Royal author Christopher Andersen says that Prince William and Prince Harry were “completely blindsided” by the news that their stepmother, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, would one day become Queen Consort, and that the decision is “driving a wedge” in the royal family.
Speaking to Us Weekly, Andersen–author of the new book Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan–says “It’s just whether or not they can get over this bad feeling. Then, of course, [the] Queen’s health and these other considerations are there. I don’t think it helped with the Queen announcing that Duchess Camilla will be Queen Consort, and that’s another issue.”
Going on to say that the decision is “driving a wedge” in the royal family, he added “I can tell you right now that the boys were completely blindsided by this.”
Though William and Harry are said to be friendly with Camilla now, there is a long history of their father, Prince Charles, having an affair with Camilla in the 1980s and 1990s, while still married to their mother, Princess Diana. Charles and Diana ultimately separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996; Diana was killed in a car accident in 1997, and Charles and Camilla wed in 2005.
Andersen told the outlet that Her Majesty was “miserable” during Charles’ second marriage ceremony, saying “She was begrudgingly letting him do this and one of the key elements was he promised Camilla would never be called Queen Consort,” he says.
“Elizabeth II was skeptical about Camilla when she married Charles, and the circumstances were certainly challenging, but through her dedication and loyalty to The Firm, she has more than proved to her that she has what it takes,” he says. “Camilla has definitely grown on Elizabeth II, more so than ever during the pandemic. She really upped her game and willingly took a hands-on approach with additional duties.”
Andersen says Charles was “relentlessly” pushing for Camilla to become Queen Consort, even more so after the death of the Queen’s longtime husband and consort, Prince Philip, last April.
“Charles just wore her down on this too,” Andersen says. “I also think that since the death of Prince Philip, Charles has stepped up his effort to make it clear to the Queen that he too needs [a partner]. If he’s going to reign, he’s going to need the support, the kind of support that she got from [her husband].”
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the weekend editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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