Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace: Camilla steps up
UK: A gradual changing of the guard is happening at the head of Britain’s royal family, as Queen Elizabeth II steps back from public engagements due to her advanced age and health.
The 95-year-old monarch’s eldest son and heir, Charles, Prince of Wales, has been shouldering more of the burden of official duties for several years, including overseas.
But his wife, Camilla,74, is increasingly stepping into the fray, both online during coronavirus pandemic restrictions in the past year and now in person, after curbs were lifted.
Joining the couple at the royal vanguard are Charles’ eldest son from his first marriage to Princess Diana, William, and his wife, Kate.
As a result, they have earned a greater share of the media coverage that would previously have gone to the monarch, who has been advised to rest by doctors.
Their presence at events — from the world premiere of the latest James Bond film to meeting world leaders at the G7 and UN climate summits — is a clear sign of change to come.
Since the death of the Queen’s husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, in April, Camilla has been seen — and heard — more frequently at official royal engagements and charity events.
This week she accompanied Charles — a longstanding environmentalist — to the UN COP26 summit in Glasgow, to urge world leaders to stop runaway climate change.
Last month she and Charles, who married in 2005, supported the Queen at the official opening of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff.
She was also present as the monarch undertook her first ceremonial engagement since her husband’s death — the State Opening of Parliament in May.
In the coming weeks, the couple embark on the first royal overseas tour since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, visiting Egypt, which will host COP27, and Jordan.
Camilla’s appearances elsewhere reflect her variety of interests, from promoting literacy via her popular Instagram book club to championing rescue animals.
She gave a well-received speech and backing to a campaign tackling violence against women, dovetailing with support given by Kate to the issue earlier this year.
Camilla has also made several television and radio appearances, speaking about her mother’s battle with osteoporosis and her love of gardening and horse breeding.