A new ear for the British royalty is just around the corner. King Charles’ coronation is to take place on May 6, 2023 which is also the day when his wife Camilla becomes Queen Consort.
When Britain first learned of the affair between then-prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, she became one of the most detested people in the country, at least among the royal fans who were madly infatuated with Princess Diana, one of the most loved figures of Britain.
Over the years, however, Camilla showed she cared for Charles and the royal family and she managed to gain certain popularity. Not only people accepted her, but they also started to like her.
When the two tied the knot some 17 years ago, it was reported that Camilla opted to be called Queen Consort once Charles accedes to the throne. At the time, the Palace reported that she would be given the title of a Princess, but late Queen Elizabeth wished Camilla to be known as Queen Consort and she spoke openly about that wish during the celebration of her platinum jubilee.
Charles, on the other hand, never had doubts that his wife would get the title of a Queen one day.
“I count on the loving help of my darling wife, Camilla,” Charles said in the statement he issued following his mother’s death. “In recognition of her own loyal public service since our marriage seventeen years ago, she becomes my Queen Consort.”
One person that stood by Camilla’s side through thick and thin is her younger sister, Annabel Elliot.
It is believed that when Princess Diana confronted Camilla about her affair with Charles, they were attending Annabel Elliot’s 40th birthday party.
“She said to me, ‘You’ve got everything you ever wanted. You’ve got all the men in the world fall in love with you and you’ve got two beautiful children, what more do you want?’ So I said, ‘I want my husband,’” Diana explained back in the day. “And I said, ‘I’m sorry I’m in the way … and it must be hell for both of you. But I do know what’s going on. Don’t treat me like an idiot.’”
Annabel and Camilla are more than sisters; they are greatest of friends. Annabel has run her show Annabel Elliot Interior Design and Antiques in Dorset for more than 30 years, becoming the fifth most influential female interior designer in the UK in 2014.
It was on Annabel’s 50th birthday party that Charles and Camilla first posed together in public and stole she show. Later, amid the divorce of Charles and Diana, it was Annabel who drove the car that whisked Camilla away from public view and the notorious paparazzi press.
Over time, Annabel became close part of the royal family, especially with Charles, with whom she had been reported to have clashed from time to time, especially when she felt like he was trying to do most of what she was paid for himself.
“He always likes to be completely involved and know what’s being suggested,” Annabel said in the 2012 ITV documentary The Royal Restoration.
“He’s looking at every piece of material — ‘What’s this for?, Is that for a chair? Where’s that sourced from? Has it got nylon in it?’ He doesn’t like duvets.”
She then added, “You know, it’s all that kind of thing, it’s very very important to him. We’ll argue. I’ll say ‘I really think actually…’ So we’ll definitely have a good, healthy debate. He doesn’t just agree or disagree. He will look at everything. His eye for detail is quite extraordinary. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with anybody who is so interested in the detail.”
Annabel was employed to carry out work on the then-Prince of Wales’s new home in Wales, Llwywormwood, which he bought in 2006 for more than £1 million.
The Telegraph reported at the time that Charles’ sister-in-law was paid over $380,000 for her work between 2005 and 2008, which some politicians thought was a matter of cronyism, but that’s not how Charles viewed it.
“There was no tender. The Prince knows her and likes her work. Annabel Elliot is an established interior designer,” a Clarence House spokesperson said at the time.
This wasn’t the only time Annabel worked for the royals. She also designed 12 Duchy of Cornwall cottages and ran a 2012 project to convert a “run-down barn building” into an elegant guesthouse on the grounds of Dumfries House in Ayrshire, Scotland, becoming Charles’ chief interior designer.
Even today, Camilla and Annabel are extremely close. Recently, the two were spotted together at the Booker Prize for Fiction ceremony at the Roundhouse in London and people couldn’t help but notice how much they look alike.
Annabel has been married to her husband Simon Elliot since 1972 and they share three children together, including Ben Elliot, a businessman and fund-raiser for the Conservative Party who served as Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party from July 2019 to September 2022.
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