There’s been plenty of good news for the royals in recent polls.
We’re still in favour of the Monarchy, Charles is held to be doing a good job as King while William and Kate, the future of the institution, grow more popular by the week.
There’s one thing that doesn’t seem to change, though.
Nearly 20 years since Camilla married her prince at the Guildhall in Windsor, surveys show that our new Queen remains resolutely out of favour.
Olivia Williams who plays Camilla in the final series of The Crown describes her character as a ‘good natured woman who I’d like to be my friend’
Dominic West and Olivia Williams as they recreate the Charles and Camilla’s wedding from 2005
The real Prince Charles and Camilla at the Guildhall in Windsor on their wedding day
A MailOnline survey in April suggested that just 14 per cent believed it was appropriate to give her the title ‘Queen Camilla’ (rather than Queen Consort). The abuse on social media continues.
The reason isn’t hard to guess: even today, Camilla is fixed in the public mind as the ‘other’ woman whose conniving helped destroy a fairytale romance.
She could, then, be forgiven if she viewed the forthcoming – and final – series of The Crown with apprehension.
The material will be close to home, portraying Diana’s tragic death in 1997 and reaching a conclusion with the fraught wedding of Charles and Camilla in 2005.
Diana, we have been told, will appear on screen as a ghost.
These were turbulent years for the Windsors, a period in which – for a while at least – the Queen viewed Camilla as ‘that wicked woman’ and refused to attend her son’s 50th birthday celebrations when it was clear the mistress would be present.
The couple were abused in public. Camilla was said to have been pelted with bread rolls outside a supermarket.
Yet to judge from what the actors have had to say, The Crown could prove an unexpected source of backing for the King and Queen.
‘We want to vindicate them,’ says Olivia Williams, who has taken over the role of Camilla, describing her as a dignified ‘good-natured woman who I’d like to be my friend’.
Speaking to the Netflix companion site, Williams regretted the ‘massive intrusion’ Camilla had faced, suggesting she had been ‘left utterly exposed to whatever mud was being slung at her’.
Olivia Williams and Dominic West as Camilla and Charles in The Crown
The 1990s were cruel to Mrs Parker Bowles, who found herself vilified by the public and the press
Camilla Parker Bowles arrives for the 50th birthday party she organised for Prince Charles. The Queen did not attend
A Mail Online survey in April this year found that just 14 per cent said they believed it was appropriate to give her the title Queen Camilla – which was done with the approval of the late Queen Elizabeth
There was certainly plenty of that.
‘We were batting for their side,’ agreed Dominic West, who plays Charles.
It might seem quite a turnaround for a drama that has often been cited as republican in spirit and spiteful to its characters – ‘cruelly unjust to the individuals and damaging to the institution they represent,’ in the words of Dame Judi Dench.
But with a global audience for The Crown said to have reached 73 million, it might come as some small relief for a woman who has made huge personal efforts to fulfil a new and unaccustomed role.