Umm, but why shouldn’t Camilla become Queen?

What stuck most in people’s throats was the prospect of this woman, universally reviled for wrecking the royal marriage, one day becoming Queen. But the Palace was quick to assure the public that this would never happen; when the time came, she would be known as The Princess Consort. This week, however, a new poll to coincide with their 10th wedding anniversary, shows that most people now believe that Camilla should become Queen when Charles accedes to the throne. Time is a great healer, and it is nearly 18 years since Diana died, but it is still an extraordinary achievement to have swayed public opinion so dramatically. Little by little she has won people over.

That she was a royal mistress is one thing. That she is a divorcee with a living ex husband is another possible objection. But neither of those are what people whine about. Rather, they whine about Charles and Diana. And she’s dead, she’s been dead since before this second marriage was contracted and there’s absolutely no rule at all that says that a widower cannot remarry.

As far as Charles’s marital status is concerned there’s absolutely nothing at all to talk about.

67 thoughts on “Umm, but why shouldn’t Camilla become Queen?”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    Dianna being dead is justification for Charles’ re-marriage. Camilla’s husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, is very much alive. So if you accept the validity of Catholic wedding vows, she remains married. The Anglicans don’t have a clue what they are doing, and have nailed their colours to the mast in the past on this issue, but they will no doubt fold.

    But Charles is committing adultery. With the wife of a fellow officer. Who, as it happens, and I am sure was a co-incidence, was posted to Rhodesia when Charles started banging her.

  2. What stuck most in people’s throats was the prospect of this woman, universally reviled for wrecking the royal marriage, one day becoming Queen.

    She wasn’t reviled for wrecking the marriage, because the marriage was fucked anyway with both parties shagging around. She was reviled because Diana was pretty and she wasn’t, and Charles preferring horse-faced Camilla over pretty Diana didn’t fit a fairytale narrative. Had Diana been plain and Camilla a stunner, she’d not have been reviled.

  3. Aww members of the public think they get a say about monarchy. Bless them and their idiotic misunderstanding of what the institution of monarchy means.

  4. SMFS, we’re not a Catholic country. We had a war over that.

    Of course if he’s king, she should be queen. The only objection was from the ludicrous Diana Cultists.

  5. Always a mystery why the Great British Public didn’t warm to Camilla as she and Charles had clearly been in love since their twenties. The fact that they weren’t considered a suitable match, went off and married others, and then got back together in middle age is the stuff of best selling romantic fiction and popular Sunday night TV dramas.

  6. So well done Camilla.
    But I think (or hope) the British public are now just a bit ashamed of the mawk-fest on Diana’s death and have resolved to act with a bit more dignity and restraint the next time Victoria Beckham breaks a fingernail or Kim Kardashian sits on a drawing pin.

  7. So Much for Subtlety

    Tim Newman – “She was reviled because Diana was pretty and she wasn’t, and Charles preferring horse-faced Camilla over pretty Diana didn’t fit a fairytale narrative.”

    I am not sure. The bottom line is that Charles married Diana because he wanted a breeder. He needed a wife to provide an heir. He didn’t love her. He didn’t have the courage to stand up to his family in 1972 and insist on marrying Camilla. So he deceived and betrayed the nice but very dim Diana.

    I don’t know how you can spin that. It is vile behaviour. Diana was a nut case, but if ever a woman has had provocation! It is hard to think of anything Charles could have done that was worse except perhaps give her HIV.

    Rob Harries – “Aww members of the public think they get a say about monarchy. Bless them and their idiotic misunderstanding of what the institution of monarchy means.”

    The Act of Settlement on 1701 looks like a pretty darn serious attempt by the public to have a say about the monarchy. The last time a King married a divorced woman, the Parliament had to pass His Majesty’s Declaration of Abdication Act 1936 (1 Edw. 8 & 1 Geo. 6 c. 3). Because Edward saying he wanted out of the job wasn’t enough. It needed an Act of Parliament.

    Ian B – “we’re not a Catholic country. We had a war over that.”

    We are not. But the law says that the King must be a paid up member of the Anglican Church. If they recognise Catholic marriages, and it seems they do, then Camilla is still married. If they reject the King being married to a divorced woman – and if they did, they won’t for long because they believe in nothing – then Camilla cannot be Queen. Charles is fine. It is Camilla’s marriage that is the problem.

    Shinsei1967 – “The fact that they weren’t considered a suitable match, went off and married others, and then got back together in middle age is the stuff of best selling romantic fiction and popular Sunday night TV dramas.”

    So he was too spineless to stand up to his mother, his uncles and his aunts. Then he betrayed a feeble minded young girl. This is the stuff of best selling romantic fiction but the heroine is always the betrayed girl. Not the callous Lord of the Manor who sports with the affections of the servant girls.

    bloke in france – “have resolved to act with a bit more dignity and restraint the next time Victoria Beckham breaks a fingernail or Kim Kardashian sits on a drawing pin.”

    If only.

  8. bloke (not) in spain

    @IanB
    “SMFS, we’re not a Catholic country. We had a war over that.”

    I always understood the CofE was a Catholic church but not a Roman Catholic church. The essential difference being the status of the guy in the frock.

  9. “Everyone” blames Charles for cheating on Diana *after* she cheated on him but no-one seems to blame Diana for cheating on Charles.

  10. So Much for Subtlety

    john77 – ““Everyone” blames Charles for cheating on Diana *after* she cheated on him but no-one seems to blame Diana for cheating on Charles.”

    Camilla has admitted that she and Charles were doing the nasty by 1980. Charles and Diana married in 1981. Indeed Charles asked Camilla to look Diana over because he wanted her approval. Which she gave.

    Are there any people here who seriously can read this and not understand why a large proportion of the population have not warmed to Camilla?

  11. SMFS

    Bear in mind that Charles didn’t just need to stand up to his parents and aunts & uncles but also to his duties as a future monarch and the demands of the nation.

    I suspect that’s more pressure than most young men could cope with.

  12. Far worse people have been forgiven for far worse crimes than adultery. Wot Tim Newman says: if Camilla were prettier than Diana, the public would have embraced her long ago.

  13. So Much for Subtlety

    Shinsei1967 – “Bear in mind that Charles didn’t just need to stand up to his parents and aunts & uncles but also to his duties as a future monarch and the demands of the nation.”

    No he didn’t. Camilla Shand was a perfectly acceptable candidate for Queen. Charles could have sold that to the public. It is just that his family wanted someone else. They could not agree on who, but not Camilla. So they sent him off to forget her. He could have stood up to them – with the public on his side. But he didn’t.

    Nor did he do the decent thing and step down.

    In fact his two main goals in life have been 1. to be King no matter what it takes and 2. have as much of the sort of sex he likes. In that he has been utterly ruthless – deceiving, betraying and sacrificing Diana in particular. He could have had one. He could have had the other. He has insisted on both. I don’t blame him for that but he should not use other people without the slightest regard to their feelings to get what he wants.

  14. So Much for Subtlety

    Andrew M – “Wot Tim Newman says: if Camilla were prettier than Diana, the public would have embraced her long ago.”

    Harrison Ford’s career cratered after he dumped his wife of many years for the much younger, much prettier, much thinner Callista Flockhart.

    You know, married 40-something women don’t like that. Go figure.

  15. The Meissen Bison

    IanB: We’re not a Catholic country. We had a war over that.

    Really? Which war was that?

  16. SMFS,

    > If they reject the King being married to a divorced woman – and if they did, they won’t for long because they believe in nothing

    The problem with the king marrying a divorcee is the possibility of unknown progeny turning up with claims to the throne and tens of thousands dying in the ensuing war. There is a strong case that the thorough record-keeping of the modern state has rendered that so unlikely that it verges on the impossible.

  17. SMFS,

    “Are there any people here who seriously can read this and not understand why a large proportion of the population have not warmed to Camilla?”

    As Tim Newman wisely observes – people loved Diana because she was pretty. You would not have had the national batshit insanity after Camilla’s death that you had after Diana’s. To millions, she was the embodiment of what a princess should be, all those fairy tales read to them as children in a package. Her death was like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty dying.

  18. > Her death was like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty dying.

    Quite. I’ve always said that, if it really was an MI5 assassination, they should have killed her by pricking her finger with a spinning wheel. None of the Express-reading hysterics would have suspected a thing.

  19. You have to laugh. “Universally reviled”. Must be an alternative universe then. I can’t think of a single acquaintance who gives a shit.

    Everyone worried about Camilla being Queen, when it is The Nutjob being King which bothers me.

  20. So Much for Subtlety

    The Stigler – “As Tim Newman wisely observes – people loved Diana because she was pretty.”

    People can hate pretty girls too. Diana was pretty but more importantly she was wronged. By everyone. Now you are asking why the Wicked Witch is not loved?

    I did not warm to Diana. In any way. But Charles really did her wrong as few women have been wronged.

  21. So Much for Subtlety

    Squander Two – “The problem with the king marrying a divorcee is the possibility of unknown progeny turning up with claims to the throne and tens of thousands dying in the ensuing war.”

    A divorcee is no more or less likely to bear someone else’s child than a virgin. Well, once the marriage is consumated I suppose. The law has never required the Queen is a virgin. It is simply the done thing because no one wants some Bond trader boasting he was the Queen’s first f**k.

    The problems for the CoE are laughably called theological. Having a single shred of what is left of their religious standards, and having deployed them against the Queen’s uncle, they can’t think of a face saving way of getting out of this. But more importantly every woman in the country can look at Diana and sympathise. They will not look at Camilla and feel anything other than fear, disgust and anger.

    Rightly.

    Come on. Some people here must have daughters. Some of you do. How would you feel if your son-in-law treated your daughter this way?

  22. Surreptitious Evil

    But Charles really did her wrong as few women have been wronged.

    I suspect you’ll find “few” is a gross underestimate.

  23. @ SMFS
    “Camilla Shand was a perfectly acceptable candidate for Queen.”
    Camilla Shand was NOT acceptable to the Royal family’s advisers nor most constitutional lawyers because she was a Roman Catholic.

  24. So Much for Subtlety

    Surreptitious Evil – “I suspect you’ll find “few” is a gross underestimate.”

    You move in much worse circles than I do. I can’t think of much worse than grooming a naive, dim, but nice, girl, making her think you love her, just so you can breed a child or two, while all along sleeping with the woman you really do love.

    It was unbelievably crass. And cruel.

  25. Bloke in North Dorset

    I’m far more worried about Ed Miliband becoming PM than some old bint becoming Queen. He can fuck up my life a lot more and a lot faster then she or her nut job husband could.

  26. SMFS,

    I think you’re living in a parallel universe.

    > Now you are asking why the Wicked Witch is not loved?

    No-one is asking that. This entire thread was started by Tim’s comment on a piece pointing out that Camilla has in fact won the public over. People like her now. Sorry.

    > How would you feel if your son-in-law treated your daughter this way?

    Well, firstly, I’ll be advising my daughters never to get involved with royalty, because this stuff is entirely typical with those people. And I think that’s how a lot of people feel: it’s appallingly scummy behaviour, but then what do you expect from a bloody prince? Let’s just be grateful he didn’t start a fucking war.

    Secondly, again, this is about the public being won over by Camilla. Not Charles.

  27. > I suspect you’ll find “few” is a gross underestimate.

    Especially by the standards of royalty. I mean, change it to “Charles really did her wrong as few princesses have been wronged” and it just becomes ludicrous.

  28. So Much for Subtlety

    john77 – “Camilla Shand was NOT acceptable to the Royal family’s advisers nor most constitutional lawyers because she was a Roman Catholic.”

    The Parker Bowles are recusants. That is, Catholics. The Shands less so. Camilla was baptised, according to Wikipedia, in Firle Church. Which is doing a very good job of appearing to be Anglican. Given its pastor is Peter Owen-Jones.

    Why do you think she is a Catholic? Even if she was in 1972, this is a simple problem cured by a splash of water. It is not as if she takes the religion seriously.

  29. So Much for Subtlety

    Bloke in North Dorset – “I’m far more worried about Ed Miliband becoming PM than some old bint becoming Queen. He can fuck up my life a lot more and a lot faster then she or her nut job husband could.”

    That is an entirely sensible approach. But it doesn’t help explain the public’s view of Camilla. It is not as if they are being asked an either/or question involved Ed.

    Squander Two – “I think you’re living in a parallel universe.”

    I often think so too but this is a case where the British public seems to agree with me. Or at least where I understand where they are coming from.

    “No-one is asking that. This entire thread was started by Tim’s comment on a piece pointing out that Camilla has in fact won the public over. People like her now. Sorry.”

    I am not sure that is true. The memory has faded due to her entirely positive press. But that does not mean people like her. They don’t want the issue to keep coming up is more like it.

    “Well, firstly, I’ll be advising my daughters never to get involved with royalty, because this stuff is entirely typical with those people.”

    That is dodging the issue. I did not ask if your son-in-law the Prince of Wales did this.

    Squander Two – “Especially by the standards of royalty. I mean, change it to “Charles really did her wrong as few princesses have been wronged” and it just becomes ludicrous.”

    I am not sure that is true. Sure he did not execute her like some I could think of. But princesses don’t believe the fairy tale. They know what to expect and what is coming. Diana did not. She fell for it. Nice but dim. Of course Charles could have done the decent thing and explained what was expected of her. But he didn’t. Because he is a selfish sh!t.

  30. The Meissen Bison

    Yes, Ian B, heard of that and lots of others too but that reply’s as silly as Squander’s.

  31. It’s the same answer: the Troubles were simply the long-drawn-out tail-end of the English Civil War. It is also the correct answer. If you live in a weird world in which the English Civil War had nowt to do with whether England was Catholic or not, well, what can I say? I hope it’s nice there.

  32. Surely Ian B meant the Glorious Revolution, which involved the Battle of the Boyne, which kind of links to the Troubles.

  33. Thing is, people who have met her really like Camilla. By all accounts she’s reasonably smart, funny, has impeccable manners and can actually communicate and relate with people in a genuine way. She’s that classic example of “good upper class breeding”.

    If there was a way of getting rid of the Jug Eared Cunt* then I’d be perfectly happy if she was to be on the throne.

    *a wee reference to a classic documentary about a lad with Tourette’s (John’s Not Mad). He was to meet Prince Charles, and the night before his mates kept repeating this to him in the hope that he would say it in front of the prince.

  34. I sneeze in threes

    What you are all failing to understand is that she can’t be Princess Consort as British Leyland stopped making them in 1972.

  35. Diogenes-

    Both. The Glorious Revolution was, as with the Civil War, about preventing Popary.

    And, like Squander said.

  36. The Meissen Bison

    Diogenes: absolutely agree with you on the Glorious Revolution fitting the bill rather better, though I’m less convinced Ian B meant to say that.

    Squander: I didn’t respond to your ‘the Troubles’ answer because perhaps you identify yourself as part of the ‘we’ in the context of Ulster, whereas I scarcely do.

    You appear to believe that the English civil war was a religious war between a protestant king and a protestant parliament which makes you a kind of Richard Murphy of ecumenics.

  37. SMFS,

    > That is dodging the issue.

    No it isn’t. I said “it’s appallingly scummy behaviour”. I was simply making the point that we react differently to appallingly scummy behaviour from our own relatives and appallingly scummy behaviour from royals. If royals made up 30-odd percent of the population, I’m sure that would change. But, as problems go, they are a very well contained one.

  38. > perhaps you identify yourself as part of the ‘we’ in the context of Ulster, whereas I scarcely do.

    You’re saying the English didn’t fight in Ulster? Gosh.

    > You appear to believe that the English civil war was a religious war between a protestant king and a protestant parliament

    Do I? Gosh.

  39. The English Civil War was between devoutly Protestant “parliamentarians” who feared the re-catholicisation of England by a King married to a Catholic Queen, with apparently Catholic sympathies, who had stacked the Church with Arminians who were actively reversing hard-protestant (Puritan) reforms in the Church. Which is why the Parliamentarians kept ranting about popary.

    The Glorious Revolution was about James II’s similar Catholic sympathies (him actually being a Catholic too).

    They were both about the religious future of England.

    It has some similarities to the current situation in Islam, with everyone fighting over what flavour of Islam is the right one.

  40. The Meissen Bison

    S2: You’re saying the English didn’t fight in Ulster? Gosh

    The English also fought in Iraq. But that doesn’t give me a sense of solidarity with Iraqis, do you see?

    You may be an Ulsterman so may have a different point of view from an Englishman.

    There’s a basic feature of Tim’s blog and that’s where the number of comments on a thread exceeds fifty or so, it turns out to be populated by the same regulars bickering at one another which isn’t that interesting. Farewell for now…

  41. > The English also fought in Iraq. But that doesn’t give me a sense of solidarity with Iraqis, do you see?

    So what? The sentence you originally and specifically objected to was “We fought a war over that.” Which we did (for a given value of “we”). I don’t feel a particular sense of solidarity with either side in the English Civil War (tyranny versus tyranny: tough call). So what?

    And no, for the umpteenth time, I’m not Northern Irish.

    > There’s a basic feature of Tim’s blog and that’s where the number of comments on a thread exceeds fifty or so, it turns out to be populated by the same regulars bickering at one another

    Fifty? Five, more like.

  42. The English Civil War was between devoutly Protestant “parliamentarians” who feared the re-catholicisation of England by a King married to a Catholic Queen, with apparently Catholic sympathies, who had stacked the Church with Arminians who were actively reversing hard-protestant (Puritan) reforms in the Church.
    That’s true

    The Glorious Revolution was, as with the Civil War, about preventing Popary.

    That’s not true – the English Civil War was not about preventing popery, Charles I favoured religious tolerance but he wasn’t a papist. He believed in the Divine Right of Kings, not subject to any earthly authority. He liked Catholic ritual, but within an English church with himself in charge of it.

    Really, the Civil War was about who governs.

    As to whether Camilla should become queen or not, do people really care?

  43. No, the “who governs?” thing is Whiggish history. The war was between Protestant reformists- who wanted the reformation to go forward- and a Crown who they perceived as backsliding towards popery, particularly in Laud’s policies. It’s not about whether Charles I was a papist, it’s about the fact that the parliamentarian protestants believed he was.

    The point is that England’s religious settlement was central to the war- as to the Glorious Revolution- and by any reasonable measure of what a religious war is, it was one.

    That doesn’t mean it was the only issue in play, just as the religious wars in the Islamic world at the moment (and spilling outside of it) have all sorts of other issues in play too.

    It was only “who governs” in the sense of, “who do we want to govern who will give us the religious settlement we want?”.

  44. Squander-

    The “we” was meant only in the sense of “those of our ancestors who were involved”, rather than some more grand “we”.

  45. ..by any reasonable measure of what a religious war is, it was one…
    That’s a reasonable perspective. But Roman Catholicism had little to do with the argument, other than for rabble rousing. The religious dispute was, roughly, about Arminianism versus Calvinism. Charles I wasn’t a Roman Catholic, nor were most of his supporters, and no one seriously thought otherwise.

  46. There was great concern among the Puritans that we would backslide into Catholicism, which the Arminians were seen as instigating with Charles’s patronage. In modern terms, Laud et al were seen as “Protestants In Name Only”.

    In other words, the Arminians were seen as dangerously papist, and that was the Calvinist objection.

  47. Philip Scott Thomas

    @Ian B –

    Look, mate, you’re usually up there with the Sage of Kettering, but, in this instance, have you any references that support your contention that “the Arminians were seen as dangerously papist”?

  48. PST-

    The history of the period. Laud and the Arminians were reversing Protestant reforms, reintroducing rood screens and altars and so on, strengthening the episcopacy etc, which the Calvinists saw as backsliding to catholicism. Charles, by actively promoting Arminians like Laud to the major offices of the Church, was seen as anti-reformist, which was by definition to a Calvinist/Puritan, popary.

    If the reference to Paul Marks isn’t sarcasm, I’m flattered. If it is sarcasm, I’m duly chastened.

  49. Philip Scott Thomas

    @Ian B

    No, the reference to Paul Marks wasn’t sarcasm. You are, on most points, one of the soundest commenters in this parish.

  50. Is there some reason to continue to assume that Charles will take the through after Elizabeth passes?

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to simply pass the crown directly to William? After all, Charles is already up there in years – he’d be crowned only to likely drop dead right after,

  51. Surreptitious Evil

    is there some reason to continue to assume that Charles will take the through after Elizabeth passes?

    Only his and William’s direct statements. Of course, SMFS with his direct access to the Royal Family’s”Book of Really Secret Secrets ” will be along in moments to tell me how wrong I am. And that I have a sore arse.

    He seems to be a bit botty obsessed.

  52. Philip Scott Thomas

    @Ian B –

    OK, I see where you’re coming from. But the battle between the Calvinists and the Arminians was rather like that between the Judean People’s Front and the Front of the Judean People.

    A more more recent simile would be, at the risk of Godwinning (Godwin-ing?), that between the Leninist international socialists and the German National Socialists national socialists.

    Even more recent would the expulsion from the Samizdat commentariat for being insufficiently ideologically pure… 😉

    Long story short – if the Calvinists accused the monarchy of being in cahoots with their enemy, the Arminians, that doesn’t necessarily mean the monarch and the Arminians were actually in said cahoots.

  53. An accusation doesn’t have to be factually accurate to be useful for rousing the rabble.

    I remembered that the (then) Earl of Newcastle, Charles’ northern general, was accused of leading a Papist army. Googling for some references throws this up as the first link: The English Revolution and the Wars in the Three Kingdoms, 1638-1652 by Ian Gentles. Not a book I’m familiar with, so no particular recommendation, but the text around that link contains some more references concerning Catholicism being identified with the Royalist cause and Parliamentarian propaganda.

  54. People’s Front of Judea. There never was a “Front of the Judean People”.

    My God, don’t you know your middle-eastern history?

  55. Philip Scott Thomas

    @BiG-

    Sorry, yes, of course that should have been “The People’s Judean Front”. So very sorry. 🙂

  56. PST-

    No it doesn’t. But I haven’t made any claims here about for instance how popish the Arminians and Charles I were. What mattered was the perception of them, at a time when religious tensions were running very high.

    It only takes one side to make an argument; take the current bizarre situation in Scotland. The Scots Natzis accuse the “southern Tory English” of all kinds of conspiracies and things that we aren’t actually up to.So far as I’m aware, anyway. But the conflict exists because the Natzis believe these things.

    What Charles I, and Laud, were up to, or thought they were up to, remains questionable. But there was certainly a struggle of a religious nature between them and the Calvinists, pulling in opposite directions. The Calvinists trying to “reform”, and the Arminians pulling the other way. In the Puritan mind, anyone working against reform was by definition pulling towards popary. Like today, in the Progressive mind (which as you know I have argued is of the same character), anyone not with them is an evil “conservative” trying to “turn back the clock to the evil past”. In the 17th century, the evil past was Catholicism, the progressive future Calvinist Protestantism.

  57. Philip Scott Thomas

    Ian B

    I don’t see how we disagree. Your analysis is right on.

    the Scots Natzis, btw, is a brilliant neologism which deserves higher priority.

  58. Myself and another commenter (Scottish) called Son_Of_Cassandra at the Daily Telegraph comments section have been using it to wind up the Cybernats. I’m honestly not sure which of us thought of it, so I can’t claim credit. “Scottish National Socialist Party” sort of spontaneously collapsed down to Scots Natzis 🙂

  59. The Pedant-General

    Blimey. Tim sometimes ponders on the unknowable and random way that some posts generate nary a comment and others spawn a positively extraordinary response and how he can never predict which will be which.

    Royals, sex, religion – all we need now is house prices into the mix and we’ve got the full Daily Mail Dinner Party conversation….

  60. Sorry guys – but Charles married or unmarried is a disaster and its not because of Camilla but because he is a tiresome, interfering, liberal, busybody.

    Fucks given = 0.

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