MEGHAN MARKLE leaned on Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall when she was navigating a ‘difficult time’ in the early years of her royal life, a friend of Camilla’s has claimed. Camilla accompanied her husband, Prince Charles, and Prince William at the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess’s attendance was notably poignant after the Queen made the last-minute decision to bow out of the state event. It was a glimpse into what the monarchy may look like when the Prince of Wales ascends the throne, and the Duchess of Cornwall becomes Queen Consort. Her Majesty declared her “sincere wish” for Camilla to be known as Queen Consort upon Charles’ accession earlier this year.
In her Accession Day message, the monarch said: “When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”
Since her and Charles’ wedding in 2005, Camilla has earned her place as a respected working royal, through both her support for the Prince of Wales and her and her own service to the Royal Family. It has also been said that the Duchess provided a sounding board for the royal brides that followed her. A friend of the Duchess of Cornwall’s told Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl that Camilla helped Meghan through a “difficult time”.
Published in Vanity Fair last month, the friend said: “She [Camilla] threw a hand of friendship out to Harry and Meghan at various points. “When Meghan was going through a difficult time with her own father, Camilla helped navigate things.” The Duchess of Sussex is known to have endured difficulties with her father, Thomas Markle, ahead of the Royal Wedding in 2018.
Thomas’ involvement with the media ahead of the royal nuptials — including staged photographs and an interview with The Sun during which he branded the royals “cult-like” — eventually lead to his absence from his daughter’s big day. It is understood that Meghan has not been in contact with her father since the wedding.
Thomas has continued to speak to the press and has insisted that he will not stop until the Duchess speaks to him again. Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry, stepped down from their roles in the Royal Family in 2020. They now reside in California, thousands of miles away from their royal lives in Windsor. Meanwhile, Camilla has continued to rise through the ranks within the Firm. She is now the second most senior woman in the Royal Family, falling only behind the Queen.
Now, the Duchess carries out regular engagements, solo, with Charles by her side or alongside other members of the Royal Family, including Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge — the future Prince and Princess of Wales. Camilla shares a similar future to Kate, whose husband is also destined to be king.
The pair seemingly support each other as they prepare for their new roles. And, reportedly, the Duchess of Cornwall, as the older and more experienced of the two women, was the first to offer such support. Camilla had been in the fold for several years when Kate married into the family, so was in a prime position to offer support and guidance. According to royal author, Robert Lacey, Camilla offered Kate a tip ahead of her wedding.
In his book, ‘Battle of Brothers’, Mr Lacey wrote: “Camilla had confided to Kate the secret of hanging on to a busy prince: fit your timetable — well, basically your whole life – around his.”
Upon Kate’s marriage to William, Camilla gifted the new Duchess with a meaningful gift: a gold bracelet with the monograms ‘C’ and ‘C’ — one for Catherine and the other for Camilla. The pair have both attended several royal engagements together, most recently, the Commonwealth Day service, during which Charles, Camilla, Kate and William were photographed chatting.