According to sources, the Duchess of Cornwall has gone from being vilified as a ‘monumentally lazy’ woman to a hard-working royal who carries out her duties with energy and dedication.
Camilla, who turns 75 next week, was once described as “inactive” and “a woman who would rather put her feet up at home than do good work,” Valentine Low noted in The Times.
But the description could hardly be more out of step with the devoted Camilla seen in public today. The Duchess undertook 169 engagements in the year to June 2022, just slightly less than Prince Charles’ 255.
The Duchess of Cornwall has transformed from a ‘monumentally lazy’ woman to a hard-working royal who takes on her duties with energy and dedication, sources say. Pictured, the Duchess of Cornwall joined Prince Charles in Rwanda last month
When Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall’s wedding was announced in 2005, many, even Camilla’s friends, didn’t think she could keep up with the demanding pace of work. Pictured, the Duchess during her first royal engagement on May 23, 2005
She champions causes ranging from literacy to domestic violence, and often carries out assignments despite receiving far less publicity or praise than that of the Duchess of Cambridge or the Countess of Wessex.
When Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall’s wedding was announced in 2005, many, even Camilla’s friends, didn’t think she could keep up with the demanding pace of work.
Mark Bolland, a former Clarence House adviser, wrote in The Times ahead of the wedding: “I love Camilla dearly, but she’s utterly lazy (in the nicest way possible)…
A member of her family once described her to me as the ‘laziest woman born in England in the 20th century’. That’s not going to change… she’s never worked in her life and is terrified of being shown in public.”
Camilla, then 57, embarked on a new job and a whole new lifestyle at a time when the majority of women her age are raising their legs and thinking about retirement.
It meant that Camilla—who, according to a friend, likes to roam around the yard and watch TV in her dressing gown—had to recalibrate her energy level and start working more than she’d ever done before.
The Duchess of Cornwall has played a central role in recent Platinum Anniversary celebrations, including her husband taking the stage at Buckingham Palace’s glittering Platinum Pageant. She also joined the Queen and the Cambridges on the final bank holiday (above)
Now the Duchess is crossing the UK to make arrangements, both with Prince Charles and alone.
One of the causes closest to her heart is domestic violence and abuse. She has called for more action to tackle violence against women and says it is critical that children are taught how to treat others with respect.
Last month, she delivered a speech at the Violence Against Women and Girls event at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda.
“There has been such a taboo,” she said in a Vogue interview prior to the visit. “People can still love the people who abuse them, and feel so guilty and ashamed that they think it’s their fault, so they bury it. It becomes a kind of terribly hidden secret.’
The Duchess’s work ethic has “surprised and impressed all her friends – she really put the guts in and did the job of the part.”
Last month, the Duchess of Cornwall delivered a speech at the Violence Against Women and Girls event at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Rwanda
It has also been recognized by her mother-in-law, the Queen, who has asked her to be known as ‘Queen Consort’ once Prince Charles takes the throne.
The Duchess of Cornwall has played a central role in recent Platinum Anniversary celebrations, including her husband taking the stage at Buckingham Palace’s glittering Platinum Pageant.
As the Queen steps back from royal duties, senior royals, including Camilla, have taken on more responsibility.
There will be more in the future, but it won’t bother Camilla, Gyles Brandreth told the Times.
“She’s not complaining. Instead of thinking, “Oh God,” she thinks, “Oh yeah.” Her attitude is very positive to keep going, keep going. She’s fully accepted that she’s taking on more, not less.’