I recently visited a message board that made a comment about my article The Camilla Non-issue, that said:
"it must be difficult defending lost causes, Marilyn?"
First off, I would just like to say that I welcome an open discussion of my articles from readers who don't hide behind the safety of a British royal message board. Especially when I'm addressed personally in the post.
After reading that, and posting a response, I started to think - is defending Camilla a lost cause? Shouldn't I just give up and go with all of the media reports that would have me believe that Camilla is evil, a home wrecker, and doesn't deserve happiness? I guess if I were someone who trusts the media to tell the truth, then maybe I should just spend my time living in the glory days of Charles and Diana's 1981 wedding when Camilla was described as a "trusted female confidante of Prince Charles".
At one point, if you'd asked me, say 10 years ago, about Camilla, I would have said that, while I don't hate her, she was a contributing factor in the break-up of Charles and Diana. I say contributing because each of the three parties had their own role to play in how the marriage ended. In hindsight, I haven't changed that opinion, but my view of Camilla as a person has evolved. If you'd asked me whether she would gain acceptance, I would have said, no way! To a degree, feeling this way, I felt I was extracting karmic revenge on behalf of Diana. When it was announced that Charles and Camilla were getting married, I thought I was hearing things. Even if they were meant to be together, I didn't think it was possible. I found myself being happy for them, and feeling as though I was betraying the memory of Diana by doing so. Media reports about the legal, constitutional, and religious issues of the situation made it seem as though, even if they were married, it wouldn't be legal. And that if it were legal, Charles couldn't be king. Ultimately these issues passed, only to be replaced by the non-issues in my recent article.
While I never expected myself to write positively about Camilla, the ultimate fact is, I don't know her. Does anyone really? And in order to be fair, I have to write about her in a balanced way. No one wants to hear about good/bad Camilla all the time. Not the saccharine reporting of quality royal magazines, nor the claw baring reporting of other publications. This blog is not in the same league but I can still do my part, if only for my own entertainment.
I don't believe in living in the past. I wish Charles and Diana could have had a happy ending, but they didn't. Maybe it was inevitable that they wouldn't. Today I can honestly say that I'm happy for Charles and Camilla. I didn't really have any pre-conceived notions but the fact that she's adapted so well to royal life is wonderful. For an outsider, it's not an easy thing to do.
Is defending Camilla a lost cause? No. That's my opinion. I would be interested in hearing other opinions though. Please feel free to have your say.
© Marilyn Braun 2007
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