Duchess Camilla: Charles is “exhausting,” “hopeless,” and “annoying”
How things have changed for Duchess Camilla: Once hated by the public and the press, she’s now regarded as the “most approachable” royal, according to one reporter, for her humour and down-to-earth manner. She even joked about Prince Charles to reporters who travelled with the couple on a tour through India in 2013. “He never, ever stops working – he’s exhausting,” she said. “I am hopping up and down and saying, ‘Darling do you think we could have a bit of, you know, peace and quiet, enjoy ourselves together.’ But he always has to finish something.”
She also laughed about how hard it was to pick out a birthday present for Prince Charles. “I will tell you that he is the most difficult person in the world to buy a present for,” she said. “He is a man! They are hopeless! I spend ages trying to find something that is really wonderful and then [mimes him opening a present]: ‘Oh, thank you very much’ [in a completely uninterested voice]. It’s so annoying!” That she can jest so bluntly about her husband shows how comfortable she is in their marriage.
Prince Charles on his murdered uncle: “He represented the grandfather I never had”
Anyone who’s watched Netflix’s The Crown will remember the depiction of the tender bond between the young, sensitive Charles and his great uncle, Lord Mountbatten, aka “Uncle Dickie.” Sadly, Lord Mountbatten was later murdered in an IRA (Irish Republican Army) attack in Sligo, Ireland. Today, centuries-old wounds between England and Ireland are being mended, as Prince Charles movingly expressed in a 2015 visit to the site of the murder. “In August 1979, my much-loved great uncle, Lord Mountbatten, was killed alongside his young grandson and my godson, Nicholas,” he said in a speech. “At the time, I could not imagine how we would come to terms with the anguish of such a deep loss since, for me, Lord Mountbatten represented the grandfather I never had. It seemed as if the foundations of all that we held dear in life had been torn apart irreparably.”
It was an unusual outpouring of emotion for the Prince, but one he used to relate to struggles on both sides of the conflict. “Through this dreadful experience, though, I now understand in a profound way the agonies borne by so many others in these islands, of whatever faith, denomination, or political tradition,” he said.
Sarah, Duchess of York, on ex-husband Prince Andrew: “He’ll always be my handsome prince”
Sarah Ferguson, who still retains her royal title even after her 1996 divorce from Prince Andrew, has shared – some may even say overshared – a lot about her ongoing friendship with her ex. “He’s a great man, and a first-rate father and the bestest friend,” she told Harper’s Bazaar in 2011, before the Jeffrey Epstein scandal saw Prince Andrew stepping down from performing royal duties. “I love him. He’s my soul mate. It’s actually what we said in front of God at the altar: We honour and respect each other until death do us part.”
In 2013, she also revealed at a literature festival, “He’s still my handsome prince – he’ll always be my handsome prince.” And the gush-fest continued in 2018: “We’re the happiest divorced couple in the world. We’re divorced to each other, not from each other,” she told the Daily Mail. “[My wedding day], July 23, 1986, was the happiest day of my life. Andrew is the best man I know.…I stand by him and always will. The way we are is our fairy tale.”
She remained supportive even after Prince Andrew’s controversial interview in which he denied sleeping with Virginia Giuffre, who says she was sex trafficked to the Duke by Jeffrey Epstein. In an Instagram post following the interview, Sarah said, “I am deeply supportive and proud of this giant of a principled man, that dares to put his shoulder to the wind and stands firm with his sense of honour and truth.”