Rehabilitation of the Duchess of Cornwall

At the time of Charles and Diana's divorce through to Diana's death, Camilla was a hate figure to the Press and the public.

Throughout it all Camilla declined to complain or speak out. After her own divorce, she had moved to Raymill House, a 30-minute drive from Prince Charles's Highgrove home. Having met discreetly for years in the country homes of friends, the two were now able to be together.

'It's a cluttered, not very tidy, country home that's full of history and quietness,' says one friend. 'She clearly loves it and likes having her own space, even if she spends more and more time at Highgrove.'

Charles was aware that was receiving a lot of public attention, and appointed Mark Bolland, the 'spin doctor' recruited by Charles in 1995 to refurbish his own reputation, to enhance Camilla's image.

As part of this effort, to soften her hunting image, Camilla became President of the National Osteoporosis Society. One of the Society's staff says: 'She works hard for us. She isn't in it for the publicity.'

A carefully-planned series of appearances at public and private venues eventually led to her sitting in the royal box behind the Queen for one of the Golden Jubilee concerts at Buckingham Palace. At a theatre trip by the couple to London's West End that had been leaked to the press, Bolland was observed in the crowd on the opposite side of the street.

Camilla is was carefully restyled. Paddy Campbell dresses. A Mayfair stylist. Good jewelry. She still rode with the Beaufort Hunt - and commuted between Highgrove and her own home on a regular basis.

In London, Camilla she stayed at St James's Palace, where staff curtsey to her and address her as 'Ma'am', as any member of the royal family. And at almost all private occasions, she was by now accompanying the Prince. She attended the Holyrood House garden party and the Sandringham flower show with Prince Charles.

Gradually, almost imperceptibly, marriage became a viable option for the pair. The spin had worked.


Duchess of Cornwall

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