Camilla Duchess Of Cornwall, The Queen has finally given her daughter-in-law the Duchess of Cornwall the seal of approval by awarding the royal her highest personal honour.Camilla is to become a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order to mark the seventh anniversary of her wedding to Prince Charles today.
The couple married on April 9, 2005, in a civil ceremony at the Guildhall in Windsor after a controversial relationship spanning several decades.
Once seen as the other woman in Charles’s marriage to Princess Diana, Camilla has become an integral member of the Royal Family since she married Charles.
Awards under the Royal Victorian Order are in the Queen’s personal gift and unlike others are bestowed independently of Downing Street.
They are given by the head of state to those who have served her or the monarchy in a personal way.
The order was founded in April 1896 by Queen Victoria as a way of rewarding individual service to her.
In becoming a Grand Dame, Camilla – who will now have the letters GCVO after her name – will join other senior female royals including Princess Anne, the Countess of WesS-EX- and the Duchess of Gloucester.
Some royal observers say they would have expected Camilla to receive the honour before now. Sophie WesS-EX-, Prince Edward’s wife, was appointed to the order in 2010.
But Palace sources stressed there was no snub and said the award recognises the 64-year-old duchess’s hard work as a member of the monarchy during the past seven years.
At a time when most women her age would be looking forward to a slower pace of life, she now carries out hundreds of royal engagements each year.
The duchess has also taken on a wide range of patronages and travels extensively overseas with the prince on official visits.
The honour suggests Charles’s wife is now fully accepted in the royal family despite the pair breaking royal convention with their marriage.