In 2018, director Jane Treays and her documentary film team were given unprecedented access to Camilla during her 70th year.
From entertaining at Clarence House to walking her beloved dogs to dancing to Elvis with Prince Charles, we see the Duchess from a series of different perspectives. And with interviews from close friends and family, including her husband, the future King of England, the filmmakers manage to get behind the headlines to discover what the Duchess of Cornwall is really like.
In The Real Camilla: HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, we are introduced to a young, pretty and bubbly Camilla who became Charles’ first love when he was just 23. “She was fun. People enjoyed being in her company,” says biographer Penny Junor, “She made everybody laugh! And she drank copiously, she smoked and she was up for anything. She loved parties.”
Lord Mountbatten, Prince Charles’ role model and ‘honorary grandfather’, made it clear that Charles and Camilla could not last. For one thing, she was the daughter of a British army officer turned businessman, and was not considered ‘aristocratic’ enough. She was also perceived as an ‘experienced woman’ – not a virgin. This was fifty years ago, a time when it was very difficult for Royals to marry non-Royals.
In the end, Camilla reconnected with old flame Andrew Parker Bowles – an officer in the Cavalry – while Charles left to spend eight months with the Royal Navy. He proposed to her in 1973, while Charles was in the West Indies.
Andrew and Camilla had two children together and lived a very privileged life, but her husband was frequently unfaithful and Camilla became increasingly unhappy in the marriage. She had another brief fling with Charles, but yet again it couldn’t go any further. She was married, and he was about to be too.
“She’s not interested in position, or status,” says Gyles Brandreth, broadcaster and childhood friend of Camilla. “She is a very normal, very rounded person who has found herself in love with the person who happens to be the Prince of Wales. If you’d asked Camilla years ago whether she would be interested in becoming Queen, she would have laughed at the idea. She would’ve said ‘how horrific!”
Did you know that Camilla believes in ghosts? According to her, Dumfries House – the couple’s Scottish hideaway – used to be haunted. “It had a really eerie feel about it,” she told the crew, “there was definitely a ghost, without a shadow of a doubt. I remember the first time I walked up the steps, got into the hall and thought ‘I can’t go any further’.”
“I literally froze,” she continues, “I remember thinking “I don’t want to come back here again. I didn’t for two years, and then I walked in and it was a completely new house. Whatever was there had disappeared.”
In this documentary you will see many different sides to Camilla: from the diligent ambassador for numerous charities to the relaxed wife and mother with a wickedly wry sense of humour. Forget any preconceived ideas you had about Camilla and meet the future Queen of England in The Real Camilla: HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, on True Royalty TV.
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