Who’s who in Camilla’s inner circle?: The family members, celebrity pals and loyal supporters who will surround the Queen Consort in the run up to the Coronation
- Camilla has built up a loyal band of supporters who have publicly defended her
- Read more: Friend of Camilla’s says she has won the public over ‘magnificently’
As Camilla steps into her most important role within the royal family, the loved-ones that she holds in her inner circle could define her success as Queen Consort.
Camilla has reportedly indicated she wants her five grandchildren; Lola and Eliza, both 15, Freddy, 13, and twins Louis and Gus, also 13, to hold the canopy over her as she is anointed with holy oil on May 6.
Sources told The Sun the King and Queen Consort are keen to get them involved to acknowledge how close they are to the teenagers, and to reflect the reality of their life as a blended family.
Lola and Freddy are the children of Camilla’s son Tom Parker Bowles, while Eliza, Louis and Gus are the children of her daughter, Laura Lopes. The King is also said to be incredibly close to each of them.
But it’s not just Camilla’s family who will play a close part in how she will approach the day in May.
She has built up a loyal band of supporters over the years who have been prepared to defend the royal in the face of hostilities.
Dame Joanna Lumley has vowed to stop watching The Crown because of its depiction of her friends, including Camilla, while Petronella Wyatt condemned the royal’s stepson Prince Harry for ‘taking a very nasty potshot at a 75-year-old woman’.
As her husband’s reign commences, FEMAIL looks at the close friends and family who will support the Queen Consort as she prepares for this next stage.
SISTER: Annabel Elliot
Camilla’s younger sister, interior designer and antique dealer Annabel Elliot, has supported the Queen Consort throughout the difficulties of her relationship with Charles
When the pair were younger, Annabel was seen as the more intelligent sister with ‘taste’, who eschewed the London party scene and went to Florence to study art (pictured in 2016)
Queen Consort Camilla’s younger sister is interior designer and antique dealer Annabel Elliot.
Annabel was described as her sister’s quieter, more intelligent counterpart and the pair have previously recalled spending their childhood rolling down hills, catching butterflies and dressing correctly for their strict grandmother while at their grandparents’ Hampshire home.
As young women, Camilla loved the party round on the debutante circuit while Annabel was rather more serious and preferred a quieter life — ‘not the kind of girl to throw her knickers on the table’.
Annabel has said that Camilla, who was a debutante a year ahead of her, ‘was a great success, but I certainly wasn’t. I probably wasn’t quite as confident as her.’
At the same time, Annabel was seen as the more intelligent sister with ‘taste’, who eschewed the London party scene and went to Florence to study art.
One friend asserts that Annabel, ‘with her style and good taste, is the one who should have been a duchess’.
She told Daily Mail: ‘She’d have been perfect, but would never want to change places. As for Camilla, she pulls it off, in her own way.’
In 1972, Annabel married her first real boyfriend at 23 — Simon Elliot, whose late father Sir William was an Air Chief Marshal of the RAF while in 1973 Camilla, aged 25, married her first husband – dashing Army officer Andrew Parker Bowles.
Annabel and Simon inhabited a country house in the Dorset village of Stourpaine where Charles and Camilla would meet for discreet weekends as secret lovers.
She continued to support her sister throughout the difficulties of the relationship, driving Camilla away and out of public view when John Major announced in the Commons the separation of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1992.
Annabel’s 40th birthday party was where Diana confronted Camilla over her relationship with Charles and it was her 50th birthday celebrations at the Ritz where Camilla came out as Charles’ mistress, using the occasion to pose for their first public pictures together on the hotel steps.
Charles and Camilla have also been advocates of Annabel’s interior design business, reportedly paying her £1.5million for goods and design services since the pair married in 2005.
Annabel was paid for refurbishing the Duchy’s holiday cottages in Cornwall, the Scilly Isles and Wales as well as the Duchy’s office in Restormel, Cornwall, and Penlyne Nursery, also in Cornwall.
She was also employed to oversee a huge interior design commission from the Duchy of Cornwall — a 20-bedroom pub in the centre of Dorset model village Poundbury.
The Duchy admitted that the contract for the work was not put out to tender.
But a spokeswoman said that Elliot understood the Duchy’s commitment to environmental sustainability and to sympathetic design which is in-keeping with the local area.
SON: Tom Parker Bowles
Tom Parker Bowles is the oldest child of Camilla and her former husband, Andrew Parker Bowles
In 2001, he embarked on a food writing career, becoming Tatler’s food columnist. A year later he became Mail on Sunday’s food critic (Tom pictured with his mother and sister, Laura Lopes)
Born on December 18, 1974 in London, Tom Parker Bowles is the oldest child of Camilla and her former husband, Andrew.
After attending Eton College, he went up to Worcester College, Oxford before working as a publicist and later at his cousin’s luxury concierge service, Quintessentially.
Parker Bowles previously discussed the experience of discovering the news about his mother’s relationship with Prince Charles.
In 1993, when the Camilla-Charles affair scandal broke, Parker Bowles was at Oxford.
He told the Times newspaper: ‘I sort of remember not looking at the paper. Because, you know, Jesus, the things that we’ve all said to people that we love … that you wouldn’t want the world reading.
‘I just felt p***ed off. I wasn’t going to read that sort of stuff about my mother, just as much as she wouldn’t want to read it about me or my kids certainly wouldn’t want to read it about me.’
Charles admired the way Tom handled the relationship with Camilla.
Tom said of his mother and stepfather in 2005 to Australian news programme A Current Affair: ‘All you care about your parents is they’re happy and my mother is exceptionally happy at the moment.
‘I’ve always adored my stepfather; he’s always been a kind and good and lovely man.’
In 1999, he was caught giving cocaine to a journalist while working at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
Last year, it emerged that one of Ghisaline Maxwell’s accusers had a hand in setting up the sting.
According to the Telegraph, the woman was paid up to £40,000 to help a tabloid newspaper set up Mr Parker Bowles, son of the Queen Consort, as part of a well-publicized sting in 1999.
Mr Parker Bowles was secretly filmed offering to buy cocaine for the woman, who was used by the tabloid because she knew the food writer at the time.
He also admitted using cocaine himself with ‘someone he found last night’ while working in France.
Mr Parker Bowles, who was 24 at the time and working as a publicist, was caught in the sting while at the Cannes Film Festival and the incident was splashed over five pages of the News of the World.
In 2001, he embarked on a food writing career, becoming Tatler’s food columnist. A year later he became Mail on Sunday’s food critic.
He also served as GQ’s Contributing Editor, before becoming the Food Editor at Esquire.
Parker Bowles also appeared on BBC’s Masterchef: The Professionals and as a judge on Australia’s cooking show, Hot Seat.
In 2005, Parker Bowles married fashion editor Sara Buys in 2005. The pair had two children, Lola and Frederick, but split at the beginning of January 2018.
Tom then started dating former journalist Alice Procope who was his girlfriend for two years before she died of cancer aged 42 in 2021.
His friend told Daily Mail’s Richard Eden: ‘Tom had been blissfully happy with Alice and is devastated that life can be so cruel.’
Speaking of Alice, a friend added: ‘Partly because of Covid, Alice’s cancer diagnosis didn’t come until last August by when it was too late.’
DAUGHTER: Laura Lopes
Laura Lopes is Camilla’s youngest child and is said to enjoy a warm relationship with step-brothers William and Harry
Laura enjoyed a ‘girls’ lunch’ with Kate, her sister Pippa and Camilla ahead Kate’s wedding in 2011 (pictured with Tom Parker Bowles and Camilla)
Laura Lopes was born on New Year’s Day in 1978 and is Camilla’s youngest child. She attended a Catholic school before going to Oxford Brookes University, where she studied History of Art and Marketing.
After university, Laura pursued a career in gallery management and served as a motoring correspondent for Tatler in 2001.
In 2005, Laura co-founded the Eleven Gallery in Belgravia with Charlie Phillips.
The following year, she married former Calvin Klein underwear model, Harry Lopes and the couple have three children, Eliza and non-identical twin boys Louis and Gus.
Laura, who enjoys keeping a low profile, is said to have enjoyed a warm relationship with her step brothers William and Harry as well as William’s wife Kate.
She enjoyed a ‘girls’ lunch’ with Kate, her sister Pippa and Camilla ahead Kate’s wedding in 2011.
Her husband Harry’s grandfathers were both barons and the model turned chartered accountant and eco-entrepreneur will one day inherit Gnaton Hall, near Plymouth and the 3,000-acre Skelpick estate in the Scottish Highlands.
He is now the Founder and CEO of Eden Renewables which develops rooftop and ground-mount solar projects.
But in 2021 he faced an angry backlash from residents of a Wiltshire beauty spot over plans to erect a 220-acre solar farm.
GRANDCHILDREN: Lola, Freddy, Eliza, Gus and Louis
Camilla reportedly wants her five grandchildren to play a central role at the Coronation by holding the canopy over her as she is anointed with holy oil
Laura Lopes eldest child, Eliza, has already taken part in a major royal event, serving as a flower girl at Kate and William’s wedding
Camilla’s grandchildren have been largely shielded from the spotlight over the years.
Lola and Freddy are the children of Camilla’s son Tom Parker Bowles, while Eliza, Louis and Gus are the children of her daughter, Laura Lopes.
Royal commentator Katie Nicholl previously detailed how Camilla loves being a grandmother.
She said the Queen Consort has long made an effort to ‘remind’ her husband not to miss out on cherished moments with his family.
Meanwhile Laura Lopes eldest child, Eliza, has already taken part in a major royal event, serving as a flower girl at Kate and William’s wedding when she was just three years old.
According to Camilla, Eliza was particularly taken with a £1 ‘wiggly worm’ brought along by Prince Harry to keep her occupied throughout the occasion.
Speaking at charity event in Wiltshire, Camilla told the Mail that she had been ‘terribly worried’ that Eliza and the other young bridesmaids might find the event a bit overwhelming.
So in order to break the ice and keep the youngsters occupied, Harry brought along the cheap furry toy which wriggles when you pull a piece of string.
When Eliza looked a bit scared at the roar of the crowd on the carriage ride from Westminster Abbey back to Buckingham Palace, Harry is reported to have quickly pulled it out of his pocket to make the youngster laugh.
The trick worked so well that Eliza refused to hand the toy back and insisted hanging onto it for the official wedding photographs, taken by society snapper Hugo Burnand.
It’s emerged in recent days that Camilla reportedly wants her five grandchildren to play a central role at the Coronation by holding the canopy over her as she is anointed with holy oil at the ceremony.
In the past, duchesses have performed the role, which is considered one of the most sacred parts of the ceremony.
A royal insider told The Times: ‘The Queen Consort has said she does not want duchesses. She would like it to be her grandchildren.’
The King is also said to be incredibly close to each of them and the pair are keen to get them involved to reflect the reality of their life as a blended family.
During her time as a royal, Camilla has been spotted working with the nation’s most famous celebrities at glamorous events, who have undoubtedly come to know the Queen Consort over the years.
Among those whom she counts as celebrity pls include Judi Dench, Hugh Bonneville and Dame Maggie Smith – as well as actress Joanna Lumley.
Judi Dench and Camilla have met on several occasions and enjoyed an ice cream while Camilla visited the Isle of Wight
A-lister Dame Judi Dench has met up with the Queen Consort on several occasions as well as supporting her work.
In 2018, Camilla met with the actress on the Isle of Wight to visit Queen Victoria’s holiday home of Osborne House in East Cowes.
The actress and patron of the Friends of Osborne House showed Camilla the restored Durbar Room, which was one of the locations for the film Victoria and Abdul in which she played Queen Victoria.
The pair could be seen enjoying a catch up over a vanilla ice cream complete with a flake in the heatwave weather.
The Oscar winner has also supported Camilla’s Reading Room, a charity launched during lockdown to provide opportunities for the appreciation of literature.
She attended a reception for the Reading Room in 2021 where she was seen chatting animatedly with Charles and Camilla and also took part in one of the organisation’s Reading Room Roundtables.
The Absolutely Fabulous star (pictured with Gyles Brandreth and Camilla) has previously spoken out against Netflix’s series The Crown, revealing she doesn’t watch the programme out of loyalty to the royal family
Dame Joanna has proven to be a loyal and long-term friend of Camilla and the royal family, attending Camilla’s wedding to Charles in 2005.
The Absolutely Fabulous star has previously spoken out against Netflix’s series The Crown, revealing she doesn’t watch the programme out of loyalty to the royal family.
After watching the earlier series, she told The Mirror she switched off as the show began to portray events later in the monarch’s reign.
She said: ‘Suddenly, it began to get closer and closer and they had people acting as Prince Charles, as Camilla Parker Bowles, as Princess Anne. I know them all.
‘I know that’s not how they speak or what they said or did. People say, “Oh, well everybody knows that it’s made up.”
‘People don’t, people think it’s the truth.
‘So I decided not to watch it anymore because I have some loyalty, as one would to anybody they know and like and are lucky enough to be friendly with. It’s rather ghastly.’
Joanna previously visited Clarence House for a charity video and attended a lunch for Camilla’s 75th birthday thrown by The Oldie magazine last year.
Gyles is a long-term friend of Camilla’s and hosted a lunch to celebrate her 75th birthday thrown by The Oldie magazine at the National Liberal Club last year
Gyles is a long-term friend of Camilla’s, first meeting her in the 1960s when the pair were teenagers and he visited her grandparent’s house, Hall Place.
The author and former Conservative MP gave away that he had a ‘secret crush’ on Camilla while appearing on an episode of BBC Radio 4’s Just a Minute.
He later recalled the episode on Lorraine, saying that when he was 16 years old, he saw a ‘rather attractive girl’ in the garden of the house.
He described the young 17-year-old woman as ‘wearing jodhpurs’ and ‘smoking her Woodbines in the shrubbery’.
‘This actually was a girl called Camilla Shand,’ Gyles explained.
‘Now little did I think that she might be listening to the programme. Never occurred to me that – then Duchess of Cornwall – now Her Majesty the Queen Consort would be listening to Just A Minute…’
Gyles then admitted he felt ‘a little bit awkward’ as he revealed that a week after the broadcast, Camilla had bumped into his wife.
‘She said: “Tell Gyles, I don’t deny that I was smoking…but they were not Woodbines”,’ he told Lorraine.
Gyles wrote a biography of the Queen and Prince Philip as well as an account of Camilla and Charles entitled Charles and Camilla: Portrait of a Love Affair.
Last year, he hosted a lunch to celebrate her 75th birthday thrown by The Oldie magazine at the National Liberal Club, also attended by mutual friend Joanna Lumley.
Journalist and author Petronella Wyatt first met Camilla in the 1980s when she was about 15 at a country race meeting
Journalist and author Petronella Wyatt first met Camilla in the 1980s when she was about 15 at a country race meeting.
She was familiar with Camilla’s deteriorating relationship with her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, writing: ‘There was always a line of society women vying for his attention.’
She also wrote: ‘I fell a little for Andrew myself. He took me out to dinner a couple of times,’ but added that ‘nothing happened’.
Petronella has criticised The Crown for its depiction of Camilla as ‘a scarlet-taloned temptress who spent years scheming to ensnare another woman’s husband’.
She also accused Prince Harry of ‘tremendous’ and ‘breathtaking’ hypocrisy for making attacks on the character of his stepmother after the release of his explosive memoir Spare.
In an interview promoting the book, the Duke of Sussex sensationally branded the King’s second wife a ‘villain’ and ‘dangerous’, accusing her of rehabilitating her image at the expense of his.
Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Camilla’s friend Petronella blasted Harry’s criticisms, accusing the duke – who she called a ‘self-proclaimed feminist’ – of hypocrisy by ‘taking a very nasty potshot at a 75-year-old woman who can’t answer back’.
‘If anyone accused Meghan of scheming her way into marriage for the Royal Family… that creates howls from Harry, so why is he doing the same thing to Camilla?
‘And why is he taking absolutely no responsibility for his own mistakes which were not leaked to the Press by Camilla?’ she added.
Describing her admiration for the Queen Consort, Petronella said: ‘I came to like Camilla very much because she’s a very modest, no frills, down to earth person… the absolute opposite of a schemer.
‘She wouldn’t know how to scheme, she couldn’t even spell it on a Scrabble board. She’s genuinely one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.’
Combining the roles of companion, adviser and secretary, ladies-in-waiting played a key part in royal life, accompanying the late Queen and her sister Princess Margaret on official duties and foreign tours.
But in November last year, Camilla announced her new ‘Queen’s Companions’ as the position of lady-in-waiting was scrapped.
Indicating a break from tradition, the Queen Consort decided to enlist six confidantes as her companions, as announced by Buckingham Palace.
A Palace source said they will receive a nominal fee to cover their expenses in much the same way as ladies-in-waiting.
Another source told the Sunday Times: ‘They are there to provide Her Majesty with support and company. At the end of a very busy day, it is nice to have a longstanding friend beside you.’
Sarah Troughton (pictured right), has been Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire since 2012 and is the first woman ever to have held the position since it was created in the 16th century
One companion, Sarah Troughton, has been Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire since 2012 and is the first woman ever to have held the position since it was created in the 16th century.
Sarah is the second cousin of the King as her grandfather was the brother of Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
She has experience as a lady-in-waiting for Katharine, Duchess of Kent, so she is set to be a helpful friend and confidante for the Queen Consort – although of course, she will hold a different title for Camilla.
The mother-of-three is married to Peter Troughton, who is a trustee of the Royal Collection and also a pro-chancellor at Bath University.
Sarah herself is a trustee of the Community Foundation for Wiltshire and Swindon, where she lives.
Since assuming the role of Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Sarah’s duties have included overseeing the arrangements for royal visits to Wiltshire by members of the Royal Family.
She also represents the monarch and presents awards and medals on his behalf, and liaises with the Wiltshire units of the Armed Forces.
Speaking about Camilla on Good Morning Britain last year, Sarah said: ‘I don’t think there’s much that will surprise you, all I can tell you is that she’s the nicest, kindest, most amusing friend one could possibly have, to all generations, that includes our children.’
Lady Sarah Keswick
Lady Sarah Keswick (pictured sitting next to the Queen Consort in the Royal Box on Centre Court at Wimbledon in 2011) is married to former Arsenal Chairman Chips Keswick
Lady Sarah Keswick is another close friend of the Queen Consort and King Charles, along with her husband, Sir John Chippendale ‘Chips’ Lindley Keswick.
From 2013 until his retirement in 2020, Chips was chairman of Arsenal Football Club.
Lady Sarah appears to be a sports fan herself and was spotted at Wimbledon with the Queen Consort in June 2011.
The pair sat in the royal box to get ready for a day of action on Centre Court, while the late TV legend Bruce Forsyth appeared to join them.
The mother-of-three shares three sons, David, Tobias and Adam, with Chips.
Lady Sarah is the daughter of former Conservative MP and 16th Earl of Dalhousie Simon Ramsay.
During his five years in Parliament from 1945 until 1950, when he assumed the title of Earl of Dalhousie from his late brother, Simon did a stint as Conservative whip.
Carlyn Chisholm (pictured with Nicholas Soames in 2021) worked as a nurse before entering politics
Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen, 70, is a crossbench life peer in the House of Lords.
However, until she was announced one of the Queen Consort’s Companions, she sat in the House as a Conservative peer.
Baroness Chisholm resigned the Conservative whip in order to hold the position in the Queen Consort’s most relied upon circle.
She was first appointed to the House of Lords in 2014 when David Cameron was prime minister. Since then she has seen four more prime ministers enter Downing Street.
Before entering politics, the mother-of-three, from Sussex, worked as a nurse.
A fan of horse racing, she has previously attended Royal Ascot with the Charles and Camilla and, before the royal couple quit, used to go fox hunting with them too.
Fiona Marchioness of Lansdowne
She currently lives at Bowood House in Wiltshire with her husband Charlie, the 9th Marquis
Lady Lansdowne is a professional interior designer and has had her own studio, Fiona Shelburne, for more than three decades.
She currently lives at Bowood House in Wiltshire with her husband Charlie, the 9th Marquis.
Last year, she opened up her house to The English Home in an interview where she revealed she and Charlie lived with their three dogs, Tinker, Tulip and Maud.
Lady Lansdowne also explained she and her husband were custodians for the house, which is open to visits from the public, and admitted it was a ‘big responsibility’ to take care of the home.
Despite having lots of visitors from the public, she said she and her husband had their own ‘sanctuary’ in their private quarters.
She revealed she and her husband have a picnic in their woodland garden every Sunday without fail, even if it’s raining outside.
‘We have our supper here on a table by the fire. We don’t have a huge, “state-of-the-art” kitchen but I love my Aga and love to cook,’ she said.
Lady Katherine Brooke
Lady Katherine Brooke has been a close friend of Queen Consort Camilla and King Charles for several years and is the daughter of Lady Susan Hussey
Lady Katherine Brooke has been a close friend of Queen Consort Camilla and King Charles for several years.
She is also expected to have plenty of knowledge about her new role as Queen’s Companion, as the daughter of a former lady-in-waiting.
Lady Katherine Brooke’s mother is Lady Susan Hussey, who served as Queen Elizabeth II’s lady-in-waiting for more than 60 years.
Known as one of the late Queen’s ‘Head Girls’ as a lady-in-waiting, she was reportedly nicknamed the ‘Number One Head Girl’ and grew close to King Charles, becoming godmother to his eldest son, Prince William.
Lady Susan was retained by King Charles following his mother’s death but resigned in November last year following comments made towards a guest at Queen Consort Camilla’s reception to discuss ending violence against women.
She allegedly asked Ngozi Fulani, a black woman who runs domestic abuse charity Sistah Space in Hackney: ‘What part of Africa are you from?’
However, three months after her resignation, Lady Susan was seen performing official duties for Princess Anne, representing her at the memorial service for Dame Frances Campbell-Preston at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea.
Jane von Westenholz
Jane von Westenholz is married to Baron Piers von Westenholz and their daughter, Violet, introduced Prince Harry to Meghan Markle
Jane von Westenholz is a long time friend of the Queen Consort and King Charles.
She is married to Baron Piers von Westenholz, the interior designer and former Olympic skier who, with his wife, was involved in the renovation of Dumfries House – a Scottish stately home saved by Charles in 2007.
They are the parents of Violet von Westenholz, who introduced Prince Harry to Meghan Markle when the pair started dating.
Violet is a close childhood friend of Harry’s and the pair often spent time together as children due to their parents’ close friendship.
At the time of introducing the pair, Violet was working in communications for Ralph Lauren in London and met Meghan Markle through her job.
Source: Read Full Article