The Queen Consort Camilla sits down with the UK Laureate
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According to reports, the five teenagers could be tasked with holding the canopy over Queen Camilla as she is anointed with holy oil during the Coronation. The news emerged last month, putting the focus on King Charles III and Camilla’s efforts to modernise the monarchy by highlighting their “blended family”. However, the news has attracted some criticism from commentators who have questioned why news about the Queen Consort’s grandchildren’s roles came before that of Prince George, heir to the throne and Charles’s eldest grandson.
Roberta Fiorito and Rachel Bowie, hosts of the Royally Obsessed podcast, discussed the roles of the King and Queen’s grandchildren in the upcoming Coronation.
Ms Bowie said: “It seems wonderful to include Camilla’s family, but at the same time, I think there was a little bit of back and forth in the press. Who’s leaking? I don’t know. We heard about the role of Camila’s grandchildren before we heard about the role of George.
“[It is unclear] whether Prince George will even have a role. Charles didn’t, I think just because of his age — he was too young. So it did seem like there was some mudslinging going on.”
Ms Fiorito interjected, saying it is “so much pressure to put on someone as young as George”.
She continued: “The grandkids that are on Camilla’s side are teenagers, so maybe they want to be a part of it. They’re at that age. But Camilla said specifically, this source said she specifically didn’t want duchesses — who historically hold that role.”
Camilla has reportedly said she wants her grandchildren by her side during the anointing, the most sacred part of the Coronation ceremony. A royal source told The Times: “The Queen Consort has said she does not want duchesses. She would like it to be her grandchildren.
“It sends a nice signal and is quite a bold move. It is another example of the King and Queen Consort being unafraid to shake things up a bit to reflect the realities of modern life, of which a blended family is a central element.”
Camilla is a grandmother to five teenagers. Her son, Tom Parker Bowles, has two children: 15-year-old Lola and 13-year-old Freddy, while her daughter, Laura Lopes, has 15-year-old daughter Eliza and 13-year-old twins, Louis and Gus.
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The Queen Consort is said to be very close with her grandchildren, who affectionately call her ‘Gaga’. As does King Charles, who spends a lot of time with the teens.
It is thought that Camilla made a sweet reference to her eldest grandchild Lola during an interview with Vogue last year when she said: “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.’ It’s very satisfactory when it tells you how brilliant you are!”
Eliza was given the honour of being a bridesmaid at the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Princess Kate. She was seen in then-Prince Charles’s arms on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
In the Vogue interview, Camilla mentioned her granddaughters and how much has changed over the years. “The girls are beginning to get into clothes and make-up and, you know, it’s rather frightening when you see them, coming out with pierced ears and a lot of new make-up and funny-coloured hair and stuff,” she said.
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As for Prince George, it is understood that he will play a significant role in the ceremony but one that won’t allow him to be subjected to overwhelming scrutiny.
At previous coronations, heirs have watched from the congregation. In 1953, at the Coronation of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, a four-year-old Charles stood alongside his grandmother, the Queen Mother, and aunt Princess Margaret. He had no official role.
The role of nine-year-old George will reportedly be discussed with his parents, Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales.
George’s siblings, seven-year-old Princess Charlotte and four-year-old Prince Louis, are expected to attend the event as spectators.
The Prince of Wales is expected to perform the act of homage by kneeling before his father, touching the crown and kissing the King on the right cheek, while Kate is likely to play a small role in the ceremony.
Historian Hugo Vickers told The Times: “It’s a lovely idea to involve their own family members in these roles, rather than having aristocrats’ sons and daughters doing it.
“It is all part of the inclusivity of the family and strengthens their bonds. Bringing George in also sends all the right symbolism for the future and gives him something he will always remember.”
The inclusion of George and Camilla’s grandchildren could mean there is a place for other royal children in the Coronation.
While it is unknown whether Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle will travel to the UK for the event, if they do, they could choose to bring their children Archie, who will turn four on the big day, and Lilibet, who will be two in June.
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