Remember when Diana famously said, "there were three in this marriage"?
Camilla could now safely say the same thing about her marriage to Charles The fact that Diana has been dead for eight years doesn't seem to mean a thing. Nope, with all of the conspiracy theorists wedged in the woodwork and people who claim to have her internal organs, Camilla doesn't stand a chance of coming out of Diana's shadow, no matter what her good qualities are.
The ghost of Diana will continue to be a threesome in Charles and Camilla's marriage. For people who are into that sort of thing it might not be a problem, but don't the royal newlyweds deserve a break? It must be a burden to know that every single retrospective and book on their lives, and the lives of William and Harry will include a guest appearance by Diana. I can hear the commentary at William's wedding, not to mention the speculation "What would Diana think?" "Is (insert name of bride here) the new Diana?" Not to mention the tabloid reports of Diana haunting the future royal bride and ominous warnings beyond the grave. Good times...good times...
Don't get me wrong; Diana did a great job, bringing her own style to being a royal lady. She set the bar quite high and no one will ever live up to it. However, I'm sure Camilla will be just as good at kissing babies, shaking hands, and wearing tiaras. Well someone has to do it! Who else is there? The Queen has earned the right to avoid small children except when accepting flowers from them. I'm sure Princess Anne has frightened her fair share, not to mention when her dogs attack them. Sophie tries but just doesn't seem up to the task. Yes, someone has to be the friendly, cuddly face now that the Queen Mother's grandmotherly image is gone. True she's not particularly photogenic but who amongst the roster of immediate female royals are? Now that Camilla doesn't have anyone else’s marriage to destroy, she's completely harmless. A Barbara Bush, except with better jewellery.
She could eventually become the matriarch of the royal family, giving her regal blessings to the younger generation, teaching them the royal wave and which fork to use. Some might say that Camilla is a pretender to Diana's throne, but there was a vacancy so Camilla filled it. She's the Mary Kay of royal mistresses. Camilla will eventually move up the ladder, earning a golden page in the royal history books, while relegating Diana and all of those conspiracy theories to a footnote. We're the only people keeping Diana in their marriage, Charles and Camilla moved on long ago.
When future generations read those history pages, Diana will be like one of Henry VIII's wives who kept her head - what's her name? Maybe Charles and Camilla will become one of those classic love stories, love conquering all; negative opinions, public outcries, even ghosts that don't exist.
May the golden page end in a happily ever after.
© Marilyn Braun 2005
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