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The making of a royal mistress and why opposites have rarely been so attracted: How Camilla was confident, flirty and adored at home while Charles was tortured, miserable and never felt truly loved by his parents
- In her early teens Camilla was a natural leader, one everyone wanted as their friend; a pretty, sunny child with curls and a calm disposition that everyone liked
- She was adored by her parents, and hero-worshipped her father, Bruce Shand
- At the age of 11, Camilla was sent to a private girls’ school in South Kensington
- Camilla couldn’t have been less interested in the idea of a career and she wasn’t itching to travel or see the world and had no desire to go to university
Yesterday we explained how she overcame devastating nerves to marry him. Today, we tell how her lust for life and humour has helped him emerge from the shadow of his family and achieve his dreams . . .
&amp;lt;img id=”i-1cfbf0e9fa7e9156″ src=”http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/06/29/21/41D518F100000578-4652314-image-m-2_1498768887349.jpg” height=”501″ width=”634″ alt=”Rosalind was a full-time, hands-on mother to Camilla (pictured together), and their seven-bedroom house in East Sussex was always filled with merriment” class=”blkBorder img-share”/&amp;gt;
Rosalind was a full-time, hands-on mother to Camilla (pictured together), and their seven-bedroom house in East Sussex was always filled with merriment
Camilla was in her early teens when she discovered boys. It was all perfectly innocent, but the Pony Club dances she went to in Lewes town hall suddenly became way more exciting.
When the lights dimmed and the tempo changed, everyone started dancing slowly, kissing and doing a bit of exploratory groping.
Girls from good families may have read about sex, thought about it, giggled about it with their friends and developed passionate crushes on boys — they may even have fallen in love with one or two of them — but even so, not many girls like Camilla lost their virginity before the age or 17 or 18.
And she was no exception, although she did have a first kiss at just 12 or 13. She was a pretty girl with a dimpled smile and boys found her very attractive.
The eldest child, she was born with exceptional confidence. Both her parents and her siblings —Annabel and Mark — were mystified as to where it came from. None of them, confident characters hough there were, felt they had anything that approached Camilla’s.
As a little girl she marched happily into school without looking back. She galloped her pony, and flew over jumps without an anxious thought. She charged into the sea and laughed at the waves.
She was a natural leader, the one everyone wanted as their friend; a pretty, sunny child with fair curls and a calm disposition that everyone liked.
Significantly, she was adored by her parents, and she hero-worshipped her father, Bruce Shand. He was a gentle soul, never judgmental, never sharp or disagreeable, but wise and thoughtful, funny, and always had time for her.
He was also very brave: in 1942, aged 25, he had won the Military Cross twice and been wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of El Alamein in North Africa.
A wine merchant who loved art and music as well as his horses, people immediately warmed to him, as they did to his wife Rosalind, who was big-bosomed, big-hearted, generous and tactile.
Although she dressed smartly in skirts and suits, with bright red lipstick, she was less conventional than she looked. She invariably had a small cigar in one hand, and liked her children’s friends to call her by her first name, which was unusual in the Fifties.
It was Rosalind’s family who had the money. The fortune had been amassed by her great-grandfather, Thomas Cubitt, a master builder born in Norfolk of humble origins who went on to revolutionise the industry in the 19th century.
&amp;lt;img id=”i-986739b2b239728e” src=”http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/06/29/21/41DEB46A00000578-4652314-image-a-4_1498769108614.jpg” height=”503″ width=”306″ alt=”Camilla&nbsp;was a pretty teenage girl with a dimpled smile and boys found her very attractive” class=”blkBorder img-share”/&amp;gt;
Camilla was a pretty teenage girl with a dimpled smile and boys found her very attractive
As well as designing and building great swathes of London from Islington to the West End, he also built Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s Isle of Wight retreat, and won the contract to extend Buckingham Palace.
Rosalind may have been upper class to her bootstraps, but you’d never have known it from her conversation. Class was a word she abhorred, and although she never actually voted Labour, she certainly flirted with the idea.
Everyone, no matter what their background, was welcomed with the same warmth to the Shands’ home. And although the family had ponies, hunted and lived in some style, they never displayed a hint of snobbishness or entitlement.
As Camilla’s childhood friend Priscilla Spencer says, ‘Sometimes you come across somebody who really is exceptional and Rosalind was that person.
‘She was very like Camilla. A bit sharper of tongue but funny — the most amusing person you’d ever, ever meet. I absolutely adored her. And Bruce was the best looking man you’ve ever looked at in your life, urbane and charming.’
The children never had nannies. Rosalind was a full-time, hands-on mother, and their seven-bedroom house in East Sussex was always filled with merriment.
The Shands boosted rather than criticised, and made their children feel valued and safe.
At the age of 11, Camilla was sent to a private girls’ school, Queen’s Gate in South Kensington, as a boarder. Although today it is as academic as the next school, in the late Fifties when Camilla joined there was no real expectation that any of its pupils would go on to university or have a career.
At that time girls in all but a few fee-paying schools were very disadvantaged compared to their sisters in state grammar schools. In the private system girls were being prepared for marriage and motherhood — a smattering of European languages, a readiness to do good deeds in the community and an ability to cook and sew were deemed more important than academic qualifications.
Camilla couldn’t have been less interested in the idea of a career. She wasn’t itching to travel or see the world and had no desire to go to university.
She wasn’t ambitious, and she wasn’t influenced by her more aspiring contemporaries. She wanted the life her mother and so many of her mother’s county friends had. She wanted no more from life than to be happily married to an upper-class man and live a sociable life in the country with horses, dogs, children — and someone to look after them all and do the hard graft.
She left Queen’s Gate in 1964 having learned how to fence, but with just one O-level. She attracted boys like bees to a honeypot, and after a summer spent whizzing down to Brighton with an admirer a few years older than her — Richard Burgoyne, who had a snazzy sports car — she was sent to a Swiss finishing school.
Mon Fertile on the banks of Lake Geneva was a standard next step for well-heeled teenage girls. Here Camilla learned French and how to ski together with flower arranging, deportment, childcare, domestic accounting and how to dress a formal dinner table.
&amp;lt;img id=”i-20b089fb1a2a3d69″ src=”http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/06/29/21/41CF1E4E00000578-4652314-image-m-9_1498769580425.jpg” height=”596″ width=”633″ alt=”Charles’ childhood and teenage years, by contrast, were rather less fun.&nbsp;Charles was a small, shy and sensitive child, who was easily bullied. Philip decided that Gordonstoun, his own alma mater in Scotland, would toughen up his son.&nbsp;The Prince of Wales (centre) is pictured at Gordonstoun School, in step with his father the Duke of Edinburgh” class=”blkBorder img-share”/&amp;gt;
Charles’ childhood and teenage years, by contrast, were rather less fun. Charles was a small, shy and sensitive child, who was easily bullied. Philip decided that Gordonstoun, his own alma mater in Scotland, would toughen up his son. The Prince of Wales (centre) is pictured at Gordonstoun School, in step with his father the Duke of Edinburgh
Next she spent six months in Paris — where she had a lot of fun but came away with a lifelong terror of lifts, having been stuck in one for seven hours with a friend and two Frenchmen.
She will walk up any number of stairs rather than have to go in a lift again.
When she returned to London fully ‘finished’, in 1965, there was no more exciting place to be.
Camilla and her friends had a wild time: she smoked, drank her fair share and loved to party. She much preferred the Rolling Stones to the Beatles but she was never into flower-power or drugs, and her style of dressing remained remarkably conservative.
She found herself a couple of temporary jobs — one far more temporary than she intended.
She joined Colefax and Fowler, the exclusive interior design company, as one of several well-bred assistants, and didn’t last the week — she turned up late for work one day and her boss, Tom Parr, a difficult man given to explosive rages, sacked her on the spot.
Camilla couldn’t have cared less. But what made everyone at Colefax and Fowler laugh was that at the time she was living at Claridges, where her grandmother Sonia, a very wealthy woman, kept a permanent suite. The hotel was barely a minute’s walk away.
Charles’ childhood and teenage years, by contrast, were rather less fun. His parents have always been remote. The Queen acceded to the throne when he was just three, and as a young mother she had no choice but to demote her family to second place.
&amp;lt;img id=”i-81e5ec9fd7485700″ src=”http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/06/29/22/41D955CF00000578-4652314-Dazzling_smile_Camilla_shows_off_her_100_000_diamond_and_platinu-a-26_1498770253496.jpg” height=”466″ width=”306″ alt=”Dazzling smile: Camilla shows off her £100,000 diamond and platinum engagement ring – a present from the Queen” class=”blkBorder img-share”/&amp;gt;
Dazzling smile: Camilla shows off her £100,000 diamond and platinum engagement ring – a present from the Queen
Thanks to the demands of the job, she and her husband were abroad for months at a time, and there was no thought of taking their children with them. Times have changed and lessons have been learned: these days, Charles’s grandchildren, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, often travel with their parents.
Back in the Fifties, this seemed impractical and unthinkable. Charles and his sister Anne, two years his junior, were left behind with their nanny, the terrifying Helen Lightbody, in the care of their grandmother.
This is how the Prince of Wales developed such an enduring affection for his grandmother and why his relationship with his mother and father is more distant.
And the Duke of Edinburgh was tough on Charles.
Philip, who gave up a promising Naval career when his wife became Queen, is often thought of as an irascible and reactionary old fool who always puts his foot in it. But he is about as foolish as a fox; and has been known to reduce grown men to tears with his cutting remarks and bullying attitude.
Anne was a tough proposition and the apple of her father’s eye. But Charles, the heir, was a small, shy and sensitive child, who was easily bullied and often a victim. In short, he was a disappointment.
Philip decided that Gordonstoun, his own alma mater in Scotland, would toughen up his son.
So rather than sending him to Eton, across the bridge from Windsor Castle, where he would have been with friends and close to home — his grandmother’s choice for him — he was dispatched at the age of 13 to the north of Scotland, to a notoriously spartan and harsh regime on the banks of the Moray Firth, where he was hundreds of miles from home and utterly miserable.
He slept in a large dormitory with no carpets on the floor and no creature comforts. He went on early morning runs, whatever the weather, dressed in nothing but a pair of shorts, and into a cold shower the end. At night the windows had to be kept wide open, so boys whose beds were close by would sometimes wake up with rain or snow on their covers. He was bullied by the other boys – kicked and punched on the rugby pitch, where he never excelled, and hit by his roommates in his dormitory at night for snoring.
And he was picked on by the assistant housemaster, who was no great lover of the British monarchy.
Apart from Norton Romsey, a cousin who was in a different year and whom at the time he scarcely knew, he was friendless. As he wrote in a heartbreaking letter,
‘I don’t like it much here, I simply dread going to bed as I get hit all night long . . . I can’t stand being hit on the head by a pillow now.’ And in another the same year he wrote, ‘It’s absolute hell here most of the time and I wish I could come home.’
&amp;lt;img id=”i-b16cdaa003ad2fa4″ src=”http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/06/29/21/026612030000044D-4652314-image-a-11_1498769705498.jpg” height=”444″ width=”634″ alt=”Charles (pictured on his wedding day to Camilla) and his sister Anne were left behind with their nanny, the terrifying Helen Lightbody, in the care of their grandmother. This is how the Prince of Wales developed such an enduring affection for his grandmother and why his relationship with his mother and father is more distant” class=”blkBorder img-share”/&amp;gt;
Charles (pictured on his wedding day to Camilla) and his sister Anne were left behind with their nanny, the terrifying Helen Lightbody, in the care of their grandmother. This is how the Prince of Wales developed such an enduring affection for his grandmother and why his relationship with his mother and father is more distant
His father was unmoved by Charles’s plight, and seldom saw his son during term time.
Gordonstoun had been the making of Philip when he was growing up and he was convinced it should be the making of Charles.
He had given instructions to the headmaster and housemaster that Charles was to be treated just like every other boy, allowed no special dispensations.
P hilip’s own childhood had been difficult and punctuated by loss, and he had no patience with his son, who had grown up with the security and comforts that he himself had never known.
After two long unhappy years, Charles did eventually come to terms with Gordonstoun and make a few friends — he would occasionally cycle to Elgin on a four-seater bicycle with his cousin and a couple of older boys, singing lewd songs — but he was always a misfit.
He was square, to use an old-fashioned term, old for his years and far more comfortable in the company of adults than boys of his own age.
He didn’t swear, he wasn’t crude, he wasn’t loud, rowdy or physical as most of the others were. He wore his hair in a neat parting to the side, when most people had floppy Beatles styles, and he was not into pop music or sport or any of the things that interested the other boys.
&amp;lt;img id=”i-ab2d8ed1a5970451″ src=”http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/06/29/21/41AF6A0000000578-4652314-image-a-13_1498769834683.jpg” height=”492″ width=”306″ alt=”The Duchess: The Untold Story by Penny Junor has lifted the lid on the other side of the break-up of the marriage of Charles and Diana” class=”blkBorder img-share”/&amp;gt;
The Duchess: The Untold Story by Penny Junor has lifted the lid on the other side of the break-up of the marriage of Charles and Diana
He liked classical music, and while others were fiddling around with guitars and drum kits, Charles took up the cello.
What he did discover, however, was a talent for acting, and he was a brilliant mimic. His all-time favourite radio programme was the ground-breaking comedy The Goon Show, with Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe and Michael Bentine, and he could imitate all of them to perfection.
He also learned to mimic some of the members of staff at Gordonstoun to good effect. Those were the only times, when pretending to be someone else, that he lost his awkwardness and spoke with confidence and presence.
Charles never lost the dread he felt at the beginning of each term but — call it Stockholm syndrome, perhaps — looking back he was able to speak well of the school, and it was no doubt a big influence on the man he is today.
It may even explain why he and Camilla have such different views on the ideal temperature for a room. She lights fires and he goes around opening windows.
Charles did well enough academically to study at Cambridge. After graduating, he joined the Armed Forces. He soon started being billed by the media as Action Man.
He passed out of RAF College at Cranwell with the highest commendation, having earned his wings in just under five months — rather than the normal 12.
Then in 1971, he did a course at Dartmouth Royal Naval College, where he graduated top in navigation and seamanship.
If he’d been longing to impress his father, he was doomed to disappointment. Neither of his parents came to the ceremony. The only member of the family who turned up was his much-loved great-uncle, Louis, Earl Mountbatten of Burma — the man he called his honorary grandfather.
&amp;lt;img id=”i-91db46acc2c3652d” src=”http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/06/29/22/41D9525800000578-4652314-Together_at_last_Charles_and_Camilla_on_their_wedding_day_A_beam-a-27_1498770261891.jpg” height=”417″ width=”632″ alt=”Charles and Camilla on their wedding day. A beaming Queen gave the couple her blessing with a touching speech” class=”blkBorder img-share”/&amp;gt;
Charles and Camilla on their wedding day. A beaming Queen gave the couple her blessing with a touching speech
It’s as if Charles’s parents have always been at one remove from him, unable to express their pride in him or give him the encouragement he has often desperately needed. I saw this for myself last year when I went to the experimental new town of Poundbury in Dorset to witness a rare event.
Charles, Camilla and his parents were about to visit the town where the Prince has implemented all his unorthodox ideas about urban planning.
It’s not often that you see the four senior members of the British Royal Family on a public engagement together. But what’s almost unprecedented is for Charles’s parents to inspect, and thus tacitly endorse, one of his achievements. And Poundbury is undeniably an extraordinary achievement, one which has been in the making for nearly a quarter of a century.
Buckingham Palace is not a home
For the past few hundred years, the sovereign has lived at Buckingham Palace, though none of our current Royal Family actually likes it. Several have apartments there, including the Queen and Prince Philip, but none of them thinks of it as home.
The Queen was forced by Winston Churchill to give up Clarence House and move there when her father died. But she was very young and not sufficiently confident to dig in her heels.
Charles, now approaching 70, is unlikely to be such a pushover. He and Camilla are very happy at Clarence House and have transformed the private quarters into a real home.
And although they have plenty of grander properties to choose from, the house where they are at their best and most normal is Birkhall — the Queen Mother’s former residence at Balmoral.
So there will be much angst over whether to forfeit this Scottish home for the pomp of Balmoral Castle itself.
He was out to challenge the reliance of cars that had dictated most urban planning, with shops in one out-of-town zone, industry in another and homes in another, making the car not an option but a necessity.
It is one big social mix, with no rich enclaves and no poor ghettoes. Residential buildings are mixed up with businesses, factories, shops, pubs and leisure facilities, so that no one needs their car to go about daily life.
It is safe for children to walk on their own to school or play outside their own front doors, and the buildings are unashamedly traditional.
The critics certainly mocked it. But for all the sniping, it’s now a thriving community of 3,000 people with low crime, few accidents and buoyant house prices.
What’s more, it’s had a major impact on urban planning — council engineers, traffic experts, architects, developers and planners arrive from all over the world to learn from it.
So Charles was hoping to impress the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, but after a lifetime of disappointment in that hope, he wasn’t holding his breath.
And just as well — because for most of the ceremony, there hadn’t been the hint of a smile, let alone an admiring look. They might have been sitting with strangers.
When it was time to leave, the Duke put his hands together a couple of times for a clap, and said to Charles: ‘Well done.’ This remark was as rare as it was unexpected.
His mother smiled but offered nothing.
Charles has been trying to win his parents’ approval his entire life, but he is not the son his father wanted — he is far too sensitive — and he has never felt he was good enough, never felt he came up to their expectations, never felt truly loved or appreciated.
As a sovereign, the Queen has been peerless, but she is not emotionally demonstrative – and the Duke, for all his talents, is a bully.
T heir eldest son grew up with everything he could want materially, but very few of his emotional needs were satisfied, and no amount of wealth and privilege can make up for the damage of that early emotional deprivation.
The only person who made him feel good about himself, until Camilla came along, was his grandmother, the Queen Mother, who died in 2002 at the age of 101.
Overall he is a sensitive character, much more in touch with his emotions than most men, much better able to express them, which is precisely what irritates his father so much.
He is not the man the Duke expected his first-born son to be — and six years of extreme hardship, morning runs and cold showers hadn’t made him one.
Compared with the rest of the Royal Family, Charles is a thoroughly Renaissance man, moved by beauty, music and art in a way that largely passes his parents, his siblings and his sons by.
He may love dogs and horses, he may have been an enthusiast of hunting, shooting and fishing in his time, he may have done his share of playing Action Man, but his interests and his thirst for knowledge extend way beyond country and military pursuits. He’s also deeply spiritual.
The person who has given Charles the courage and encouragement to do half of the things he’s done in the past few decades is Camilla. But what really matters is that, finally, he feels loved and supported by someone close to him.
Only she can defuse his volcanic tempers
After the divorce of Charles and Diana, Camilla was introduced to a few members of the Prince’s staff, who were warned not to let anyone know that they’d met her.
One of these was Sandy Henney, then number two in Charles’s press office. She liked Camilla hugely — and felt grateful to her for smoothing things when Charles, as happened now and then, lost his temper.
She vividly recalls an occasion when the royal helicopter touched down at Powis Castle in Wales, at the end of a very long day. Knowing Charles’s schedule, she was sure he’d be exhausted and desperately in need of a restorative Martini.
&amp;lt;img id=”i-5e3968ef026f316d” src=”http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/06/29/21/41D82F3900000578-4652314-image-a-6_1498769322675.jpg” height=”444″ width=”634″ alt=”The eldest child, Camilla was born with exceptional confidence. Camilla can be relied upon to jolly Charles out of a bad temper” class=”blkBorder img-share”/&amp;gt;
The eldest child, Camilla was born with exceptional confidence. Camilla can be relied upon to jolly Charles out of a bad temper
What she didn’t know was that a foreign dignitary had died, and Charles was about to be told that rather than rest, he had to travel thousands of miles to a funeral.
Camilla, who knew what was coming, beckoned Sandy over. ‘There’s going to be an almighty explosion,’ she said conspiratorially. ‘I thought you might like to hide around the corner with me.’
Sandy takes up the story. ‘All hell broke loose, and I just said to her: “Thank you!” She got me out of the way of the explosion, and I loved her to bits for that.’
Generally though, Camilla can be relied upon to jolly Charles out of a bad temper.
In 1996, as they were preparing to go to a golf tournament in Berkshire to collect a cheque for £250,000 for the Prince’s Trust, he was complaining about the journey.
‘Yes, I do agree,’ said Camilla sarcastically. ‘Sunningdale is a very long way from Highgrove’ — in fact it’s 83 miles, a quick hop down the M4 — ‘but you’re only going to be there for 14 minutes. Let’s divide 14 into a quarter of a million. It’s probably a higher rate than the Spice Girls earn.’ And as usual he giggled and his temper was restored.
She made a beeline for Kate’s uncle
At Prince William’s wedding, Camilla went out of her way to meet Kate’s notorious uncle.
The tattooed and shaven-headed Gary Goldsmith was still trying to live down the fact that he’d been caught cutting lines of cocaine by reporters at his house in Ibiza — known as Maison de Bang Bang.
At the wedding, he said: ‘Camilla made a beeline for me.’
Startled, he plucked up the courage to say: ‘I’m sorry for the bad press.’ Camilla smiled. ‘Don’t think twice about it’ she said. ‘I get the same myself.’
In fact, she and her sister Annabel used to joke that their brother Mark Shand was their very own ‘Casa Bang Bang’.
He was no millionaire, but he was unpredictable, as he was the first to admit, and when he died after a fall in April 2014, Camilla was devastated.
She had never been as close to Mark as Annabel, but since her marriage to Charles they had made up for lost time. Charles adored Mark’s madcap stories and passion for saving elephants. He loved having him to stay at Birkhall, where he would leap into lochs and swim across them.
Their fondness for one another had brought Camilla closer to her brother, but Mark had said, ruefully, about a year before his death, that he had never once in his life had lunch or tea with Camilla by himself.
Camilla’s sense of humour is much appreciated by her staff. When Amanda MacManus was recruited as an assistant to Camilla, one of the first things she did was to delete the guest list for Charles’s 50th birthday party. Accidentally — and permanently.
She’d never worked in an office and had no formal qualifications. The document that befuddled Amanda was a detailed spreadsheet with the names of those invited, when they’d replied, their drivers’ details and where they were staying.
‘When I got the job, no one had asked me if I’d ever worked on a computer before,’ she says gaily, ‘and I hadn’t. I got this list up in front of me, and it said: “Do you want to save?” and I thought no, so I pressed “Don’t save” and pages just flew off the screen.
‘At some stage, this guy came along to see me and I said, “I think I’ve lost the guest list — do you think you could help me?”
‘And that was the only guest list. He said: “I don’t know what you’ve done, but you’ve done it very effectively — you’ve wiped the entire thing.” God was on my side and I found one hard copy, but there was general hysteria. And then the duchess rang and said: “I hear you’ve wiped my guest list.”
‘I said: “Yes, I have, and I think I’m going to take a one-way ticket to Argentina.”
‘She said: “I don’t think you need to do that.” ’
Amanda, who has since become a valued and trusted aide, says nothing really fazes Camilla, and she always sees the funny side.
One night, they drove to London to an art exhibition, where Camilla was a VIP guest. As they walked in, Amanda grew uneasy when she realised people were looking and saying to one another in surprise: ‘That’s Mrs Parker Bowles!’
Then it dawned on her that they were looking at oil paintings, whereas the invitation was to an exhibition of watercolours. ‘I said: “We’re in the wrong exhibition.”
‘ “What do you mean, we’re in the wrong exhibition?” “I’ve brought you to the wrong exhibition.”
‘ “So what are we going to do?”
‘ “We’re just going to put our drinks down and potter off to the right one.” So we went round the corner into the next gallery, where [Camilla’s] sister and family were, and, of course, it was hysterical. “You’ll never guess what Mandy’s just done — taken me to the wrong exhibition!”
‘I didn’t live that down for a long while.’
Nor is her loyalty restricted only to those she knows well. She has good reason to feel wary of the media. But one photographer has been touched by her kindness.
&amp;lt;img id=”i-2bae87ec5724ca0a” src=”http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/06/29/21/41E1D0C600000578-4652314-image-m-15_1498769925318.jpg” height=”435″ width=”634″ alt=”Camilla and Prince Charles listen to traditional throat singers as they attend an official welcome ceremony at Nunavut Legislative Assembley during a three day official visit to Canada” class=”blkBorder img-share”/&amp;gt;
Camilla and Prince Charles listen to traditional throat singers as they attend an official welcome ceremony at Nunavut Legislative Assembley during a three day official visit to Canada
In 2008, Ian Jones, the Telegraph’s royal photographer, lost the job he’d been doing for 18 years, and was given just one month’s pay.
Two months later, while covering a royal tour of the Caribbean, he was invited — along with six or seven others in the Press corps — for a drink on the super-yacht Charles and Camilla were using.
‘She came out in a beautiful two-piece silk suit, with bare feet and a drink,’ says Ian. ‘She came round to me and she said: “Ian, I’ve heard about the Telegraph. I think it’s terrible what they’ve done to you. Are you looking for other things?”
‘I said: “Well, Ma’am, I’m doing portraiture and I’ll do weddings, and I’ll carry on photographing the Royal Family because I have done this for 20 years and I’m not going to stop just because of this.”
‘She said: “That’s wonderful — I really do wish you well. I was really thinking about you when someone told me about it. And you’re doing portraits? Would you mind if I gave your number to my friends?” ’
Since then, Ian has had many commissions on the back of that conversation. Camilla uses him to do a lot of the ‘host’ photography at Clarence House — pictures of the couple and their guests.
‘That’s the woman she is,’ he says. ‘Very, very loyal.’
Adapted from The Duchess: The Untold Story by Penny Junor, published by William Collins at £20. © Penny Junor 2017. To order a copy for £15 (offer valid until July 3, p&p free), call 0844 571 0640 or visit mailbookshop.co.uk.
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