One of Kate Middleton’s most treasured pieces of jewellery is a charm bracelet given to her by the Duchess of Cornwall, bearing both their monograms. With the arrival of the royal baby just around the corner, it’s one of the many signs that the pregnant royal can count on Camilla and Prince Charles for support in this new chapter of her life as a mother.
The royals seen here at Trooping the Colour
Much has been made of the closeness between the Duchess of Cambridge and her parents Carole and Michael Middleton. Yet the relationship with Prince William’s father, stepmother and brother Harry has been almost as important for the last two years, if not before, in smoothing her transition into the world’s most high profile consort.
Together they are a formidable quintet that is the future of the monarchy as the Queen herself recognised when she gave them a starring role on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at her Diamond Jubilee.
Prince Charles, his wife, sons and daughter-in-law are a formidable quintet
The public team work is underpinned by enormous affection and loyalty of the kind that exists in any normal family.
Harry, who says he can tell his brother anything, was already brimming with excitement about the new baby back in December, telling reporters: “I can’t wait to be an uncle”.
Although she has five grandchildren of her own, Camilla is thrilled too, telling well-wishers she’s dying to spoil the little one.
She was just as enthusiastic about the royal wedding, whisking the bride off for a girlie lunch. Along with Pippa Middleton and Laura Lopes, Camilla’s daughter, the two ladies were heard discussing all the details. In another kind gesture she invited Kate to the ballet in the run up towards the Westminster Abbey ceremony, no doubt to calm her nerves.
On the big day of itself, minutes after they had been pronounced man and wife William and Kate retired to a private chapel, accompanied only by Charles, Camilla and Carole and Michael Middleton.
There would have been kisses, probably more passionate than the shy ones exchanged before the crowds, and possibly a few tears.
That Camilla was privy to such a private moment speaks volumes about the bond she and the Prince of Wales have developed as a couple with the Cambridges. Her stepsons long ago accepted what the nation knows now: Charles is happier and more fulfilled than he’s ever been with her by his side.
Kate wearing the bracelet given her by William’s stepmother
In the summer of 1999, the heir to the throne and his sons were due to take a cruise around the Greek Isles.
Prince William suggested that Camilla – then Charles’ companion rather than his wife – be invited to join the party. Otherwise, the Prince noted, his father would be forced to spend a month apart from her: during the luxury 10-day cruise, and afterwards for the traditional two-week break at Balmoral, the Queen’s Scottish residence.
At their father’s wedding in 2005 the boys couldn’t have looked more proud and helped to decorate the nuptial car with ‘just married’ signs and balloons.
While the nation celebrates the arrival of a future King or Queen in the next few days, the Windsors will greet the news like any other family, with pure joy and emotion.