The Duchess of Cornwall is ‘dreading’ the spotlight that will be thrown onto her when Prince Charles becomes King, a royal expert has claimed.
Camilla, 74, jetted out to Jordan on Sunday with the Prince of Wales, the couple’s first overseas engagement since Covid clipped the royals’ wings in March 2020.
The Duchess is facing a packed schedule during their mini Middle Eastern tour which will see them take in two countries in just four days – after a weekend representing the Queen to mark Remembrance Sunday.
Yesterday, Camilla was praised as ‘wonderful’ after she joined the Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie Wessex in putting on a united front, following the Queen’s absence at the Cenotaph due to a sprained back.
Yet according to royal biographer Penny Junor, Camilla will face a ‘very difficult time’ when the Prince of Wales ascends to the throne.
Speaking to The Telegraph, the royal expert said: ‘She is a normal woman who, because of her relationship with Charles, has found herself in an abnormal situation.
Tricky times ahead? Royal biographer Penny Junor has suggested that the Duchess of Cornwall may not be ready for the media glare when Charles becomes king. The couple have touched down in Jordan on their first overseas engagement since the Covid crisis began in March 2020
The Duchess of Cornwall, 74, is ‘dreading’ the spotlight that will be thrown onto her when Prince Charles becomes King, a royal expert has claimed
‘I don’t think titles do it for her, and the prospect of being Queen or Princess Consort, the fuss there will be at the time, the comparisons to Diana, it will be a very difficult time for her.’
Meanwhile she predicted Camilla would be Queen rather than Princess Consort, because ‘Charles is so proud’ and ‘grateful’ of her.
After landing in Amman, Jordan’s capital, to a guard of honour today, the royals were whisked to meet King Abdullah II and Queen Rania at the Al Husseiniya Palace.
The guard of honour, red carpet and time spent with Jordan’s king and queen is likely to serve as a reminder that public life – and the media glare – will only ramp up further when Charles takes the throne.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited Elijah’s Hill and the Baptismal Site of Jesus Christ at Juwafat al-Kafrayn in Jordan on the first day of their tour of the Middle East
The Duchess of Cornwall opted for a vibrant blue dress for the occasion with a pair of simple brown pumps
The couple could be seen sitting while taking in the surroundings of Elijah’s Hill and the Baptismal Site of Jesus Christ at Juwafat al-Kafrayn
Prince Charles appeared reflective as he joined Camilla for the visit earlier this afternoon (pictured)
Meanwhile The Prince of Wales touched the water during a visit to the sacred site in Jordan earlier today
Looking to the future: The Prince of Wales and Camilla pictured in Jordan today
Camilla, watched on by the Prince of Wales, bent down to touch her finger to the water (pictured)
One former courtier explained that because the Duchess was 57-years-old when she became a member of the Royal Family, she has spent the vast majority of her life living outside The Firm.
Explaining her unique position, the insider continued: ‘She understands how strange the world of the Royal Family can be, and how the public sees that, and knows that at times her husband, the Prince of Wales, can’t see that.’
They said the Duchess has ‘none of the apparatus’ of Royal life at her house in Wiltshire and engages in a ‘fairly normal’ existence, adding: ‘Her children will tell her how the outside world views things the Royal Family are doing.
‘It means she is better able than almost anyone else to persuade certain members of the Royal Family of a certain point of view that they might not see otherwise.’
The Duchess is facing a packed schedule during their mini Middle Eastern tour which will see them take in two countries in just four days
The couple appeared in good spirits as they arrived for the tour in Jordan earlier this afternoon
Prince Charles opted for a grey suit as he strode across a bridge alongside the Duchess of Cornwall
The royal appeared engrossed in conversation during the outing earlier this afternoon (pictured)
By law Camilla will automatically become Queen Consort when Charles is king, but privately officials continue to debate whether she should use a lesser title to avoid controversy.
The official position has been that she intends to be known as Princess Consort.
Junor’s comments come as royal experts said the absence of the Queen cast a ‘dark cloud’ over Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph – but she was represented by three ‘wonderful women’ on the balcony in Camilla, Kate and Sophie.
The 95-year-old monarch was said to be ‘deeply disappointed’ at having to take the 11th hour decision not to lead the nation’s remembrance of its war dead in Westminster yesterday because of a back sprain.
And royal commentators said Britons are becoming more ’emotionally’ worried about her, with the looks on the faces of attendees suggesting they were ‘perhaps thinking in a way that we wouldn’t really like to think’.
The Duchess is facing a packed schedule during their mini Middle Eastern tour which will see them take in two countries in just four days. Pictured: In Amman today with Queen Rania of Jordan
A relative newcomer to royal life, Camilla has enjoyed most of her life without the responsibility of public duty. Pictured: Visiting the Queen Rania Family and Children Centre in Amman on Tuesday with Jordan’s Queen consort, Queen Rania
Camilla, 74, might not become the King’s consort, a demanding public role, for many more years. Pictured in Jordan today meeting Queen Rania and the Crown Prince of Jordan, Hussein bin Abdullah
Overseas duties have commenced once more after the Covid pandemic brought a reduction in engagements for the royals. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall pictured at Al Husseiniya Palace on Tuesday, where they were greeted by King Abdullah II and Queen Rania
Royal author Angela Levin said it was ‘the most important engagement of the year’ for the Queen but she would have found it ‘very uncomfortable to travel by car from Windsor to London’ and then ‘stand for a long time’.
She told GB News: ‘She apparently watched it on television, so she was there in spirit, but of course not in herself. I think we all feel an age is coming to end, but we don’t know how long and I think that’s quite right too really.
‘You couldn’t have asked for more wonderful women up there on the balcony. I think they’re all dedicated to the monarchy, they work tremendously hard, they don’t try and gain fame for themselves.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Penny Junor said the Duchess is ‘a normal woman who has found herself in an abnormal situation’ in being married to the future King
Meanwhile the royal expert claimed the Duchess faces a ‘very difficult time’ over the ‘fuss and comparisons to Diana’ (pictured with Prince Charles in 1981)
‘I think they put themselves into keeping the monarchy going and working as hard as they can for the Queen. I think we’re jolly lucky to have three women like that and they shine above those who don’t have the same views.’
Buckingham Palace had long said it was her ‘firm intention’ to be there, despite her having to cancel a run of engagements due to ill health. And on Thursday officials announced she would be at the London ceremony.
But on Sunday, less than two hours before she was due to arrive, a spokesman said she had suffered further ill health and could no longer attend. They stressed there was no connection with her recent hospital stay.
Junor’s comments come as royal experts said the absence of the Queen cast a ‘dark cloud’ over Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph – but she was represented by three ‘wonderful women’ on the balcony in Camilla, Kate and Sophie (together in 2019)
Royal expert Roya Nikkhah moved to calm fears yesterday, telling ITV’s Lorraine: ‘I think we should not be too worried.
‘We’ve been told by the Palace, the hope is that she will be able to continue doing light duties into this week.
‘The Christmas message will go on as planned. There is no threat over the Christmas message at the moment – she will carry on with that as planned. And I think my guess is we will probably see her on a Zoom call at some point in the next week or so, just to reassure the nation she’s doing OK.’
(From left) Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Kate, Duchess of Cambridge; and Sophie, Countess of Wessex stand on the balcony of the Foreign Office in Westminster on Sunday during the Remembrance service where the Queen would have been present