The Duchess of Cornwall has given her first interview on life in the Royal Family, revealing that her strong character and positive attitude keeps her going. Speaking exclusively to the Mail on Sunday's You Magazine, Camilla talked openly about the difficulties she faced when she married Prince Charles, as the public began to warm to her after the death of Princess Diana. The Duchess also spoke about her idyllic upbringing and happy family life, which stood her in good stead for a life with the Royals. Camilla’s fascinating interview comes a few months before she celebrates her 70th birthday on 17 July.
Camilla told The Mail how she manages to keep up with her busy schedule of royal visits and engagements. She explained: “Sometimes you get up in the morning and think you can’t do it, and you just have to. The minute you stop it’s like a balloon, you run out of puff – you sort of collapse in a heap. I think you live on adrenaline.” Camilla revealed that the key to keeping up with her full diary is to stay positive and to ‘just get on with it’, which she says is a very British thing.
The Duchess also spoke on a personal level about the difficulties she faced when she and Prince Charles became a couple for the second time. They first dated in the early seventies after meeting at a polo match, but Charles was called away on naval duties overseas and Camilla went on to marry Andrew Parker Bowles. Rekindling their relationship was a challenge however, as the public were initially hostile about the union. They married in 2005.
Camilla told the paper that for a year she was housebound and avoided the press. She said: “I couldn’t really go anywhere. But the children came and went as normal – they just got on with it – and so did great friends. It was horrid. It was a deeply unpleasant time and I wouldn’t want to put my worst enemy through it." Camilla said that her strong character and happy upbringing saw her through the tough times, along with the support of her children Tom and Laura and her siblings Annabel and late brother Mark.
Back in 2015, Charles praised Camilla for her charm and charisma as they celebrated their 10-year anniversary. CNN's Max Foster asked the Prince of Wales: "People cannot believe it's been ten years. And in that time the Duchess of Cornwall has defined her own public role as well, hasn't she? Has that been a challenge?" Charles replied: "You can imagine it is a real, real challenge. But she's, I think, been brilliant in the way she's tackled these things." Speaking about Camilla’s powerful charm and humour, he explained that his wife is "perhaps a bit more relaxed when it's slightly more private or when you're meeting people without being totally surrounded all the time by the dreaded camera."