Duchess Camilla celebrated her 75th birthday with two new portraits

The Duchess of Cornwall’s 75th birthday finally happened on Sunday. She spent the better part of two months being the subject of sugary birthday keenery, to mixed results. Yes, Camilla probably got the best press of her life in the past two months, but it really didn’t make much of a dent? If anything, I feel like most people either ignore her or have a visceral dislike of her. She reportedly spent her birthday at Highgrove with Charles, and there was a family dinner or something like that.

Anyway, Clarence House released two new birthday portraits, surprisingly not taken by the Duchess of Cambridge. These were done by Chris Jackson at Getty, who is a favorite of the royals. Much like the Country Life photos (done by Kate), Camilla is pictured at Ray Mill, her Wiltshire country home. People are always so squirrelly about Ray Mill, but yes, Charles bought it for her after she and Andrew Parker Bowles divorced. The idea was that Charles’s mistress needed a certain amount of upkeep. Charles bought Ray Mill for her (it’s a short distance from Highgrove) and Camilla got a clothing allowance, a makeover and use of Charles’s staff. Camilla maintains Ray Mill because she likes having her own space, especially when it comes to her children and grandchildren. Which is what she’s leaning into with the birthday keenery – yes, she’s a woman with a torrid past, but now she’s a country grandma. Also: the peaches in one of the photos? Camilla grew those herself in her Ray Mill garden.

This weekend, there was a lot of extra birthday keenery and glowing media pieces about how Camilla is much nicer, funnier and prettier (I sh-t you not) in real life than her reputation would have you believe. One source claimed that Camilla has finally “passed” the probationary period: “I suppose it’s been a bit like when you take on a new job and you have a probation period. You’re working really hard, but you always have one eye over your shoulder knowing at any minute it might be taken away. The Queen’s proclamation of the Queen Consort title was effectively the end of that probation and puts the Duchess right at the heart of the future of the family. She’s passed, and it allows her to relax into the job without worrying about making a mistake and losing support from either the public or the institution.” Keep in mind that Camilla has been Charles’s lover/mistress since the early 1970s, been married to him since 2005 and she’s his second wife. Is it really a probationary period if it’s decades long? Jeez.

Photos courtesy of Chris Jackson for Clarence House, Avalon Red.

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47 Responses to “Duchess Camilla celebrated her 75th birthday with two new portraits”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    I think its hilarious that Chris Jackson took the portraits. It just shows that using Kate for the magazine cover was a PR move to generate interest in the cover/story, nothing more (which we all knew but still.) Like Kate’s good enough for the cover of Country Life but the official birthday portraits? oh no no no, we need a professional for those, not Kate, lolol.

    • Amy Bee says:

      So true!

    • Nic919 says:

      I also wonder if Chris Jackson was there the same day as Kate and helped her set up some of the photos. Or if he was the one who took the photos of kate taking photos of Camilla.

      Anyway you can tell he’s a professional because his composition is way better and it’s a much more complex portrait than whatever nonsense that basic kate was trying to do.

    • Tessa says:

      Common sense prevailed. So glad Charles decided to use someone else.

  2. Merricat says:

    That is a cute little dog. Fox terrier, maybe?

    • IForget says:

      I’m not sure but I came here to say the same thing! What a cutie patootie

    • TeamAwesome says:

      She has two Jack Russell rescues, which I absolutely can not fault her for.

      • Lia says:

        Everyone has to have some tiny little good side. But she still hunts, eats meat, wears leather, and locks her horses in mini stalls until she visits them once a month. Not to mention her lust for power, hatred and envy.

      • Tessa says:

        I keep seeing her in her foxhunting garb chasing down helpless foxes to be attacked by dogs. Her posing with dogs does not do anything for me.

      • Merricat says:

        I didn’t say she was cute. I said the dog was cute. And it is.

    • traci says:

      the true star is her puppy

    • Theresa says:

      Jack Russel

  3. Sunshineinfiji says:

    There’s probationary periods and growing into the role that take decades with these royal wives…such slow learners lol

    • BeanieBean says:

      Slow learners indeed. And they’re OK with that! I suppose if you’ve got your ‘job’ for life, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to ‘get it’. As for me, my probationary period at work lasted a year, which is long enough for us peasants.

  4. equality says:

    Not impressed. Everything but Cam seems blurred out. Even the dog is a little fuzzy. It’s annoying to me. I can see having a softer focus on some things but this is outright blurred like he did it in photoshop. Amusingly, a softer focus on Cam would have done her some favors.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I was thinking, it seems close to Kate’s photography ‘style’, it’s just composed better & is more visually interesting around her.

    • Truthiness says:

      I’m not impressed either. She looks like a smiling super villain.

  5. Amy Bee says:

    If Camilla has really won over the public as the press says how come her birthday photo wasn’t on the front pages yesterday?

  6. VespaRed says:

    I used to work in sub-acute rehab. Camilla reminds me of patients who seemed nice, had flowers in their room but minimal visitors. You always knew that they would be nice to you on a superficial level, but if you tried to exert any limitations on them ( like you need a full driving evaluation before you will be cleared to drive) the crap would get real, fast.

  7. WiththeAmerican says:

    Hiding behind a super cute dog was a brilliant idea and very obvious PR. Still not buying, Cam Tam.

  8. Lucy says:

    It’s been a surprise to find out I share a birthday with her, although 34 years younger. The Jack Russell’s make me like her some, I had one growing up and they’re not easy dogs- smart, self motivated and total lunatics if they don’t run for four hours a day. So, I guess that’s my something nice to say 😂

    • Becks1 says:

      Happy birthday!!

    • Scarlet Vixen says:

      @Lucy: I also just learned yesterday I share a birthday with Camilla (also not the same age). Happy belated to you, as well! (I was unfortunately sick yesterday & spent much of my 43rd bday watching movies & on my phone, which is where I saw a list of my ‘celebrity birthday buddies.’)

  9. Lightpurple says:

    Did she make the empty cup and saucer in pottery class?

  10. Beach Dreams says:

    All the PR in the world will never quite be able to disguise this awful woman’s true character. She can keep trying though, the efforts at rehabbing her image are quite comical.

  11. Sasha says:


  12. SarahCS says:

    I’m just going to focus on the photos as it’s way too hot here to start getting into her life and character. I’m ok with the composition of the dog one but what’s with the weird line of sight from peaches to cup to her in the other one. I’m no photographer but it just seems odd, like they’re trying to do a perspective shot from 007 credits.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I’d’ve moved those peaches off-center, to the right; I think that would have been better balance.

  13. Renae says:

    The four-legged dog looks great. Perky and attentive.
    The two-legged one looks like a dim mutt.

  14. Yo says:

    Just had a vision, she’s gonna die, in her mistress house, before ever becoming Queen thank GOD.

    • Rebecca Cruz says:

      You had a vision she was gonna die?! What kind of comment is that? I’m no Camilla fan but to wish death on someone you don’t know is quite scary and unhinged.

  15. Dee says:

    That dog is all of us, right? Chris Jackson gets points for composition for including the dog and his expression. Ten times better than Kate’s snaps, but still not great. More dog, less duchess would’ve helped.

  16. Kittenmom says:

    I’m firmly in the visceral dislike camp.

    The doggo, on the other hand, is adorable.

    • Truthiness says:

      She looks like she’s offering tea with arsenic, just like the Arsenic and Old Ladies women. “Come here my pretty and have a spot of tea.”

  17. Seaflower says:

    What no 80’s glamour shots, or Gone with the Wind hair extensions photos in B&W?

  18. Tessa says:

    One portrait looked like her teeth were heavily touched up to look bright white. Very heavily touched up.

  19. Tessa says:

    Charles had enough sense not to use Kate’s photos for the official portrait.

  20. Shawna says:

    How many new photos have we seen of Camilla lately? Getting really monotonous.

    • Tessa says:

      I notice they don’t show the pictures of Camilla with Lady Diana escorting her to events involving Charles.

  21. SarahCS says:

    Yep, a lifetime of being ugly on the inside shows on the outside.

  22. Nic919 says:

    Is it a real birthday portrait though if she doesn’t look like a civil war widow?

  23. Margaret says:

    The cute dog was used as a distraction, from the evil stepmother. I don’t trust that woman, and her pickled husband, and never will. Full stop.

  24. jferber says:

    I think if she drank less during her lifetime and had used sunblock she would look way better than she now does. But I know she prefers her drinking to her face, so whatever.

  25. Minerva says:

    Nice picture! She does have a down to earth air that none of the other royals have.