Queen Camilla isn’t afraid to call the shots at Buckingham Palace.
The 75-year-old, once reviled for being the “other woman” in King Charles’ marriage to Princess Diana, will be crowned alongside her longtime love May 6 at London’s Westminster Abbey. Multiple sources close to the British royal family have already described the queen as “a lady boss” who doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind on behalf of the monarch.
“We’ve made a number of documentaries with Camilla, and you can see how they work hand in glove with each other,” True Royalty TV co-founder Nick Bullen told Fox News Digital. “She knows he’s the king. She knows she’s there to support him.
“But we all know that Camilla is making a lot of the decisions behind the scenes with the king. And I know lots of members of the household who work with them, who know how good the queen is at understanding the king’s personality traits and how to operate with the king.
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“You can see that Charles was always determined that she would be queen — whether it was queen consort or queen,” Bullen shared. “He knew she was going to be crowned alongside him.”
When Camilla and Charles married in a low-key civil ceremony in 2005, she was the new Princess of Wales, a title that belonged to Diana. She styled herself the Duchess of Cornwall instead. Palace officials said for years that Camilla “intended” to be known as “Princess Consort” — instead of the traditional “Queen Consort” — when Charles acceded to the throne.
In a 2010 interview with NBC, Charles was asked if Camilla would become “Queen of England, if and when you become the monarch.” He hesitated as he replied, saying, “That’s, well … We’ll see, won’t we? That could be.”
The question was resolved in February 2022 when Queen Elizabeth II declared she wanted Camilla to be known as “queen consort” after her son became king. It was an endorsement that formally signified the royal family’s acceptance of Camilla as a respected senior member and was widely seen as a move by Elizabeth to pave a smooth transition to Charles’ reign.
Charles, 74, became king upon the death of his mother in September 2022. After May 6, Camilla will officially be known as “queen,” not “queen consort.”
“I revealed in my book that Charles hammered away relentlessly at the late queen for 17 years, pleading with her to endorse Camilla as queen and not merely consort,” Christopher Andersen, author of “The King,” previously told Fox News Digital. “Toward the end of her life, the queen did just that, quite reluctantly I’m told, and it was a shock to Diana’s sons.”
“William and Harry … both actually believed the king would honor his original pledge out of respect for their late mother,” Andersen said. “After all, it was Charles’ affair with Camilla that caused Diana so much heartache, ended their parents’ marriage and set into motion the chain of events that eventually led to Diana’s death. In the end, Charles and Camilla have gotten everything they always wanted.”
Bullen shared that the public’s mood surrounding Camilla has softened over the years. Camilla being recognized as queen was bound to happen, he pointed out.
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“The queen is an incredibly down-to-earth woman who, for most of her life, lived a non-royal life,” he explained. “So she’s able to relate to non-royal people in a way that most royals can’t because she was a wife and a mother and a grandmother before she became a member of the royal family. So she’s incredibly good with … normal people because she’s been one of those people, albeit, sort of a reasonably wealthy and upper-class one. But she’s been part of that world.
“And I think the other thing that the queen does fantastically is she takes on causes that are not particularly glamorous … but things that she feels strongly about and that she feels she can make a difference in,” Bullen continued. “Be it domestic violence, be it rape crisis, osteoporosis — these are not big, sexy, front page grabbing issues, but they’re issues that she cares about. … That’s the real thing with this new king and queen. They care about what they do, and they mean business.
“I think they will be a great pairing that sets the monarchy up for the next hundred years.”
Royal photographer Chris Jackson, who has photographed the king and queen for nearly 20 years, told Fox News Digital that while the couple is “an amazing team,” they don’t hesitate to split up their royal duties and focus on solo projects. Charles is his wife’s biggest cheerleader, he noted.
“The queen has so many different passion projects,” he explained. “She’s a patron of so many projects, ranging from child literacy, osteoporosis awareness, victims of sexual violence. And it’s nice to see the king supporting her in engagements, especially with projects that are really important to her. She’s very passionate about her causes, and she makes it known.”
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Lady Lansdowne, a godmother to Camilla’s daughter Laura Lopes, recently described the queen as “resilient” to The Times U.K.
“She’s brought up with this extraordinary sense of duty where you got on with it, don’t whine, put your best face on and keep going,” she told the outlet. “And it has stood her in a very good stead. It was horrible at times, but her sense of humor and knowing she had her girlfriends around her got her through.”
The outlet noted that Charles long made it clear to the royal family that Camilla was a “non-negotiable” part of his life.
Sources also revealed to the outlet that Camilla is an “operator” who is known as “the lady boss” behind palace doors.
“She can be steely as f—,” said an insider. “She would have made a brilliant 16th-century courtier because she’s canny.”
“[The king and queen] are a fantastic team and work so well together,” Landsdowne added. “The support she gives him, he needs so much. It’s a very special bond. She is there for him, but slightly behind him, not competing for the limelight — that’s what he needs. They know each other so well, a pat says a million things. He knows she’s there for him and vice versa.”
The outlet noted that Camilla “likes the company of journalists” and is good at persuading Charles to pose for royal photographers.
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“She’s been smart and set out to win [the press] over, including her critics, and she achieved it, not with sly tricks, just by taking an interest in their lives and being at ease with them in a way other members of the family aren’t,” said a former courtier. “She was always more like a politician, thinking, ‘How do I make this work for me?’”
Author Katie Nicholl previously revealed in “The New Royals,” there are times when Camilla “calls the shot.” In her book, she described how the king practices his speeches for her and speaks to his “darling wife” about his ideas.
Nicholl claimed that Camilla even asserted herself to Prince Harry when he suggested the royal family hire a meditator to help work out their differences.
“He actually suggested that they use a mediator to try and sort things out, which had Charles somewhat bemused and Camilla spluttering into her tea,” Camilla’s friend told Nicholl. “She told Harry it was ridiculous and that they were a family and would sort it out between themselves.”
In his memoir “Spare,” Harry painted his stepmother as a schemer who played “the long game,” with a campaign aimed at “marriage and eventually the crown.” The Duke of Sussex also accused Camilla of trading private information about him and others to the media as part of a drive to forge friendly relationships with journalists and improve her reputation.
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Harry said he and his elder brother, Prince William, had urged their father not to marry Camilla, but both reluctantly accepted her into their lives.
Camilla rarely speaks about her private life. But in an interview with British Vogue last year, she acknowledged she was “scrutinized for such a long time that you just have to find a way to live with it.”
“Nobody likes to be looked at all the time and, you know, criticized,” said Camilla. “But I think, in the end, I sort of rise above it and get on with it.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.