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Little-Known Facts About Camilla, Queen Consort

Rosemary Giles
Photo Credit: Chris Jackson / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Camilla, Queen Consort, has been a figure in the public eye for years. She was once the heavily criticized mistress of King Charles, but was officially brought into the royal family when they married in 2005. How much do you actually know about her? Discover these nine little-known facts about one of the most vilified women in British history.

She was delivered by the same team as King Charles

Charles and Camilla were connected for much longer than you might think – literally from birth! While on a tour of King’s College Hospital in 2014, the King revealed that even though the pair were born a year apart, they actually had the same birthing team. He said, “My darling wife was born here but amazingly we had the same gynecologist and nurse.”

Charles and Camilla in formal wear laughing together in a hallway.
King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort laugh during a reception to celebrate the second anniversary of The Reading Room at Clarence House, February 23, 2023. (Photo Credit: Chris Jackson/ Getty Images)

While Camilla was born at the more traditional location in July 1947, Charles was born at Buckingham Palace a year later. Yet it was the same team that delivered both of them, as apparently the royal obstetrician regularly worked at King’s College Hospital when not tending to Queen Elizabeth and family.

She has many famous distant relatives

Camilla is related to many famous figures. Her ancestors from the 17th century, Zacharie Cloutier and Sainte Dupont, were one of the best-known early immigrants to Canada. Among their descendants are Madonna, Celine Dion, Angelina Jolie, and even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. That means they are all distantly related to Camilla as well.

Charles and Camilla in formal wear after their wedding.
Official photograph of King Charles and his new bride Camilla, in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle after their wedding ceremony, April 9, 2005. (Photo Credit: Hugo Burnand/ Pool/ Getty Images)

That’s not all. She is apparently also related to her own husband, her ninth cousin once removed, as they are both descended from Henry Cavendish, Second Duke of Newcastle. Another relation that might be even more shocking, given their tumultuous relationship while she was alive, is Princess Diana. Their lineage can be traced back to King Charles II.

She was fired from her old job

The Queen Consort was once a normal person like you and I – so long as you forget about the private education and finishing schools – who worked a traditional nine-to-five job. Although she held many positions throughout the 1960s, one of the most notable was as a receptionist.

Camilla walking while wearing a white jacket, fur hat, and black gloves.
Camilla, Queen Consort, visits Colchester Castle in England, March 7, 2023. (Photo Credit: Max Mumby/ Indigo/ Getty Images)

The company, Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, was a decorating firm in Mayfair. Just like any other normal person, she was also fired from her job. Apparently, she showed up late to a work party and was then let go. There didn’t seem to be any hard feelings, as she saw some of her former team in 1999 and they chatted happily about the old days.

She didn’t meet Charles for the first time at a polo match

Although people commonly think that Charles and Camilla met for the first time at a polo match in 1972, thanks to a popular picture of the two talking at the event, they actually met much earlier than that.

Young Camilla talks to Charles in polo gear at a mach.
A young Charles talking to Camilla Parker-Bowles at a polo match, c. 1972. (Photo Credit: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/ CORBIS/ Getty Images)

According to two separate biographies about Charles, they actually met through a mutual friend, Lucia Santa Cruz. She was the daughter of a former ambassador and lived near Camilla at the time. She introduced the pair in 1971, a year prior to the famous polo match.

She once made a guest appearance on a popular British soap opera

Camilla is famous for her role in the royal family, but that didn’t stop her from taking on another famous role in 2011. She made a cameo on the incredibly well-known radio drama called The Archers. 

Camilla shakes hands with a lineup of people all in formal wear.
Camilla meets with cast members of The Archers during a celebration for the 70th anniversary of the radio show at Clarence House, December 7, 2021. (Photo Credit: Kate Green/ WPA Pool/ Getty Images)

The show was first broadcast in 1951 and follows the lives of the people living in the fictional town of Ambridge. When Camilla appeared on the show, she did so as herself and had tea with two other characters.

She’s scared of flying

Perhaps one of the most unfortunate facts about Camilla, given her position, is that she is scared of flying and doesn’t like to travel. One spokesman for the royal family said, “[She] does not like flying but I think she sometimes has to embrace that fear and get on with it.”

Charles and Camilla walk down a red carpet away from a plane with an escort.
King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, embark from an RAF Voyager plane at the airport in Vienna, April 5, 2017. (Photo Credit: John Stillwell/ WPA Pool /Getty Images)

This is certainly what she’s done, as she is required to travel around the world alongside her husband to many royal engagements. There have been some instances, such as their trip to Australia in 2018, where Camilla only went along for part of the trip due to the flying.

She invited her Crown counterpart to her home

One of the most sensationalized depictions of the royal family is in the television series The Crown. On the show, the relationship between Camilla and Charles is on full display. While it’s unclear whether the Queen Consort watches and likes the show, she definitely engages with it.

Emerald Fennell in a white pant suit, and Camilla, Queen Consort in a blue dress.
Camilla, Queen Consort, and Emerald Fennell, who portrayed the Duchess in the television series The Crown, during a reception to mark International Women’s Day at Clarence House, March 8, 2022. (Photo Credit: Arthur Edwards/ POOL/ AFP/ Getty Images)

She invited the actress Emerald Fennell, who played her on the show, to an International Women’s Day reception at Clarence House. Camilla said of their meeting, “For me, it’s very reassuring to know that if I should fall off my perch at any moment, my fictional alter ego is here to take over. So, Emerald — be prepared!”

She often gets the giggles

Despite having to maintain a sense of decorum at many events she attends, Camilla is apparently prone to getting the giggles. She discussed this with the Daily Mail, saying, “You’ve got to laugh through most things, and sometimes I do laugh a bit too much.”

Camilla and Charles in matching grey outfits, laugh together while sitting on a bench.
King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort laugh after a bumble bee took a liking to Charles during their visit to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary in New Zealand, November 5, 2015. (Photo Credit: Rob Jefferies/ Getty Images)

She went on, “There are situations where it’s very difficult not to lose it completely, especially, you know, if something goes terribly wrong and everybody sits there for a split second [not sure how to react]. You do have to swallow and pinch yourself very hard to not laugh.”

She would rather be in the garden

Although Camilla has many hobbies, one of her favorites is gardening. She has talked about this on many occasions. While at an event for the charity Floral Angels, she told reporters, “I’d be out in my garden all day, every day if I were allowed. I love to get my hands dirty.” She also made an appearance on the show Two’s Gardeners’ World. 

Camilla, Queen Consort, and King Charles stand in a garden with a group of people.
Camilla, Queen Consort, speaks to students in the vegetable garden during a visit to the residential farm in the Wye Valley, Wales, July 6, 2022. (Photo Credit: Kirsty O’Connor/ WPA Pool/ Getty Images)

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She told host Monty Don, “I think gardens got people through COVID (…) It was a sort of spiritual experience for them, they discovered a sort of affinity with the soil—you can go into a garden and you can completely lose yourself, you don’t have to think about anything else, you’re surrounded by nature (…) there is something very healing about gardens.”

Rosemary Giles

Rosemary Giles is a history content writer with Hive Media. She received both her bachelor of arts degree in history, and her master of arts degree in history from Western University. Her research focused on military, environmental, and Canadian history with a specific focus on the Second World War. As a student, she worked in a variety of research positions, including as an archivist. She also worked as a teaching assistant in the History Department.

Since completing her degrees, she has decided to take a step back from academia to focus her career on writing and sharing history in a more accessible way. With a passion for historical learning and historical education, her writing interests include social history, and war history, especially researching obscure facts about the Second World War. In her spare time, Rosemary enjoys spending time with her partner, her cats, and her horse, or sitting down to read a good book.