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Camilla wins praise for first week in Queen Consort role

Camilla has taken on the role of Queen Consort to her husband King Charles III with a minimum of fuss after gradually overcoming public opposition.

King Charles III, in his first speech to the nation on September 9, thanked his “darling wife” Camilla for her support. 

The couple finally married in 2005 after a long-running love affair that was at times adulterous. 

“I know she (Camilla) will bring to the demands of her new role the steadfast devotion to duty on which I have come to rely so much,” Charles said in a televised tribute the day after his mother’s death.

Camilla, 75, was at Charles’s side on September 8 when he rushed to the queen’s Scottish residence of Balmoral, where she died that day.

Since then, she has been travelling around the UK with the new king, showing herself to be a rock of stability in the royal family: taking part in a brief walkabout outside Buckingham Palace, the proclamation of the new king and trips to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

While Camilla is not topping polls on the most popular royals, her approval rating has hugely improved.

Last year, fewer than half of people in Britain wanted her to become queen. 

A poll published by YouGov on Tuesday found 53 percent now think Camilla will do a good job as consort, while 18 percent thought she would not.

On Friday, those queueing in London to see the queen’s coffin told AFP that they respected Camilla’s support for Charles and had come to appreciate her role.

“I’ve changed my mind (about Camilla) in the last five or 10 years,” said one man, Peter Finlayson, who works in risk management.

“If you look back in history, Camilla has always been there for Charles; she is a great support to him and she has earned the right to be there.

“They are providing the continuity that we all thought we had lost with the queen.”

For Deborah Toulson, a 57-year-old maths tutor, “this week particularly, she (Camilla) has been amazing”. She said she had noticed Camilla subtly guiding Charles on what to do at recent public appearances.

Camilla has nevertheless faced long-standing dislike from many British people, who see her as morally culpable for being Charles’s mistress during his failed marriage to Diana.

She has slowly earned her stripes and won round the queen, who personally recommended that she become known as Queen Consort to Charles.

– Broken toe –

When Charles came to Westminster Hall last week to receive condolences from parliament, Camilla came with him in a black dress and pearls and they sat on matching gold thrones.

When the new king and his two brothers and sister held a silent vigil in Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral, standing around the queen’s coffin, Camilla sat nearby.

Tabloids welcomed the tact of the new queen, who chose to wear a diamond brooch in the shape of a thistle, Scotland’s national emblem, which had been a gift from Queen Elizabeth.

Camilla has carried out duties while recovering from a broken toe, an…

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