PUBLISHED: 22:24, Sun, Jul 16, 2017 | UPDATED: 22:24, Sun, Jul 16, 2017
PACamilla has been happily married to Prince Charles for 12 years
A new survey suggests the Duchess of Cornwall is slowly, but surely, winning the heart of the nation.
The Duchess, who has been happily married to Prince Charles for 12 years, is now closer than ever to becoming “Queen Camilla”.
When her husband becomes King, Camilla will be known as the Princess Consort, rather than Queen Consort, a decision made out of respect for the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Camilla has not taken the title “Princess of Wales” for the same reason.
The new survey found that 39 per cent of people want Camilla to take the title of “Queen” when Charles takes the throne.
In 2005, that figure was just seven per cent. The study also found 22 per cent have a better opinion of Camilla than ever before.Fri, July 14, 2017
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She was very hurt and quite afraid to have that amount of vitriol aimed at her at first
Only seven per cent of the 2,000 respondents view her in a worse light, according to the research.
The news will come as a pleasing birthday surprise for the Duchess, as she turns 70 tomorrow.
She has weathered huge public hostility since her 2005 marriage to Charles eight years after the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Her well-publicised affair with the Prince of Wales was blamed for the break-up of his marriage to the “People’s Princess”.
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, said Camilla was “afraid” when she first encountered the wrath of the British public.
“She was very hurt and quite afraid to have that amount of vitriol aimed at her at first,” she said.
Ms Seward said that although the Duchess will be “flattered” that the country has warmed to her, she remains “wary” and keen to “never outshine Charles”.
“People like that,” she said. “In other words she behaves like a lady, not a celebrity.”
Other royal experts said it was time to lay the ghost of Diana to rest and hail a new era of Camilla.
PACamilla and TV host Paul OâGrady when she visited Battersea Dogsâ Home
Historian and biographer Andrew Roberts said: “In the goldfish bowl that is Royal life and work, Camilla has undertaken her many and varied tasks perfectly.
“She does a huge amount of charity work and has not put a foot wrong.
“She has also been a superb stepmother to Princes William and Harry, who might have had a reason to resent her, but instead adore her.
“Her 70th birthday is the right time for the nation to acknowledge the happiness she has brought to the Prince of Wales; to start calling her by her proper title, Princess of Wales.
“The title ‘Princess of Wales’ is an ancient one and it is absurd that its present use has been prevented by the over-sensitivity of courtiers 20 years ago.Fri, June 30, 2017
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"The title cannot belong to any one individual in history... especially if the abeyance of the title was to appease a dislike of Camilla that has disappeared today.”
The first event to be held in Camilla’s honour was a garden party at Clarence House on Thursday.
A host of stars attended, including luminaries such as Joanna Lumley and Dame Maggie Smith, signalling Camilla’s popularity with the great and the good.
Other guests included Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood and TV host Paul O’Grady, who praised Camilla’s remarkable transformation.
He said: “It’s taken a lot of guts. She could have sat there watching daytime telly. But she’s embraced it.”
WIREIMAGECamilla is slowly, but surely, winning the heart of the nation
The Duchess later enjoyed a more intimate private celebration with 250 friends and family at Highgrove.
Thrown by the Prince of Wales, it was described as a “warm family occasion”.
Guests included William and Harry and Camilla’s own children and even ex-husband Andrew Parker-Bowles.
Prince Charles is understood to have paid tribute to his “darling wife” in a heartfelt speech.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were invited, but stayed at Windsor Castle, having been hosting the Spanish royal family all week.