Cunning Camilla Is Using Kate Middleton To Become Queen, Writes Royal Biographer Andrew Morton (EXCLUSIVE)
WHEN Princess Diana was on her honeymoon cruise aboard the royal yacht Britannia, in 1981, she came across a pair of cufflinks with the letters C and C intertwined.
When she asked her new husband about them, Prince Charles said they were a gift from a friend — Camilla Parker Bowles.
The young princess, 20, was already having sleepless nights about the other woman in Charles’ life. While the cufflinks were classic Chanel — hence the intertwined C and C — in her fevered imagination it was a subtle way for Camilla, who was still married to Brigadier Andrew Henry Parker Bowles at the time, to show her continued love and devotion to her new husband.
As we all now know, Diana’s fears were proved absolutely correct: Charles and Camilla were indeed lovers for much of their marriage, a fact first revealed in my 1992 biography Diana: Her True Story and later substantiated with the release of taped phone conversation between the married heir to the throne and his mistress.
For a troubled Diana, the cufflinks remained forever in her eyes as a symbol of her husband’s treachery.
As she later told me, when we were working on the biography: “Boy did we have a row. Jealousy, total jealousy. It’s such a good idea the two ‘C’s, clever in some ways.”
As the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee last weekend, it was the other two Cs – Catherine and Camilla – who caught the eye.
As the two royals watched the parade of 1,000 ships on The River Thames, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, paid special attention to William’s wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, laughing at her wry comments and observations. It was a similar pattern at the service for the Queen at St Paul’s Cathedral.
This has been the mold since Catherine entered the royal family after marrying Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, at Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011. Camilla took Catherine under her wing before the wedding, taking her to lunch and passing on much-needed advice on how to cope with royal life. She even paid for her future step-daughter to spend time in a spa.
These days at every public engagement involving ‘The Firm’ – Prince Philip’s nickname for the royal family – Camilla is invariably by Catherine’s side.
Like the cufflinks, it is a clever ploy by the Duchess of Cornwall.
Since Diana’s death, in 1997, spin doctors have worked full-time to make Camilla acceptable to the public. Prince Charles’ former press officer Mark Bolland was even given an award by a public relations organization for his efforts. He organized the first encounter between Camilla and Prince William at St. James’s Palace, then Charles’ London home.
Their 20-minute conversation was duly leaked to selected members of the media – down to the fact that Camilla was so nervous about meeting the young prince that she needed a stiff gin afterward. The logic was simple: If William, the torch bearer of Princess Diana’s memory, could forgive Camilla, then so could the rest of us.
This culminated in Camilla, along with other family members, signing the wedding certificate for William and Catherine at Westminster.
With William safely in her pocket, Camilla’s focus has subsequently turned to Catherine. She is the most glamorous royal, the most talked about new arrival into the House of Windsor since, yes, Princess Diana. Camilla is happy to bask in her reflected glory, pleased to be accepted by the super-popular Catherine and, by association, acceptable to the British public.
It is a slow, subtle process. When Charles married Camilla in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall, on 9 April 2005, it was stated that she would never be Queen. As time passes and as memories fade, however, Camilla has become a familiar part of the royal family. Throughout the four-day Jubilee celebration, Diana’s name was barely mentioned. In the grand plan to make Camilla Queen one day, the link with Catherine — ‘The New Diana’ — is an invaluable and vital stepping stone.
Camilla quietly hopes that those intertwined ‘C’s will one day spell “Queen.”
Andrew Morton shot to fame in 1992 with his book Diana: Her True Story, spilling the truth about the wretched state of the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. He recently wrote William & Catherine: Their Story, tweets @andrewmortonUK and has his own website on royal and celebrity news, themortonreport.com.