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When most people think of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage crumbling, the woman the future king was having an affair with isn’t the person they feel sorry for. In fact, many royal watchers have long blamed Camilla Parker Bowles for the Prince and Princess of Wales’ breakup. Charles’ second wife is well aware of that and remembers when she became public enemy No. 1 in the ’90s.

Now, after many years, Camilla is reflecting on that time and the scrutiny she faced when her affair was revealed.

Camilla Parker Bowles holding binoculars at the Royal Ascot
Camilla Parker Bowles at the Royal Ascot | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Camilla explains how she coped with all the public scrutiny

The Duchess of Cornwall rarely gives candid interviews, especially any pertaining to her affair with Prince Charles. But she decided to speak to Vogue for the July 2022 issue prior to her 75th birthday.

Camilla talked about the level of scrutiny she faced when the prince’s marriage to Diana broke down.

“It’s not easy,” she said. “I was scrutinized for such a long time that you just have to find a way to live with it. Nobody likes to be looked at all the time and, you know, criticized. … But I think in the end, I sort of rise above it and get on with it. You’ve got to get on with life.” 

Prior to the Vogue interview, the duchess opened up one other time a few years back in The Daily Mail’s You Magazine. Camilla described the public scrutiny as “horrid” saying: “It was a deeply unpleasant time and I wouldn’t want to put my worst enemy through it.”

Why the duchess says she wishes she could ‘turn the clock back’

Camilla Parker Bowles stands with her hands clasped in front of her at the Royal Ascot.
Camilla Parker Bowles at the Royal Ascot | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Camilla has never said whether she has regrets over what happened when Diana was still alive. However, she has talked about wanting to turn back time when it came to the topic of age and getting older.

Camilla explained that she really doesn’t give much thought to her birthdays anymore. “I let them come and go,” she told Vogue. “I mean I’d be very happy to turn back the clock. When you get to any big number, whether it’s 30, 50, 70, you think: ‘God, that’s so old.'”

The duchess is a stepgrandmother to her husband’s five grandchildren, and she also has five biological grandchildren.

When discussing her son’s and her daughter’s kids, she said: “We learn from very young people and they learn from us, too.”

Camilla admits her relationship with Prince Charles is hard sometimes

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles standing together with Camilla holding flowers
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles leave the prayer service blessing their marriage. | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Why Camilla Parker Bowles’ Friends and Family Labeled Prince Charles As An ‘Absolute Pig’

Camilla and Prince Charles tied the knot on April 9, 2005. And she spoke to Vogue about how things aren’t always easy in terms of managing their time between royal duties. But they make it work.

“It’s not easy sometimes, but we do always try to have a point in the day when we meet,” she said. “Sometimes it’s like ships passing in the night, but we always sit down together and have a cup of tea and discuss the day. We have a moment. It’s lovely to catch up when we have a bit of time.”

She added: “You know when we go away, the nicest thing is that we actually sit and read our books in different corners of the same room. It’s very relaxing because you know you don’t have to make conversation. You just sit and be together.”