their happily-ever-after when they wed in 2005. But there are still those who resent the new queen consort for being "the third person" in Charles's first marriage. Even now, Diana fans fumed when King Charles described Camilla as "my darling wife" in his first speech as monarch.

Despite her reputation, Queen Consort Camilla may actually have played a role in helping heal the troubled relationship between her husband and his mother. A detailed essay in the Daily Mail explains that for years, the queen saw the then-Prince of Wales as an "infuriating" young man who "could imperil the stability of a throne that she had worked hard for all her life." Charles, in turn, saw his mother as distant and uninvolved in his childhood. Later on, he also came to resent the queen's lack of praise for his charitable works and her "snappy" refusal to let him be seen publicly with Camilla a mere year after Diana's death. 

Time, understanding, and the steadfastness of a loving woman helped change all that.

Camilla's love helped bring mother and son together

As the Daily Mail's Geoffrey Levy and Richard Kay explain, "It was the queen who pressured [then-Prince Charles] to make a decision" about his future with Camilla Parker Bowles. Although Her Majesty was still iffy about her son's relationship with a woman who had helped break up his first marriage, she realized that it would be in the best interest of the monarchy if the future king were in a happy and permanent union. 

Queen Elizabeth didn't attend Prince Charles and Camilla's 2005 wedding because it was a civil ceremony. As noted by The Telegraph at the time, it would have gone against her position as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. However, she did host a large reception afterward, offering a warm toast in which she referred to the newlyweds as being in "the winners' enclosure." That touching moment — and the fact that she referred to her son as a winner — "began the change in the nature of this uniquely troubled relationship between a queen and her heir," say the Daily Mail authors.

From there, the then-Duchess of Cornwall proved herself both a loving wife and a worthy member of the family. Charles, too, grew in maturity. On the 70th anniversary of her accession, the queen expressed her confidence that her legacy would be left in good hands, and gave Charles her blessing to have Camilla named queen consort. "She believed, at last, that he could be a fine king. Charles, significantly, had also changed his mind about his mother," say the writers.