Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch, passed away on September 8, 2022. She was 96. Elizabeth’s son Charles is the king and will be known as King Charles III, his office announced. The 73-year-old’s second wife Camilla is the Queen Consort

Camilla is Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms as the wife of King Charles III. However, a Queen Consort does not share the king’s sovereignty and his political and military powers. 

Who is Camilla?

Camilla Rosemary Sand was born on July 17, 1947, in London. She grew up in The Laines, an 18th- century country house in Plumpton, East Sussex. She has two younger siblings, a sister Annabel Elliot and a brother, Mark Shand. 

Camilla was baptized at Firle Church, East Sussex on November 1, 1947. At the age of five, she was sent to Drumbrells, a co-educational school in Ditchling village. At the age of 10, she left Drumbrells to attend Queen’s Gate School in Queen’s Gate, South Kensington. When she turned 16, she travelled to attend the Mon Fertile finishing school in Tolochenaz, Switzerland. She then decided to study French and French literature at the University of London Institute in Paris. 

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She moved into a flat in Belgravia, which she shared with her landlady Lady Moyra Campbell, the daughter of the Duke of Abercorn, and later with Virginia Carrington, daughter of the politician Peter Carrington, 6th Baron Carrington. She worked as a secretary for a variety of firms in West End. She was also employed as a receptionist by Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler in Mayfair. 

In the late 1960s, Camilla met Andrew Parker Bowles, through his younger brother, Simon Parker, who worked for her father’s wine farm in Mayfair. Andrew and Camilla’s engagement was announced in The Time in 1973. The couple got married on July 4, 1973. Their son, Tom was born on December 18, 1974, and their daughter, Laura was born on January 1, 1978. In December 1994, after 21 years of marriage, Camilla and Andrew both issued divorce proceedings. The divorce was finalised on March 3, 1995. 

Camilla and Charles reportedly met in mid-1971. With the publication of Diana: Her True Story in 1992, and the Camillagate tape scandal in 1993, when an intimate telephone conversation between Camilla and Charles was secretly recorded and the transcript was published in the tabloid press, their relationship came into public knowledge. 

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On February 10, 2005, Clarence House announced that Camilla and Prince of Wales were engaged. The couple got married on April 9, 2005.

After becoming Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla was ranked second highest woman in the British order of precedence, and typically fifth or sixth in the order of precedence of her other realms. 

She became a member of the National Osteoporosis Society in 1994. Camilla is the honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Navy Medical Service. In 2018 and 2020, she became vice-patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society and the Royal Academy of Dance respectively. 

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She began raising awareness and advocating ways to help victims of rape and sexual abuse to overcome and move past their trauma after she visited nine rape crisis centres in 2009. In February 2022, Camilla with former Prime Minister Theresa May supported a campaign initiated by the NHS England to encourage survivors of sexual and domestic abuse to come forward for help.