Three generations of Camilla's family: her father, Major Bruce Shand, son Tom and daughter Laura
Photo: ©
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Until now protocol dictated that Camilla keep a certain distance from Charles's sons William and Harry. Above, Camilla is seated one row behind the royals in 2002. Having wisely made it clear she won't try to replace their mother, Charles' fiancée has gradually won the young Princes' acceptance
Photo: © EMPICS

10 MARCH 2005

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The recent newspaper report that Prince Charles had decided to set up a £1-million trust fund for Camilla Parker Bowles's son Tom, 30, and her daughter Laura, 26, was perhaps the first clue that they were to become part of the Royal Family.

Charles will gain a stepson and daughter (Tom is already his godson), while Camilla will of course become stepmother to Prince Harry and Prince William, an idea that once seemed unthinkable. Now it's about to become a reality.

For the young Princes' part, Palace officials said both were 100 per cent behind their father. “We are both very happy for our father and Camilla, and we wish them all the luck in the future,” they said in a joint statement.

William was ten years old and Harry only eight when the ‘War of the Waleses’ ended with Charles and Diana's announcement that they had decided to separate, in December 1992. Both boys must have been aware of the tension in the household, although both parents tried to shield them from much of the misery. Andrew Morton, in his bestseller Diana, Her True Story, described Prince William shoving paper tissues under his mother's bathroom door while she sobbed her heart out on the other side.

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