Camilla’s triumph: How the Queen Consort earned her late mother-in-law’s respect and affection

Despite a difficult start, Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Camilla shared a close bond of mutual respect and affection. Source: Getty Images.

As history will show, Camilla Parker-Bowles and her mother-in-law the late Queen Elizabeth II, got off on the wrong foot.

However, as they navigated the complexities of royal dynamics and the “Diana years”, the Queen Consort’s relationship with the late Queen was one of gradual evolution marked by respect, understanding and ultimately, affection.

According to royal biographer, Ingrid Seward, it was not her ongoing and unconditional support of King Charles III throughout their 50-year relationship that won the Queen over, but her ability to help the Monarch build and strengthen her relationship with her son.

Speaking to 9Honey , Seward said after the “Diana years” when Queen Elizabeth just really didn’t “see Charles” it was Camilla who helped mother and son reform the close bond we all saw towards the end of the Monarch’s life.

But Seward also pointed out other key moments where the then Duchess of Cornwall fulfilled a valuable role in the life of the Royal Family particularly with respect to the Duke of Edinburgh’s later years. 

“Much later when Philip became unwell and elderly and very crotchety, Camilla was completely brilliant with him,” she told 9Honey.

“And I think the Queen really respected that and became very, very fond of her, but I think it was a later thing.”

Seward admits that while it wasn’t that the Queen didn’t like Camilla, royal protocol did play a part in things in the earlier days.

“When Camilla came on the scene, although the Queen couldn’t actually entertain – and I don’t mean entertain the likes of tea or something – but entertain to be friends with Camilla,” she explained.

“She had known Camilla most of Camilla’s life and she was aware of what a good influence Camilla was.

“But I think later, when Philip became old and unwell, Camilla was completely brilliant.”

In addition to Camilla’s ability to help navigate various complicated family dynamics, their mutual love of horses and strong work ethic also created common ground for a solid connection between the two women. 

“She also then saw how hard Camilla worked,” Seward told 9Honey.

“Remember, Camilla had never been to an office because she’d never worked in the traditional way.

“She’d had the life of an army wife, which is really looking after the home and the children.

“So to suddenly be thrown into the royal world, although she wasn’t suddenly thrown in, I think the Queen suddenly had a growing respect for her.”

And this respect was demonstrated after 16 years of marriage to then Prince Charles when Queen Elizabeth gave her resolute daughter-in-law the ultimate seal of approval in February 2022 just months before she passed away.

“When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla that same support that you have given me,” Queen Elizabeth said in her Platinum Jubilee statement.

“And it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”

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