On Sunday, July 17, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will turn 75, and her ongoing celebrations have already involved filming a documentary, guest editing a magazine, and donating books to children across Britain. But before the Platinum Jubilee kicked off last month, she also sat down with a reporter from the Australian Women’s Weekly to mark the occasion. In the interview, she discussed the lessons she learned from Prince Philip about being a royal consort.
“I learned that your place is several feet behind the monarch. You’re there as a back-up,” she said. “The Duke of Edinburgh was always a very good ear. He was a role model to me and a very good person to take advice from because he always told me what he thought.” She added that one part of her job as a working royal has always been difficult for her. “I get petrified making speeches.”
According to People, Camilla also told the magazine that she tried to avoid them after she married Prince Charles in April 2005. “I was out of bed tying my sheets together to see if I could escape and go home. I’m never going to enjoy it,” she said. “My husband is very good; he loves it. Because he’s a very good actor, I think. You’ve got to have a bit of acting experience.” She said she doesn’t have acting chops. “I was the worst actor in the whole school. If I was given one line to say, it always came out backwards. So I think speeches—no, they’re never going to be my favorite things.”
In addition to her five royal step-grandchildren, Camilla also has five grandchildren of her own from her first marriage to Andrew Parker Bowles, and she told the magazine that they help her understand what young people are thinking. “They’re just fun to be with,” she said. “I love being with them, eating together, going to see a film or a play. They’re great enthusiasts. And it’s always nice to be in touch with that generation because it keeps you abreast of young people’s feelings and ideas.”
Camilla’s daughter, Laura Lopes, has a daughter and two sons, and her son Tom Parker-Bowles has a daughter and a son. The duchess told AWW that they are starting to change as they get older. “The girls are becoming teenagers, which is a bit of a worry,” she said. “I’d quite like to put a lid on their heads and make them small again because they’re all sweet and scrubbed and nice. Now they’re quite keen to have a good argument!”
Camilla and Charles last visited Australia to attend the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and she mentioned that she and Charles might be planning on a return trip sometime soon. “I like that everybody’s down to earth and they say what they think,” she said of the country’s residents. “I’d much rather people were out there saying what they think than beating round the bush, telling you a lot of porkies. And I like the Australian humor.”
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