The Duchess of Cornwall’s 75th birthday isn’t until July 17th, but clearly, Camilla is committed to celebrating the landmark birthday all month, especially in the media. On Tuesday, Camilla attended a birthday party called The Oldie lunch, which was sponsored by The Oldie magazine. Many of Camilla’s friends were there, the people she’s known for decades. Her son Tom was there too, as was her granddaughter Lola. There was a dark chocolate truffle cake and Earl Grey tea. The cake seemed way too small for that gathering too – what if Camilla wanted to take a few pieces of cake home, damn! The cake was decorated with Camilla’s coat of arms, her Jack Russell terriers and her racing colors. She made a speech and continued to lean into this idea that she and the Duke of Edinburgh were a lot alike, and she will be a similar kind of consort:
The Duchess of Cornwall has vowed to emulate the Duke of Edinburgh as her royal role model, saying she intends to follow his motto to “look up and look out, say less, do more”. The Duchess, who will one day be known as Queen Consort on the expressed wishes of Her Majesty, paid a touching tribute to the Queen and her late husband during a lunch to celebrate her 75th birthday.
Addressing a room of celebrities and “national treasures” of a certain age, invited to lunch hosted by The Oldie magazine, the Duchess called her parents-in-law “two of the most remarkable people in our country’s history”.
“The Duke of Edinburgh’s philosophy was clear: ‘Look up and look out, say less, do more – and get on with the job’ – and that is just what I intend to do,” she said. “Both he and Her Majesty have always been the very touchstone of what it truly means to ‘get on with the job’, and an inspiration to each one of us here to do the same, whatever our age.”
Perhaps channelling the humour of the late Prince Philip, the Duchess introduced her speech with what appeared to be a gentle poke at modern sensibilities, telling her amused audience: “Ladies and gentlemen, if I’m allowed to call you that, good afternoon.” Clarence House said it was up to others to interpret her remark but aides suggested it was in keeping with the “irreverent spirit” of the lunch, hosted by her friend Gyles Brandreth.
At the National Liberal Club in London, she was feted by actors, artists, writers and celebrities all in their seventies, eighties, and nineties, with 84-year-old Roger McGough reading a poem, The Living Proof, he had written for the Duchess’s birthday.
“Ladies and gentlemen, if I’m allowed to call you that” – what IS that comment? I don’t get it. Anyway, as I keep saying, Camilla’s birthday keenery has bummed me out. That’s not her intention, and it’s obvious that everyone in Clarence House had a very clear plan for how the birthday keenery was supposed to go and how Camilla will be launched as presumptive Queen Consort. But whenever Camilla speaks, I’m just reminded of how lacking she is compared to other royals. Usually, I end up thinking about Diana and how sad it is that Diana isn’t here. Now, after reading Camilla’s comments, I’m thinking about how Prince Philip really was an iconoclast and a broad-minded thinker… and none of the Windsors really share that trait, especially Camilla. Besides that, I find it really tacky that Camilla keeps name-checking a dead man for her own royal clout.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.