There’s no question, if Charles were still married to Diana, and she were still alive, they would make the perfect King and Queen. Diana was everything a Princess should be, and everything Camilla is not; beautiful, elegant, stylish, down-to-earth, funny, and compassionate.
As is explained absolutely perfectly in Helen Fielding’s The Diary of Bridget Jones, Diana was the embodiment of the 90’s woman. The normal woman could identify with her; in love and totally screwed over by a man and another woman, left to bring up the children as a single mother (Okay, so I know she wasn’t exactly on the dole and scraping end’s meat, she had a lot of help, but she was still a single mother), battling with insecurity and eating disorders, trying to hold her head up high while the man she loved flaunted his relationship with the woman he had always been seeing behind her back. Every woman in Britain could see some part of themselves in her, and could respect her as a woman, not just a princess.
The situation is complicated, I know. Charles was in love with Camilla long before he knew Diana. He married Diana because he was told to; she was a better prospect to be mother of the future King of England than Camilla, who already had a reputation as sullied goods. If left to his own devices, Charles would have married Camilla and lived happily ever after. Perhaps it’s unfair to condemn Charles as the villain, simply because he couldn’t help who he was in love with. Well, no, but what is fair is to condemn someone as an adulterer when that’s what they are. Charles should have respected his marriage, his wife, and his children.
As a child of adultery, I know all too well that nothing is worse than parents staying together for the sake of the children. Unhappy parents are not good parents, and no child wants their mother and father to sacrifice their own life and happiness because they think it’s what’s best for kids. However, if someone is unfulfilled in a marriage then they should end it for the sake of the other person, and the children, rather than just going off and bedding someone else while they’re pretending to be happily married. What any decent man should do, if he’s fallen out of love with his wife, is tell her honestly that the marriage is over, move out of the house, and then they can both find someone new in due course. Perhaps Charles is as much a victim in this as anyone, after all he was just doing his duty by marrying who he was told, and couldn’t help being in love with Camilla. Well, he could have told her to sod off and never seen her again, couldn’t he? He did, however, do the selfish thing and kept seeing her.
Frankly, Diana was the best thing ever to happen to the Royal Family. She made them glamorous, colorful and attractive, she made people interested in them. She also gave them two wonderful young men. William and Harry are such fantastic testaments to their mother, who brought them up to be grounded and normal. We all remember those pictures of them on the log flume at Alton Towers, and the stories of them eating McDonalds. She said she wanted them to be normal boys, and they are. They are a credit to no-one but her. When you hear them speak, they are connected to the real people in the way that she was. In the way that she astounded us by hugging people with aids and people dying of unpleasant diseases when she was expected just to give them a polite royal nod, William and Harry make us smile by their normal, brotherly banter and down to earth values and manners, all the things Diana taught them. When she walked through mine fields she shocked the world. A princess, who had no need to risk her own life, and could quite happily live her life in complete protection, was walking through fields of mines which could potentially kill her.
What’s more, it didn’t feel like a publicity stunt. Lots of celebrities and people in the public eye do great acts of altruism, but they often feel staged and like they are designed to make us feel positively towards them. With Diana, it felt genuine. You never felt Diana was duping you or being publicity-smart. It always felt totally honest and genuine. I think, actually, she was.
So, after all this, she died in a car crash in Paris. The tragedy and injustice of that accident is subject for another blog altogether, and my feelings on that incident run deep. Whatever we think or believe, Diana died. Then, some years later, Charles announced his engagement to Camillia.
To be honest, from a personal point of view, I can’t understand how William and Harry can be in the same room as her. I am always dumbfounded and confused when I see pictures in the paper of the boys laughing and joking with Camilla, perhaps affectionately touching her arm. They probably have to, to be fair. When one is a prince, one can’t really make too many decisions when it comes to these things. I really don’t know whether it would be within their power to refuse a relationship with Camilla. Part of me hopes it is, because they should have the power to do whatever they like, but then part of me is disappointed, because if I were Diana’s son, I wouldn’t give Camilla the time of day. They obviously adored their mother and it’s important to them to protect and cherish her memory, so why allow themselves to be forced into this situation? Personally, I find the pictures of Harry laughing with Camilla and Kate Middleton at William’s RAF graduation ceremony a blatant and ugly dishonor to Diana’s memory, and an insult to her as a mother. I only think of how my own mother would feel if she were to see pictures of me behaving so amiably and intimately with the woman who had torn apart her marriage. The relationship you can see in those pictures isn’t just duty, or doesn’t appear to be.
So, this week Camilla was visiting a children’s centre in Chippenham, Wiltshire, and a child asked her the question; will you ever been queen? In an attempt to be coy but provocative, Camilla replied; “You never know.” This comes shortly after Charles was interviewed on NBC in America and to the same question, replied; “That’s well..we’ll see, won’t we? That could be.”
It looks like the two of them are dropping serious hints. The question is; SHOULD CAMILLA BE QUEEN?
Personally, I think not. I also happen to think that Charles would make a pathetic monarch, and the role should go straight to William (King William and Queen Kate, yes!). Should someone who has been so demonstrably pivotal in destroying a royal marriage, be given such an honour? I, for one, don’t think either of them deserve it. I think that certainly Camillia, and possibly Charles, forfeited any right to be put in that kind of position.
Adultery and home-wrecking aside, Camilla is divorced. I realise that it’s an outdated and unrealistic view, in the 21st Century, to believe in such old-fashioned, religious values, and I don’t. When it boils down to it, I don’t really care whether someone is divorced or not. However, on December 10, 1936, King Edward VIII gave up the throne of England, abdicating so that he could marry the woman he loved, Mrs Wallis Simpson, a divorced American woman with no royal connections. Edward made the choice between love of Mrs Simpson, and the power of being King, because it was unacceptable for the King to marry a divorced woman. If Edward was given no choice but to make that sacrifice; throne or love, should Charles? Is it fair, in 2011, to impose the same rules and views on our royal family, or indeed anyone? (For more information, see the very popular The King’s Speech).
Perhaps, though, it isn’t about what’s religiously or morally right, or whether it’s acceptable in the eyes of God, to marry someone, or for a divorced woman to be Queen. For me, it’s about right and wrong. What I care about in life is the choices that people make. I think it’s wrong to judge and condemn somebody for, say, being gay, because they have no control over that. However, when someone chooses to act in a certain way, they should be liable to judgement and condemnation, if they choose something which is wrong, because they consciously made that decision. Charles and Camilla carried on an affair behind Diana’s back. They were intentionally and purposely deceitful and dishonest. They betrayed a wife and two children. Take away princes and princesses, thrones and monarchies; what you’re left with is a man who comes home to a woman, fresh from another woman’s bed. He slept with his wife after he’d slept with his mistress. He lied to his children. In my opinion, this makes him a dishonest and dishonourable man. Should this man be king? As for her, I have absolutely no respect or time for a woman who would knowingly, over years and years, sleep with another woman’s husband. Love or no, they committed adultery. Should people like that be our ambassadors to the rest of the world? Should they hold the most privileged position in the country, be our examples and heroes? Our monarchy are supposed to represent us to the world, represent what it is to be British. They are supposed to inspire, comfort and guide us.
How would the ordinary man and woman feel, taking a £10 note out of their pocket, and seeing the face of someone like Camilla? I believe, in my humble opinion, that it would insult and disrespect not only Diana, but every woman or man in the country who has been betrayed by their partner, and deceived by an adulterous, dishonest villain.
It’s possible, just maybe, that the attack on Charles and Camilla’s car in December, during the student fee’s protests (which, incidentally, took place while I was having dinner just across the street), was a window into a future of discontent with the royal family. Taking away the fact that it was Charles and Camilla, I did feel sorry for them. A man and woman, in their sixties, were terrified, trapped in the back of a car, in the middle of an enraged and violent crowd. That, whatever the circumstances, and who’s right or wrong, is unfair and terrible. However, perhaps not all of the anger directed at that car was connected to the student fees. Maybe it was an indication of how the country feels about the people who betrayed ‘The People’s Princess’.
What we need, and want, is a Queen we can love. A woman wearing a black dress, dancing with John Travolta, or walking through land mines, risking her life. It seems the only people we can lay our hope in is Kate Middleton and Prince William.