About two decades ago, bringing up the prevailing Duchess' name among her subjects, would have invoked anger and disdain. All thanks to the suffering it had brought on to her lover's lady, the great humanitarian and ever so beautiful, Princess Di. I cannot help but accept that I too hated Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles; after all, the blasphemous affair was sold to a young girl as an example of impropriety.
Long after Di's death, the palace announced that Prince Charles and Camilla were to wed each other, stirring mixed reactions from people worldwide. Until that day, I had blamed Prince Charles for all the suffering Princess Di endured. As time passed, I grew up in the real sense and realized that until now, I was asking all the wrong questions. The right questions looked somewhat like this:
1) If a prince is allowed to lose his virginity before getting married, why was the would-be princess' virginity so important?
2) If a prince were allowed to divorce and remarry, why isn't he allowed to marry a divorcee?
3) It really wasn't Charles' mistake if his role and the church did not allow him to marry the woman he loved. Isn't love supposed to know no boundaries, be indifferent about looks, or not be calculative? At least that's what we're taught!
4) Wasn't the Charles-Di marriage, a forced one? Try loving your next door neighbor; you will understand how difficult it is to fall in love with someone you have nothing in common with; except for probably your postal address.
5) Why did Camilla receive so much flak? Doesn't it take two people to have an affair or was she the only devil that caused it?
6) Di's plight is understandable but wasn't Charles suffocated in the marriage as well, if not more?
When I asked people these seemingly right questions, I was given the cold turkey. While some people had an unexplained sympathetic sense of righteousness because of what happened to Princess Di, (as though, I was disrupting her peace in heaven), the rest didn't have answers to my questions. I adored Princess Diana for who she was but I think that the monarchy had to change a lot more than her prince charming. How can someone support or fight for gender equality in today's times when a woman's eligibility to marry a prince depends on a hymen and lack of a history of a social contract to companionship?
The press went on to vilify Charles, whose angry comments were picked up by the mic, during a vacation with his sons. Who on earth feels great and tolerates when someone digs out their trash and makes them look a devil with no empathy for their suffering?
I for one was very happy that the Queen let Charles and Camilla marry, relieving the Duchess of the public jokes and the mockery her commitment and love for Charles had become. Frankly speaking, not many would even endure the kind of targeting and shaming that was meted out to her. She is Iron-willed and has every ounce of my respect for being true to who she is.
Here's to "The Camilla Parker Bowles - Duchess of Cornwall" the woman with a seemingly impossible grit and possible love!