Duchess Camilla attends her first event since her brother passed away

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Since the Cambridges have gone dark (I would put money on them going on an undercover vacation), let’s check in with the more senior royals. I’m including photos of Queen Elizabeth, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, all of whom were out and about on Friday. Camilla actually made her first public appearance on Friday since her beloved brother Mark Shand died suddenly in NYC a few weeks ago. She chose her appearance carefully too – she’s the patron of the Nuffield Orthopedic Centre Charity, and she went to the opening of the University of Oxford’s Botnar Research Centre. There also seemed to be some kind of unveiling of a terrible portrait. Seriously, that portrait makes Camilla look terrible! Camilla actually looked pretty glam (for her) at this appearance. That’s a terrific suit and great bling.

Meanwhile, Charles and the Queen went to the service for the Order of the Bath. In an interesting turn of events, the Queen was originally scheduled to do this event by herself, but once she put on all of the diamonds and “regalia,” the 88-year-old Queen was like, “Actually, not so much.” So, the Queen just attended the service and Prince Charles actually did the knighting or whatever.

A day after the debut of a splashy, Instagram-y portrait of the Queen debuted in Harper’s Bazaar, the 88-year-old had to back out of a ceremony today, for her own “comfort.” The Queen was set to take part in the Order of the Bath service Friday, but aides, per the Daily Express, decided that she was not up for it, due to the weight of her “tiara and other ceremonial garments.”

The proceedings—involving her giving an “offering after the installation of new knights”—would have required her to “climb up the steep steps to her stall, climb down . . . climb back up again and then step down to leave,” all while wearing the heavy regalia. After a rehearsal yesterday, it was determined it was too much for her to bear, so Prince Charles was picked to fill in as her replacement.

“It’s a decision that has been taken purely for the Queen’s comfort,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman said. This is notable in that it’s the first time the palace has explicitly acknowledged the Queen may not be currently able to fulfill some of her daily duties (though two years ago, it was announced that her travel regimen would be scaled back).

The Queen, in an Angela Kelly dress, was still present for today’s ceremony, watching Charles take part in the service. The Order of the Bath ceremony takes place every four years, and the Queen attends every other ceremony, meaning her next one would take place when she’s 96.

[From Vanity Fair]

It’s interesting that Charles stepped in on such short notice, and that Camilla wasn’t at his side. Maybe it was such short notice, Camilla didn’t want to cancel her Oxford trip. Anyway, I feel like we’re going to get more of this from here on out – the Queen is 88 years old, bless her heart. While the royal word is that she’s still sharp as a tack, I don’t think anyone would slam her for not being able to carry all of the heavy garments and such these days. It is sort of funny though: she literally couldn’t do an event because her diamonds weighed too much. #Queenproblems

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Photos courtesy of Getty, Pacific Coast News.

 

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98 Responses to “Duchess Camilla attends her first event since her brother passed away”

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  1. PHD Gossip says:

    What I would give for vacation photos of will and kate popping up today!

  2. Lilacflowers says:

    Those gold tassels alone would pull me over and I’m far from 88 years old.

    • kri says:

      I am calling in to work and telling them “Purely for my own comfort, I am not coming in today as my diamonds are too heavy”. That would kick ass!! Of course, they would just say “she has finally gone nuts”, but who cares?! Eh, the woman is 88-she can take a day. It’s good to be the Queen.

    • bluhare says:

      LOL. I think it was the steep steps (maybe combined with all the diamond weight!) that had her in an observation mode. Plus I think she’s had to have knee surgery, so that’s probably a factor too. Charles does these every four years, and she goes every eight. I think that’s what the article said anyway.

  3. LadyMTL says:

    Oh my, the Queen’s tiara is making me drool…and I normally hate tiaras, lol. She certainly can rock a cloak too! Heck, even Charles looks good.

    As for Camilla, I agree that the portrait is really unflattering, it makes her look really stodgy and blah.

  4. BeckyR says:

    Doubt the Wales couple have gone dark, My take is that Charles wants most of attention shining on him and his wife. After all, he is the heir.

    • LadySlippers says:

      The ‘Wales couple’ is actually Charles and Camilla not the Cambridge’s.

      So why would Charles be okay with Harry shining (which he has) but not his other son and only daughter-in-law?

      • Ellen says:

        30 percent of the country doesn’t consistently poll for Harry to take the throne instead of his dad. Charles’s biographers are all pretty united on the fact that Charles is still haunted by Diana’s poisonously sweet comment in 1994 that she wasn’t sure if Charles would ever be king (“because my son will be instead,” hung unspoken in the air).

        Harry is following the second-son script in an astonishingly close way (“lovable scamp”). What’s astonishing really is how completely William has let Diana down. She wanted very, very badly for him to continue her legacy — and so far, he … has not.

      • LadySlippers says:

        •Ellen•

        Those biographies are based on years old interviews. I’ve seen nothing recently, especially since his marriage to Camilla, that’s indicated that he’s still that insecure.

        Polling, however nice it is, doesn’t change the fact that Charles will ascend after his mother. The law is still the law. Both he and William know this.

      • Ellen says:

        The polls mean zip, Charles will absolutely take the throne. But I actually do believe that Charles worries about the steady, persistent pro-William hold-outs: combine them with the Republicans and it approaches 50%. It’s not a practical thing per se, but as a barometer of the nation’s mood? Charles is watching. The man sat up and took notice in September 1997, and he has been playing a smart, focused game ever since.

        Camilla has done wonders for his confidence and he’s in such a better place now, but IMHO he’s never going to completely shake off the effects of E&P’s piss-poor parenting (at least when it came to HIM). Plus, he’s laser-focused on his future kingship now: the downsizing of the Firm, the recent overhaul of the press office, the move to BP — not to mention what the Guardian reported last summer about his (over?) involvement in government policy/finance. There is no way that Charles is laissez-faire about the effects William and Harry have on the Firm, and the effects they have on his future kingship in particular.

  5. Diana says:

    Did Camilla ever have children? Just curious.

  6. Scarlet Vixen says:

    How adorable is the queen?? :-)

    And having your diamonds be too heavy is the best excuse ever. I want to use that the next time I have some stupid fancy work function that I feel like getting out of!

  7. lenje says:

    My big, BIG apologies to the Brits, but “Order of the Bath” makes me fall off the chair, rolling, laughing till my tummy hurts and my eyes swell with tears.

    • MacScore says:

      No need to apologise! We also find it hilarious. The order in our house went something like this, “Dad first, Mum next, kids in correct sequence so that they can get to school”! Long standing family joke.
      What else: Camilla’s suit is very sharp. Like the fact that she’s down on her knees in one of the pics – a nice “Diana touch”? The portrait is an abomination and the artist should be defrocked (or whatever).
      Oh, Queenie, you are just too adorable. But all of that regalia, in pics of both Queenie and Charles, is quite frankly rather ridiculous. I think a more toned-down approach a la the Swedish royals (are they toned-down?not sure… ) would be more appropriate to the era.

    • Sixer says:

      Haha. Bath does actually mean bath as in bathe, you know. It’s not Bath the city. It refers to an old chivalry cleansing ritual. Order of the Bath is a pretty senior knighthood order – hence the mega-regalia for the investments.

      • LadySlippers says:

        •Sixer•

        Really? I didn’t know that! I thought it was for the city of Bath.

        How are you doing? Still thinking of you and sending my thoughts and prayers, warmth and healing your way.

      • LAK says:

        Sixer: I always laugh every time they have these order of X ceremonies because people don’t realise how literal most of them are or were in inception.

        …,but tradition and all that!!!

      • Sixer says:

        @LS – imagine a baptism – it’s cleansing like that. In the days of yore, so legend has it, prospective knights would bathe to purify before being invested. Partly religious. Go to your new chivalrous life as pure as pure can be.

        Thanks. Doing ok. It’s mostly about making sure my dad is coping now. They were married for more than 50 years. I can’t imagine how lonely that must feel.

        @LAK – yes! And that knighthoods are not equal. Some are “better” knighthoods than others. And that usually depends on the history of the order, too.

      • LadySlippers says:

        •Sixer•

        I do understand the symbolic and religious importance. It’s still funny though. 😉

        I will add your father into those warm wishes, in addition to the ones I send you. Losing your other half after a lifetime together is not an easy thing to do. I feel for your father and hope that God has wrapped him, and your family, with love and healing.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        I’m adding my prayers, as well. :)

      • DameEdna says:

        @LAK…..and nothing could be more literal than “Groom of the Stool”.

  8. Allie says:

    Look at Camilla, down on her knees, gazing into that little boy’s face. Why isn’t anyone writing about that? I think I am going to like her more and more over the years.

    • Blannie says:

      I know! I’m much younger than her, but if I got down on my knees like that, they’d need a crane to get me back up again! I’m in awe of her physical feat.

      And I lol’ed at #queenproblems with her heavy diamonds. Too funny!

    • HappyMom says:

      I have grown to like her too. And I know it’s terribly unfair to compare, but if this was Diana-she would be touching that child.

    • MonicaQ says:

      The image rehab on Camilla is *stunning*. I remember the vitriol leveled at her and I was only a pre-teen. (American pre-teen so maybe it was different here?)

      • LAK says:

        i was in Britain and it was worse.

        she was pelted with food and abused in the street. It was terrible. she became so afraid of the public that she rarely left the house. And the news would gleefully report her public humiliations and abuse.

      • MonicaQ says:

        Holy pfff O_O <– actual face made.

        My grandma is probably the nicest person I know and she said some stuff here that I can't repeat in regards to Camilla. I was just like, "Heh–yeah, pretty bad to cheat on your wife can I eat french toast now please?" for like 2 months as they did the crash investigation for Diana's accident.

        Every tabloid was talking about either a) how busted she looked b) how she might have maybe probably not but pretty much did but no way killed Diana in some secret scheme to get the driver drunk c) pissed off William and Harry trying to be mom d) how ugly her clothes were e) how the Queen was going to tie her to a statue of a corgi and throw her into the Thames.

        I was like, "Dannnng, did she kill one of the actual corgis too?" Even the girls at school: "Diana was too pretty for Charles anyway, Camilla is ugly and perfect for him." and we were like, twelve.

      • LAK says:

        I am continually surprised she is able to go about her business now. It was really ugly for some time.

        And i always feel bad for her kids. People go on and on about the effect on WH, but no one ever thinks about *her* kids.

        All those headlines and public commentary were just as bad for them as they were for WH.

      • bluhare says:

        It was probably worse for them. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if my mother couldn’t leave her house for fear of abuse.

      • MonicaQ says:

        I keep forgetting that she has other kids–they’re not covered much over here or I don’t remember it. Wow, I wouldn’t even know what to do if I were her kids. The fact that I look on message boards and don’t see (very many) people spouting just a stream of hate is shocking to me. Maybe time does heal a lot of wounds.

      • AM says:

        Wasn’t there a big scandal with Tom and cocaine that would not have been in the press but for the royal connection? I think it’s been more difficult on Tom because he has the last name.

      • Sal says:

        I think it was not so much the affair, but the brazen way Camilla handled it. Even though Diana sort of guessed just before the wedding ceremony and Camilla knew that she knew, Camilla showed up at the wedding, which was poor taste, and Diana saw her there. Not only that, Camilla’s wedding present to Charles was an intertwined ‘C/C’ cufflinks, which he wore on their honeymoon. He even had a photo of Camilla on their honeymoon! I have NO sympathy for Camilla, whatsoever. She knew that Diana knew, and yet she was so BRAZEN in her behaviour, gifts etc. Don’t let all the pelting of food etc make you feel sorry for her. She was a mini LeAnn Rimes – to a certain extent as far as her behaviour with Charles when he was engaged to, and then married, to Diana. She displayed no conscience or modesty. She deserved every bit of food and hatred and abuse she got coming her way. Perhaps if she had toned it down and stopped rubbing it in Diana’s face and sending personal gifts to Diana’s husband, it would be different. But for some reason, people forget Camilla’s behaviour. She deserved every bit of abuse she got, and then some. I have never changed my mind about her, and since she never apologised to Diana or gave a public explanation or even explanation for the CC cufflinks and other stuff, NO. Time hasn’t changed my view. I think some on here don’t know the full extent of the things Camilla did.

      • LAK says:

        Sal: the wives of Oliver Hoare and Will Carling disagree with you.

      • hmmm says:

        I can’t believe Charles actually had the nerve to wear the cufflinks! And on the honeymoon! Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve (heh). I like Charles in a distant way, but that is just cruel.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        Mrs. hoare and Mrs. carling are not seeking the approval or respect of an entire commonwealth. Camilla will be queen but unfortunately some people with sharp memories will never accept her. Water under the bridge and all that but it is impossible not to understand why some people feel the way they do.

      • AM says:

        Dame,
        Diana played the Camilla role in the Hoare and Carling marriages. And Diana very much was seeking the approval of the entire Commonwealth – as a scorned wife, no less.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        AM
        You entirely missed my point. The War of the Wales did not end when Diana died. For lots of people Camilla doesn’t get a pass just because she and Charles spent a lot of time and money to rebrand her. Pointing out the fact that Diana cheated is irrelevant in this particular situation because the argument is about whether or not some feel Camilla deserves forgiveness/respect – not about two wrongs making a right. If Diana were alive then it would be fair and balanced to at least discuss her decision to commit adultery. But it isn’t a similar scenario because Diana was never going to be queen. The divorce ensured that. Camilla, on the other hand, will.

      • Suze says:

        Anyone who cannot forgive Camilla for her sins should not be able to forgive Charles.

        If you hate Camilla, you should hate Charles.

        If you feel Camilla does not deserve to become queen, you should feel Charles should not become king.

        I know what Camilla did. I also know what Charles did – and since Camilla was not his only paramour during the Diana years – he bears as much if not more responsibility for the problems in his first marriage.

        I have no problem with the rebranding of Camilla. I find it amazing, a great case study in the value of PR, but by the same token I do not think it particularly undeserved. I have a certain admiration for her survival skills.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        I, personally, blame Charles more than Camilla. Camilla didn’t break their marriage vows – only her own. The media has long since benefitted from pitting females against one another, imo.
        I’m sure there are plenty of people who want none of it, considering Charles and Camilla to be unworthy of ruling. I don’t hold these views but I can easily understand why some may. An elevated sense of expectations, adherence to strict moral mores and a deep appreciation for the espoused tenets of the COE may sincerely prohibit acceptance of Charles an d Camilla by some. But many feel, as I do, that so much of this is water under the bridge and exactly how much should one woman pay for *everyone’s* mistakes? But I accept that not everyone will feel the same.

      • AM says:

        Dame,
        I agree with your point about people’s feelings re: Camilla. My response to your original reply was in that Mrs. Hoare and Mrs. Carling were victims, not villains, and the first sentence of your reply seemed to compare them to Camilla. My apologies if I misunderstood and that was not your intention.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        AM
        Ah, from that vantage point the pile up that followed makes sense lol. I apologize for my clumsy wording. But yes, those who canonize Diana often excuse her very real flaws. Sadly, she was a wonderful but damaged individual. A victim who often victimized others.

      • AM says:

        Glad there’s no harm! I think Tina Brown makes this point very well, as I’m sure we’ll discuss next week – that Diana was a very complicated woman, but when she was firing on all cylinders she was magic.

  9. PunkyMomma says:

    That pic of Charlie’s brings to mind the Carol Burnett/Scarlett O’Hara skit – all that’s missing from Charles’ “drapes” is the curtain rod.

  10. Ag says:

    so sad about her brother.

    she looks great but. but, on a shallow note, with her resources, she should really get her teeth fixed.

  11. Ellen says:

    I am pretty sure that event has been on Camilla’s calendar for months (along with almost everything she does — the senior royals mostly schedule their appearances six months ahead of time). Camilla has won me over but she actually blocks several weeks-long vacations of her own (including what can only be called retreats) and spends significant time in her own residence. It has been reported that, left to herself, Camilla would have been happy not to marry Charles at all. She preferred the private life they had created in the shadow of his marriage and divorce. It just wasn’t sustainable given how unpopular Charles had become.

  12. Sarah says:

    I love that the Queen still carries a handbag – matching her shoes and outfit of course – even when in full Royal Regalia. I always wonder what she carries in there. Cab fare? Gum? Pin money?

  13. The Original Mia says:

    Camilla looks good. That portrait…not so much.

    The Queen’s tiara is gorgeous.

    The Lambridges are not on vacation. At least not together. William was photographed with Harry playing polo this weekend.

  14. Murphy says:

    I’m pleasantly surprised to see a story on Camilla. I really like her, she’s a good fit for the family.

  15. Murphy says:

    Oh and Charles looks so dashing in those red robes, loving it.

  16. Anastasia says:

    Lord, I would wear those capes every damn day! They are fabulous.

  17. Dame Snarkweek says:

    Was Mark Shand divorced? The online papers referred to his secret girlfriend being comforted by Camilla. Secret as in an affair or secret as in he preferred to protect her privacy? Anyone know?

  18. Green Is Good says:

    The alleged artist (GAWD!) should be imprisoned in the Tower of London until he/she learns to paint!