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TL; DR: 

  • Camilla Parker Bowles is “petrified” when she makes speeches, sometimes “feeling seriously sick” beforehand. 
  • In a July 2022 interview, she recalled trying to “escape and go home” before her first speech as a soon-to-be British royal. 
  • Camilla Parker Bowles says Prince Charles is “very good” at making speeches because he’s a “very good actor.” 

One aspect of royal life Camilla Parker Bowles doesn’t particularly like is public speaking. The Duchess of Cornwall gives speeches although she doesn’t enjoy it. So much so that occasionally she feels “seriously sick” before offering remarks. Ahead, revisit Camilla’s first speech and find out why she has no problem making small talk. Plus, learn why she thinks Prince Charles is excellent at making speeches. 

Camilla Parker Bowles really doesn’t like giving speeches: ‘I hate every moment of it’

Since marrying Charles in 2005, Camilla’s delivered various speeches as a senior British royal. But, as she confessed during an interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly for the publication’s August 2022 issue, she can’t stand it. 

“I get petrified making speeches. I hate every moment of it,” she said. “People always say it’ll get better and sometimes I find it’s all right if I really know my subject, but sometimes [I get] that awful thing beforehand of really shaking and feeling seriously sick.”

Thinking back to her first-ever speech, Camilla recalled how nervous she’d been. 

“The first speech I ever made was about osteoporosis in Lisbon, before I was married,” she began. “The night before I was out of bed tying my sheets together to see if I could escape and go home.

 Will she ever get used to it or look forward to giving a speech?  “I’m never going to enjoy it,” Camilla concluded. 

Camilla Parker Bowles says Prince Charles’ acting experience makes him ‘very good’ at giving speeches

In the same interview, the Duchess of Cornwall praised Charles for his top-notch public speaking skills. She said he enjoys it because he likes acting. “My husband is very good; he loves it. Because he’s a very good actor, I think,” she said. 

“You’ve got to have a bit of acting experience,” she added before recalling her brief time as an actor in school. “I was the worst actor in the whole school. If I was given one line to say, it always came out [sic] backwards” she said. “So I think speeches — no, they’re never going to be my [sic] favourite things.” 

Camilla Parker Bowles’ mom made her ‘speak to people’ at dinner

Speeches may not be Camilla’s thing, but conversations are another story. It goes back to her childhood when her mom insisted they talk to dinner guests.

“My mother was absolutely brilliant at making us speak to people,” Camilla recalled. “It didn’t matter who it was, old or young, some of them we thought were incredibly boring, but she used to sit at the end of the table and say: ‘Talk! I don’t care whether you’re talking about your pony or your homework, just talk!’”