Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.

As Queen Elizabeth II, 95, is gradually retiring to save her health, Camilla, the wife of Prince Charles once hated by the public, appears more and more involved.

The Queen's eldest son and heir to the throne, 72, has taken over from Her Majesty for several years, performing multiple official functions, both in the UK and abroad.

A sign of the coming change?

But his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, 74, also gained visibility, both virtually, during the coronavirus pandemic, but also in person, once the restrictions were lifted.

At the front row of the royal clan, the couple are joined by Charles' eldest son, William, and his wife Kate, both 39.

Much more present, the quartet enjoys media coverage that was previously only given to the queen, to whom the doctors recommended to ease off.

Their presence at events ranging from the premiere of the latest James Bond film to the G7 summit is a sign of the change to come.

For Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine, their presence "will accelerate over time."

"But Camilla is already a familiar face for many people, who are starting to know her," he said, interviewed by AFP.

Family united after the tears

Just a few years ago, another quartet embodied the future of Britain's most famous family: William, his brother Harry, and their respective wives Kate and Meghan.

A family photo that was torn apart when Harry and Meghan moved to the United States, stepping back from the royal family whom they criticized and accused of racism.

The rise in popularity of Camilla, once hated by the British for interfering with the couple formed by Charles and Diana, has been spectacular.

“Her position has certainly changed and there has been a huge and very long process of rehabilitation since the days when she was described as a Rottweiler in Diana's time,” said royal historian Anna Whitelock at Daily Express.

"There are a lot of Camilla supporters"

Camilla has taken on an increasingly exposed role with aplomb and has gained fans, though some will never forgive her for her role in breaking up Charles and Diana's marriage.

“There are a lot of Camilla supporters,” according to Joe Little.

“She is doing very well.

She has been a member of the royal family for 16 years, so she has a lot of experience, ”he says.

Since the death in April of Prince Philip, the Queen's husband for 73 years, Camilla has been seen - and heard - more frequently at official engagements and charity events.

This week, she accompanied Charles, a longtime conservationist, to Glasgow at the UN climate summit, COP26.

Last month the couple, who married in 2005, stood with the Queen at the official opening of the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly.

Camilla was also present when Elizabeth II opened the session of the British Parliament in May, her first official engagement since Philip's death.

First royal tour since the pandemic

The couple will soon make their first royal tour abroad since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, to Egypt and Jordan.

Camilla's appearances often reflect her interests, from reading to animal advocacy.

This year, she supported a campaign to end violence against women, a cause also embraced by Kate.

She has also made several television and radio appearances to talk about her mother's battle with osteoporosis, as well as her love of gardening and horse breeding.

According to some media, she could take on a more important role, that of "councilor of state", a function which obliges the members of the royal family to intervene if the queen cannot carry out her official functions.


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