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The Duchess of Cornwall has spoken about overcoming public scrutiny, playing Wordle with her grandchildren and how she and Prince Charles are often ‘ships passing in the night’ in a wide-ranging interview with Vogue magazine.
A secret photoshoot for the July edition of the fashion bible took place in April, as revealed by The Mail on Sunday, to mark the Duchess’s 75th birthday next month.
Rather than being styled by a team of Vogue experts, Camilla opted for an outfit from her own wardrobe and chosen by her personal stylist Jacqui Meakin.
They went for an elegant cobalt-blue Bruce Oldfield evening gown for the shoot in the Garden Room at Clarence House.
The Duchess of Cornwall opted for a cobalt blue Bruce Oldfield evening gown for her photoshoot with Vogue magazine, which was held ahead of her 75th birthday next month
When asked if she might wear something to match the purple wisteria blooming in the garden, the answer was a flat ‘no’ – she apparently detests the colour, and is said to refer to it as ‘menopausal mauve’.
With characteristic wit, Camilla welcomed the photographer by saying: ‘Sorry you’ve got to photograph an old bat.’
In the interview, Camilla offers an insight into her life with Charles and how she plans to tackle her Queen Consort role.
‘It’s not easy,’ she says, diplomatically, of the criticism she faced over the years. ‘I was scrutinised for such a long time that you just have to find a way to live with it.
‘Nobody likes to be looked at all the time and criticised. But I think, in the end, I sort of rise above it and get on with it.’
Speaking ahead of her trip to Rwanda this week – the first Royal visit there – Camilla talks about the effects of her extraordinary schedule on her marriage.
Camilla revealed the secret to maintaining her marriage with Prince Charles, pictured here together in November 2015, was ensuring they make time for each other at least once a day
She says: ‘We do always try to have a point in the day when we meet. Sometimes it’s like ships passing in the night, but we always sit down together and have a cup of tea and discuss the day.
‘It’s lovely to catch up when we have a bit of time. When we go away, the nicest thing is that we actually sit and read our books in different corners of the same room.
‘It’s very relaxing because you know you don’t have to make conversation. You just sit and be together.’
In Rwanda, Camilla will meet women campaigning against domestic abuse, a subject she has long championed.
‘There’s been such a taboo,’ she says. ‘People can still love the people that abuse them, and feel such guilt and such shame that they think it’s their fault, so they bury it. It becomes a sort of terrible hidden secret.’
She adds that when her husband becomes King, she has no intention of abandoning her charitable projects.
‘Oh, I shall carry on as much as I can,’ she says. ‘There’s a lot of things to be done still.’
Camilla, pictured with Prince Charles at Royal Ascot earlier this week, added that she intends to continue with her charitable work when her husband becomes King
Despite her busy schedule, there is a daily pleasure she makes time for: beating one of her granddaughters at Wordle, the popular online word game.
The Duchess, who has five grandchildren aged between 12 and 14, confesses: ‘I do Wordle every day with my granddaughter. She’ll text me to say “I’ve done it in three”, and I say, “Sorry, I’ve done it in two today.”’
A younger Prince Charles seen talking to Camilla Parker Bowles, as she was then known, at a polo match in Cirencester Park in July 1975
Camilla pictured with the Prince of Wales on their wedding day in April 2005 at Windsor Castle
Of her grandchildren, she adds: ‘We learn from very young people and they learn from us too. The nice thing about being a grandmother is you can spoil them occasionally, give them more of the things that their parents forbid them to have.’
Her landmark birthday, on July 17, will be greeted, as ever, with no fuss.
‘There won’t be much celebration,’ she says. ‘I shall spend it with my family and a few friends.’
The July issue of British Vogue will be available as a digital edition and on newsstands from Tuesday.