I’ve just realised exactly why this obstreperates me

It’s one of the many things that people mock about Charles, the Prince of Wales. Don’t get me wrong, like all royals there are loads of things that are eminently ridiculous about him and his pursuits. I find the whole concept of royalty offensively ridiculous. But what I don’t find ridiculous about him is the fact that he chose to marry Camilla Parker-Bowles, yet he is constantly mocked for it because she is unapologetically middle-aged, and thus not considered beautiful enough to be a royal wife.

Wow, a man who could theoretically choose from a parade of aristocratic arm candy whose beauty would make other men envious instead chose a woman his own age, whose company he has consistently enjoyed for decades, to be his partner; caring more about being able to enjoy her company as often as possible than about whether she’s had a facelift or is keeping up the Botox to meet some arbitrary standard set by others. Why, it’s almost as though he has put his and her personal happiness above what other men think about her level of attractiveness!

What a ridiculous way for a grown man to behave, obviously.

two photos of Charles, Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, laughing together

Categories: media, relationships, Sociology

26 replies

  1. Yeah, I remember around the time that Charles and Camilla married, I’d been reading about their history and discussing it with some people, and I commented “poor Charles” — meaning, of course, that I felt sorry for him insofar as he hadn’t been allowed to marry (or otherwise partner himself, long-term) with Camilla earlier on, and was instead manipulated into what seems to have been a loveless marriage. But when I made that comment, it was immediately assumed that I was making an anti-Camilla statement.
    Mind you, the person who made this assumption then called me out on what he perceived to be an unfair and unwarranted attack on Camilla — but it just shows how widespread anti-Camilla sentiment is (and, of course, the misogyny that lies behind that sentiment), that my comment was immediately construed in that way.

  2. The trope appears to suggest that as a high-status man he *should* want to make other men envious by having a stunningly beautiful trophy wife, that his very masculinity is called into question by commentary/mockery that calls her femininity into question because she has wrinkles that she doesn’t hide – that is what I find most interesting/infuriating.

  3. I thought it was so sweet when they finally married. They looked so damned happy, and I thought, “This is what should have happened all those years ago.” Glad to see they still look delighted to be together.
    There’s plenty of things to mock about the Royal Family. I really don’t think there’s any need to bag on poor Camilla because she doesn’t look twenty years younger and twenty-thousand dollars more surgically enhanced.

  4. I have to say, all I’ve heard is anti-Camilla stuff for decades (I think it might also be muddied with the poor-Diana stuff too) so it’s cool that your friend called you out Beppie (and that then you could explain what you meant). Thanks for this tigtog, I haven’t really thought much about it, but you’re dead right. And look at them – that laughter appears so genuine!

  5. FP — the person who called me out was actually my dad; he absolutely cannot abide the misogyny that is thrown at high profile women. He’s also a staunch defender of Hillary Clinton. 🙂

  6. And look at them – that laughter appears so genuine!

    Yes, it does. They could well have a sense of humour that I would find appallingly classist and all the rest, but there’s no doubt that they get along together like a house on fire.

  7. I find it quite awful how Camilla jokes (entirely about her looks) are still so prevalent – and that men and women alike seem happy to make them. I spotted at least two on Australian tv in the last week – nothing topical about them, just random ‘oh we’re talking about English people, let’s chuck in a joke about how Camilla looks like a horse’.
    I mean, I don’t like jokes about the appearance of any female celebrity, but I do find it somehow worse with people who are only have a public profile because of who they are rather than their profession.
    And let’s not forget that before Camilla it was not just Fergie, but Diana’s appearance was mercilessly picked apart too.

  8. Nice shots.

    I must say it does bring a little bit of joy to my heart to see The Prince of Wales wearing (at least in the right hand photo) what I would consider is the classic, light grey with blue overcheck, Glen Urquhart plaid (commonly known as the Prince of Wales Check) suit.

    He has a different tie each photo but Camilla appears to have the same outfit, broach and bangles. I do like her jacket fit and colour.

    I wonder what their clothing allowance is.

  9. I hadn’t thought about it either, but having read your post remembered this series of photographs of the couple from a magazine recently. They clearly enjoy each other’s company. Good on ‘em!

  10. Tigtog, your second para = gold.
    FX, your sartorial knowledge amazes me.

  11. Rachel WA that set of photos is fanTAStic! I started laughing out loud at them – I have no idea what was so freaking hilarious, but they’re screaming with laughter in some of them. And there’s just something about those goofy bare knees with the mirth. I think I kind of love this couple! 🙂

  12. …They got married? I thought I was more or less up with the trashy celeb news. I must have missed out on the anti-Camilla sentiment then too. I did think it was pretty sweet how long-lasting their love was, I’m glad they’re able to do the thing that they weren’t allowed to do originally.

  13. calyx, they got married in 2005. It was a civil marriage followed by a blessing ceremony in the chapel at Windsor Castle rather than a big London cathedral wedding with the coaches on parade, so I can understand how you might have missed it. There were some minor kerfuffles about a royal marrying a divorcee, and about whether it was legal for a member of the royal family to undergo a civil marriage ceremony, but it all worked out in the end.

  14. And then there was the kerfuffle because Camilla was seen wearing one of her wedding outfits a second time and this was clearly Utterly Unthinkable. I headdesked so hard I think I broke something.

  15. Yeah, I got the impression I missed it some time ago. :o) I was *really* sick in 2005 so that might explain not being up with all the gossip mags at the checkout.

  16. You probably wouldn’t have seen it in the gossip mags Calyx because they didn’t approve. Diana was the first (and last) royal who bought into “celebrity” culture.

  17. Re Rachel’s photos – note that in each the gentlemen have a hand placed upon their kilt to prevent revelations none of us need share.

  18. Ankles crossed, hands on knees not recommended:

    Which brings to mind Dave Allen’s rather lovely euphemism, “The gate’s open but the dog’s asleep”.

  19. I admin magicked that one, su, because it’s one of my favourites. Look at his face – that’s no accident. I hope winning the bet was worth the regimental punishment he would have also got.

  20. You mean that’s for real? I assumed it was photoshopped!

    • @Helen,
      the position of the kilt, sporran and bare thighs is definitely genuine – look at the orientation of the badger’s head part of the sporran compared to the other soldiers’ sporrans – there’s no doubt that a gratuitous groin shot happened here.
      It’s certainly possible that a more obvious “sleeping dog” than the gentleman actually possesses has been photoshopped in for more humorous visual effect, but I think an equally plausible explanation is that the reason that he did it is because he has an impressively obvious “sleeping dog” to begin with.

  21. Sly dog.

    I am so naive, I thought it was a genuine mistake, but that smile is suspiciously self-satisfied.

    • At least, judging by reports of the Windsor sense of humour, she and all the family would have laughed their heads off at that photo. They’re an earthy, bawdy bunch.

  22. Tigtog @22: you have thought this through way, way too much!


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