It's almost predictable.At every major royal event, you could set your watch by it.
In the absence of any real news, the subject of Camilla is bound to come up. Camilla can't possibly have a 60th birthday without the issue of what her title will be once Charles becomes king. The upcoming Diana memorial needs an injection of Camilla in order to gain some type of momentum. Will she attend? Won't she attend? According to the media, Camilla is terrified and she should feel guilty about Diana. One thing is clear, if she attends or doesn't attend, the media won't let her win either way.
So far Prince Harry wisely defused the Camilla issue by stating that she's wonderful. Prince William has been seen kissing her and greeting her warmly. He also deftly announced that the older guard had been banned from attending the Concert for Diana - thus ending the issue of where to seat Charles, Camilla and the Queen, but inadvertently focusing us on Kate Middleton instead. The Queen has been seen smiling at Camilla and loaning her priceless jewels. Everyone of importance seems to like Camilla, why can't we let it drop?
While we can't change what the media will do, let's take a look at the cold, hard reality of these supposed Camilla issues:
Camilla's present title and her future title when Charles becomes king
This is the most popular non-issue for royal watchers. No doubt we will hear about this for some time and no amount of official clarification will change that. Camilla's present title is H.R.H. The Duchess of Cornwall. Yes, legally she is Princess of Wales but she has chosen to be known as Duchess of Cornwall instead. A wise move to appease people who choose to live in the past. But had she chosen to take the title, so what? The title of Princess of Wales did not die with Diana. If this were the case, the title should have died with one of the 8 women who held it before her.
When Charles becomes King, she's chosen to be known as H.R.H. The Princess Consort. Yes, once again, for traditionalists she will be Queen. But she doesn't want to be called that. It may be hard for us to accept, but that's our problem now isn't it?
The marriage of Charles, Diana and Camilla.
Yes, there were three people in the marriage of Charles and Diana. Regardless of when the affair started, whether it never ended, Camilla was the third person and we can't change that. Hasn't she been raked over the coals long enough?
Camilla and the family jewels
Yes, Camilla is starting to wear the family jewels. And why shouldn't she? She would look a tad under dressed at State Dinners otherwise. People look to this as a sign of acceptance, when it's a non-issue. Someone should wear them. Why should these jewels languish in the vaults to appease us?
Camilla's life as a royal.
Camilla is doing well in her new role and Charles looks happy, truly happy, for once in his life. We know very little about Camilla as a person, so how could we have predicted, one way or the other, how she would cope as a royal? She may not have the same glamour as Diana but there's no point comparing them. Let's give Camilla a chance to make her own mark as a royal.
The death of Diana
Diana is dead. Last time I checked, she is still dead. Charles and Camilla, and the rest of the royal family are not responsible for her death. There's no point in trying to make Charles and Camilla feel guilty or assign blame to anyone. Time to move on.
The discussion of these non-issues have become a sport akin to the non-issue of whether Charles should become king. Ultimately, can we really blame royal commentators for using these subjects to fill time during their coverage of royal events? Not really. There's more mileage in speculation than in the truth. We definitely haven't heard the last of these non-issues.
So when the next big royal event happens, set your watch.
© Marilyn Braun 2007
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