Body Language Expert Reveals How The Royals Really Feel About Queen Camilla

When Queen Camilla first entered the royal spotlight, she was known as Camilla Parker Bowles, a British socialite who ran in the same circles as King Charles III, then Prince Charles. The pair briefly dated in 1971 before parting ways and marrying other people — but as we all know, the story didn't end there.

In the early '90s, the world learned that Charles was having an affair with Camilla while married to Princess Diana. Diana famously called Camilla out during a 1995 interview, stating, "Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." The whole debacle, which the British press dubbed "Camillagate," created a PR nightmare for the royal family and Camilla became the most detested woman in the U.K.

However, since marrying Charles in 2005, Camilla's public image has gradually improved. No longer a tabloid villain, Camilla is admired for her hard work and down-to-earth demeanor. Upon Queen Elizabeth II's death in September 2022, Camilla's husband became king and she became the queen consort. The rise of Queen Camilla is truly remarkable, but it's not without scrutiny. From her public feud with Prince Harry to her rumored fallout with Princess Catherine, there's reason to believe that some royals still have a less-than-favorable opinion of her. To find out what's really going on, we enlisted the help of Jess Ponce III, a body language expert, communication coach, and the author of "A.W.E.S.O.M.E: 7 Keys to Unlock the Speaker Within."

King Charles III is 'comfortable' with Camilla

Queen Camilla made plenty of enemies during her early years as a public figure, but King Charles' faith in her never wavered. In a speech after his ascension to the throne, Charles praised his "darling wife, Camilla," for her "loyal public service" and expressed his confidence in her serving as the queen consort.

"I think Camilla has transformed Charles," royal expert Penny Junor told Vanity Fair in 2022. "He is happier with her than he has ever been. She gives him confidence and the support he has so desperately needed throughout his life and never truly found elsewhere."

Proof of this could be seen in a tender moment during a literary reception at The Queen's Reading Room in 2023. Charles was photographed gazing down at Camilla with a soft, affectionate smile. According to body language expert Jess Ponce III, Charles' love for Camilla is unmistakable. "There is an intimacy in his expression," Ponce exclusively told The List. "His head is titled as the two make eye contact. Overall, he is comfortable and self-assured when the two are together."

Prince William isn't entirely at ease around his stepmother

As the heir to the British throne, Prince William is unsurprisingly cordial to Queen Camilla in public. But according to his brother, Prince Harry, there's plenty of drama happening behind the scenes. In his 2022 memoir, "Spare," Harry claimed that both he and William opposed the idea of their father marrying Camilla. "Despite Willy and me urging him not to, Pa was going ahead," Harry wrote. "We pumped his hand, wished him well."

In 2022, body language expert Judi James told Express that Camilla performed a "barrier gesture" when she placed her handbag in front of her body during an interaction with William and Princess Catherine. According to James, this suggested that Camilla felt anxious in the presence of her stepson-in-law. However, Camilla isn't the only one who feels uncomfortable in these interactions.

In November 2022, William also appeared to show his true feelings while interacting with Camilla during a state visit from the president of South Africa. One photo from the event shows William smiling as he leans in to chat with the queen consort. William's facial expression looked attentive and formal; however, he showed signs of discomfort, according to body language expert Jess Ponce III. "His hands remain closed in front of him," Ponce revealed to The List. "While it is not a chilly encounter, he lacks the warmth of someone familiar."

Prince Harry distrusts his stepmother

Unlike his older brother William, Prince Harry has been quite unfiltered about his feelings towards Queen Camilla. The regal slammed his stepmother in "Spare," claiming she tried to repair her public image by leaking information about his drug use and other personal struggles to the British press. Harry suggested that in her quest to divert the media's attention away from herself, Camilla "sacrificed [him] on her personal PR altar." In 2023, he told "Good Morning America" that he doesn't see her as an "evil stepmother"; however, he went on to say, "I see someone who married into this institution and has done everything that she can to improve her own reputation and image for her own sake." 

Harry's allegations show that he and Camilla have been at odds for a long time — and this tension was even evident back in May 2018 during King Charles' birthday patronage celebration. As a photograph from the event shows, Camilla chatted with Harry's then-new wife, Meghan Markle, while Charles and Harry stand off to the side. According to Jess Ponce III, Harry's body language signaled his distrust of Camilla.

"His feet are firmly planted on the ground, and with an upright posture, he looks very much at attention," Ponce told us. "Specifically, he is paying careful attention to his wife and Camilla. This is very telling, not only about his protective nature of Meghan but his cautiousness around his father and Camila."

Princess Anne has taken a liking to Queen Camilla

When Queen Camilla first joined the royal family, it was unclear whether she'd be accepted by King Charles' sister, Princess Anne. After all, Anne had plenty of reasons to dislike her new sister-in-law. For one thing, Anne had a brief romance with Camilla's ex-husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, years before he married Camilla. Then, of course, there was Charles and Camilla's affair, which disgraced the entire royal family.

Over the years, royal watchers and body language experts alike noticed several signs of disharmony between the women. "Earlier photos do suggest a potential for frostiness between Anne and Camilla with both women apparently able to stand together while ignoring one another," body language expert Judi James once told Express. Despite their rocky start, though, many believe that their relationship has transformed. Not only has Anne accepted Camilla as an in-law, but she's also embraced her as a close friend. Judi James noted to Express that Camilla often appears nervous in public but loosens up when Anne is around.

More evidence of their sweet friendship came in 2017 when the pair greeted each other at a sporting event. Jess Ponce III explained that Anne's body language conveyed pure warmth during the interaction. "This photo is all about friendship," Ponce told us. "The two of them look like two friends who just ran into one another at a mall, coffee shop, or other casual setting." The body language expert noted that their direct eye contact and "soft, easy smiles" show signs of genuine closeness. "The exchange does not seem effortful in the slightest," Ponce stated.  

Queen Elizabeth put the crown first in her relationship with Camilla

Like Princess Anne's relationship with Queen Camilla, Queen Elizabeth's connection with Camilla transformed over time. In the early years, the sovereign quietly showed her disapproval of Camilla by keeping her distance. Body language expert Judi James noted that the queen even seemed to shun Camilla on the day of her wedding to Charles. "At the poses after their wedding, the queen and Philip stood back and away from the couple on the steps, which prevented any happy family photographs being taken," James confirmed to Express. Nonetheless, Elizabeth eventually warmed up to her daughter-in-law, and their relationship flourished. In 2022, she endorsed Camilla as the eventual queen consort, proving once and for all that there was no bad blood between them. 

The late monarch was known for putting her work above her personal relationships, and her friendship with Camilla was no exception. In 2019, the pair stepped out at Buckingham Palace for a state visit with the president of the United States. The women chatted jovially, looking comfortable in each other's presence. The queen was even spotted leaning slightly toward Camilla. However, the queen's sense of duty was still paramount.

As Jess Ponce III explained, Queen Elizabeth's body language at this event was all about business. "She is looking to her audience, smiling, and the fact that Camilla is there is a matter of circumstance," Ponce told us. "While Camilla is paying attention to the queen, the queen is focused on the occasion. It's not that she is unfriendly in any manner, but rather that her warmth is focused outward to onlookers."

Princess Catherine gets along well with Queen Camilla these days

How do Queen Camilla and Princess Catherine get along? Rumors say not so great. In May 2023, royal watchers noticed that Catherine didn't curtsy to Camilla at the coronation. In typical royal fashion, Catherine and Camilla haven't acknowledged the rumors — and in public, they continue to present a united front. "In the early years, Kate wasn't a particularly confident person, which could have led to some disjointed and awkward moments with Camilla," body language analyst Darren Stanton told Express. "However, as the years have gone on, Kate and Camilla have both developed an inner confidence within themselves."

As body language expert Jess Ponce III told us, "Princess Catherine is always appropriate and respectful. She's so aware of her public presence and how she does, and should, come across, that it would be hard to read if she, in fact, did not like someone in the royal circle."

During the Order of the Garter ceremony in 2022, Catherine and Camilla seemed to be especially hitting it off. In one photo, Catherine is seen leaning in close to Camilla while chatting. According to Ponce, this was a positive and authentic interaction. "In this photo, she is giving Camilla full respect and attention. She appears to be very comfortable with Camilla and offers a friendly, warm smile," Ponce shared. The final verdict? Catherine and Camilla are genuinely in good standing. "By all indications, Camilla could consider Princess Catherine an ally — and this could prove valuable in the coming years," the expert dished.

Meghan Markle 'does not bond with Camilla'

Given the rift between Prince Harry and Queen Camilla, it's reasonable to assume that Harry's wife, Meghan Markle, isn't Camilla's biggest fan. In 2023, a source alleged to OK! magazine that Camilla feels uncomfortable around Markle and Harry. However, given their histories of being painted as villains by the British press, Meghan and Camilla actually have quite a bit in common. In reality, these women can probably relate to each other in a way that no other royal truly can. 

Despite Meghan and Camilla's similarities, though, there's no getting around the fact that Camilla and Meghan have a complicated relationship. According to body language expert Jess Ponce III, they showed signs of tension back in 2018 during King Charles' birthday patronage celebration. The regal royals were all smiles during the moment in question, but Meghan's body language suggested an overall lack of chemistry with Camilla. "What is interesting about this photo is how King Charles is leaning toward Camilla, whereas Meghan is leaning away. Camilla and Meghan don't seem to be connecting at all," Ponce told The List. "While they are both present, there are no physical signs of a familiar, friendly interaction. Meghan, who already may be uncomfortable given all that was happening, does not bond with Camilla."

Princess Beatrice appears to have a 'favorable' opinion of Queen Camilla

At a glance, Princess Beatrice and Queen Camilla seem to have a great rapport — and that makes sense given what we know about their history. Beatrice, who is the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, was just a child during King Charles and Camilla's affair scandal, so she likely wasn't affected by the ensuing drama. Furthermore, they have a special connection thanks to their mutual interest in charitable causes.

While attending the Oscar's Book Prize event in 2023, Beatrice praised Camilla for her work in promoting literacy across the United Kingdom. "I was reminded this weekend — it's been a bit of a big weekend — about the importance of community," Beatrice said, referring to the coronation of Charles and Camilla (via Hello! magazine). She continued, saying, "I also know the importance of literacy to Her Majesty the Queen, and I'm hoping we can find out more ways we can work together with Oscar's Book Prize."

Camilla and Beatrice's bond isn't new, though. Back at Trooping the Colour in 2015, Beatrice's casual posture around Camilla showed that she felt comfortable in the then-duchess' presence. As Jess Ponce III exclusively told The List, "Beatrice's smile ... [indicates] she is enjoying the shared experience, so one can assume that her opinion of Camilla is favorable."

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, seems to have a cordial but distant relationship with Camilla

Thanks to her status as a working royal, Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, spends plenty of time in the orbit of Queen Camilla. Occasionally, you'll see this pair out and about at royal events. Some observers have noticed that the women seem pleasant enough with each other but also distant. "Despite being sisters-in-law," body language expert Judi James told Express in 2022, "there are few, if any, body language moments between Sophie and Camilla that would suggest anything warmer than a polite and even rather formal relationship."

Body language expert Jess Ponce III seems to agree. Back in 2015, when Sophie and Camilla were pictured chatting during the Order of the Garter service, Sophie could be seen with her shoulders facing forward and her hands clasped in front of her body. Ponce noted that Sohpie's body language was somewhat cold. "She is fully engaged in the service but respectfully pays attention to Camilla at this moment," Ponce explained. "She is definitely cordial, but whether or not she likes Camilla remains to be seen. She is being polite." The Duchess of Edinburgh is known for her calm, cool demeanor, so it's not surprising that she keeps us guessing.

Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis don't have a typical relationship with their stepgrandmother

These days, Prince William and Queen Camilla appear to be friendly with each other — which may have something to do with the boundaries that William set with his mother-in-law regarding his children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. 

"William has made it clear that Camilla is the wife of his father, but not a step-grandmother to his children," royal expert Angela Levin claimed in her book, "Camilla: From Outcast to Queen Consort" (via InStyle). If this is true, then you might expect to see a lack of bonding between William's children and Camilla. So, we asked Jess Ponce III to shed some light on the state of their relationship — and, in fact, she doesn't exactly seem to be a doting grandmother, nor do the kids seem to be affectionate toward her.

In 2023, Camilla joined the three mini royals for a carriage ride during Trooping the Colour. Observing their body language, Ponce noted that the youngsters barely interacted with the queen consort. "All three children are fully engaged in the moment, paying little attention to Camilla. Rather they are caught up in the experience of the crowd and circumstance," Ponce explained. Notably, Camilla seemed equally uninterested in the kids. "She does not necessarily show any warmth toward them," Ponce shared. "Kids bring out the child in all of us, but not her."