Do Kate Middleton and Camilla Parker Bowles Really Have a Good Relationship?

When Queen Elizabeth II died, the roles of the most senior members of the royal family changed. Upon the longtime monarch’s death her oldest son became King Charles III and his wife (formerly Camilla Parker Bowles) became Camilla, Queen Consort. In his first address to the nation, the new king declared that his heir, Prince William, and his daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton, were the new Prince and Princess of Wales.

Following these changes, a report surfaced that William’s wife has become “irritated” with her stepmother-in-law. Here’s more on that and what we know about Camilla and Kate’s relationship over the years.

Camilla Parker Bowles and Kate Middleton standing side-by-side during National Service of Remembrance
Camilla Parker Bowles and Kate Middleton standing side-by-side during the National Service of Remembrance | Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Camilla initially didn’t think Kate was ‘worthy’ of joining the royal family

Many royal fans recall that Prince William and Kate had a brief breakup three years before they got engaged. According to royal commentator and author Christopher Andersen, back then Camilla didn’t approve of her stepson’s relationship with his future wife.

In his book Game of Crowns, Andersen wrote that Camilla was so against William and Kate being together that she asked Charles to coax his son into dumping her. When the prince went to his father for relationship advice Charles told William he should let Kate go because it would be unfair to string her along if there were questions about whether they should be with each other.

Anderson, who also wrote the book William and Kate: A Royal Love Story, claimed that Charles’ wife didn’t want William and Kate together because Camilla is a snob and didn’t think Kate was “worthy” of marrying the future king.  

Camilla Parker Bowles and Kate Middleton leave Buckingham Palace in a carriage during the Trooping the Colour parade
Camilla Parker Bowles and Kate Middleton leave Buckingham Palace in a carriage during the Trooping the Colour parade | James Devaney/FilmMagic

Andersen previously told the Daily Beast: “[Camilla] is an aristocrat, she has always been moving in royal circles. She had always thought of herself as the heiress to Alice Keppel, her great-grandmother, who was the mistress of Edward VII … She did not look at Kate as someone who was worthy of joining the royal family. Kate is the first working-class woman to be accepted into the royal family. She is descended from coal miners and her mother was a flight attendant.”

The author added: “So for all those reasons Camilla never really felt that Kate Middleton as an individual and the Middleton family as a whole were going to be worthy of entering into the royal family … It has been since confirmed publicly that Charles did suggest to William that he either make a commitment to Kate or basically set her free, as it were. Now, his motives for doing that may have been pure but Camilla’s … not so much.”

Why Camilla had a change of heart about Kate

If Andersen’s claims are true and Camilla was the one behind Will and Kate’s breakup for the reasons given, their relationship has certainly changed over time.

The prince ended up marrying Kate, the public has really embraced her, and it’s clear that many members of the royal family see her as a huge asset. In turn, Camilla, who has fought for years to gain acceptance by the public and build up her own reputation, knew it was in her best interest to put the past behind her and establish a good rapport with Kate.

The women appear to get along well each time they’re seen out together and it’s been reported that they really bonded after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down. Some have even labeled the two women and their husbands as the new “Fab Four.”

Moreover, the ladies worked on a project together in July 2022 when Camilla turned 75. The princess actually photographed the queen consort for a magazine cover in honor of her milestone birthday and Camilla had nothing but praise for her daughter-in-law’s professionalism and photography skills.

Rumors of a rift between them now

However, reports following the queen’s death poured cold water on the picture of such a good relationship between them.

According to sources who spoke to Radar Online, Kate believes Camilla’s attitude changed after Queen Elizabeth died and the women had a heated argument about it.

“Ever since the queen died, Camilla has been throwing her weight around showing everyone who’s boss,” the insider told the publication. “Kate is becoming increasingly irritated with her. She thinks Camilla doesn’t take her royal duties seriously and that she doesn’t deserve the role. Things have been very awkward.”

Camilla Parker Bowles and Kate Middleton traveling in a vehicle together during the procession for the lying-in-state of Queen Elizabeth II
Camilla Parker Bowles and Kate Middleton traveling in a vehicle together during the procession for the lying-in-state of Queen Elizabeth II | Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images
Related

Did Meghan Markle and Camilla Parker Bowles Ever Have a Good Relationship?

A second source added: “Yes, Camilla has been anointed and appointed by Charles and was blessed by Her Majesty prior to her passing,” however, this “doesn’t mean Kate has to like or respect her, especially given Camilla’s history … [Camilla] has this superior attitude where everyone has to bow down to her.”

It’s important to remember that news of their alleged feud came from anonymous sources so we can take that with the grain of salt. Camilla and Kate both share a common goal and that is for the monarchy to survive. And given the turbulent times the family has had to navigate over the past few years, there’s no reason to think the women wouldn’t put any differences aside to support their husbands and the institution.