Camilla: Bell discusses 'controversial' Koh-i-noor diamond
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Queen Consort Camilla appeared to make a subtle bid for unity with Harry and Meghan in a charming photo amid Paddington Bear toys. Camilla, 75, was being photographed in the Morning Room at Clarence House to celebrate the 64th anniversary of the publication of the first Paddington bear book. She was surrounded by some of the more than a thousand Paddington bear toys left by royal fans, some of whom also left marmalade sandwiches, in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II following her death. However, eagle-eyed royal fans were quick to notice that amidst the family photos behind the Queen Consort was one of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The soft toys left by Royal fans, it was revealed yesterday, will be donated to vulnerable children supported by the Barnardo’s charity. A tweet from the royal family said the bears will be “scrubbed up to look their best” before they arrive at their new homes.
The patronage of the charity was passed from Queen Elizabeth II to Camilla in 2016. The royal family added that the teddy bears are “currently being well looked after” at Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and in the Royal Parks nursery located in Hyde Park, after they had been left alongside thousands of floral and written tributes outside Royal residences in London and Windsor.
However, aside from the heartwarming future for the donated Paddington Bear toys, the picture of Camilla belied a message of peace to Prince Harry and wife Meghan, who moved to the US and left Royal duties behind them in 2020. One of the snaps behind the Queen Consort showed herself with King Charles, William and Kate, their three children, and with Harry and Meghan while they attended Prince Louis’ christening in 2019.
Another, taken on the occasion of the late Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, captured her in a sparkling gown by the side of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, who died in 2021. A nod to the King’s grandmother was also present in the form of a black and white close-up of the Queen Mother.
In appearing next to a picture of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from when they were part of the royal family, Camilla appeared to be sharing the sentiments of her husband, who in his first speech as King expressed his “love” for them.
Charles said: “I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.”
The inclusion of the photo comes after Royal expert Angela Levin claimed that Camilla had been “very hurt” by the way Harry and Meghan have treated the King.
Speaking to Sky News, Ms Levin said: “I think she’s very cautious. She doesn’t try to push herself towards them.
“She gets very upset when they hurt King Charles. She was very sorry for him. But she understands how parents can love their children but absolutely dislike what they’re doing.”
Some had hoped that the events surrounding the Queen’s death would help to reignite the bonds between Harry and Meghan and the rest of the Firm – in particular, the relationship between Prince Harry and his brother Prince William. The pair were spotted together again as they viewed floral tributes outside Windsor Castle.
However, as Royal commentator Daniela Elser noted, the brothers scarcely interacted for the duration, which she said “would seem to reflect the extent of the disintegration of the brothers’ once tight bond.”
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Speaking of the wider events surrounding the funeral, Ms Elser added: “With the Palace having lumped Harry and Meghan in the second row during Monday’s service at Westminster Abbey and with no indication that Harry might shelve his memoir, no one seems willing to give an inch.” However, there may be a glimmer of hope for the future of their relationship, as an upcoming trip to the US for the Prince and Princess of Wales will reportedly see Kate attempt to “extend an olive branch” to Meghan Markle “in a bid to reunite the brothers and heal the rift”.
A source told US Weekly the Duchess of Sussex is “willing to put in the effort as long as the dates don’t clash”, highlighting their “hectic” schedules. William and Kate are heading to Boston to attend the second Earthshot Prize awards ceremony, their first time in the US since 2014.
Paddington Bear had become a symbol for the Queen following her death due to one of her last and most memorable public appearance, in a heartwarming sketch she filmed with the character for the Platinum Jubilee. Royal Parks bosses reportedly had to urge well-wishers to stop leaving Paddington Bear tributes because they were leaving too many.
Prince William admitted to getting “choked up” at the sight of all the toys, saying: “It is the things you don’t expect that get to you.”
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