Well, I suppose this answers the question as to where the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were on Easter Sunday. Though their first engagements weren’t until today, the couple arrived in Australia a few days early and were staying privately with friends in New South Wales.
Moving right along, Charles and Camilla opened the Commonwealth Games today, though this Australian tour is not without controversy. There was confusion at the outset over whether Camilla would accompany her husband, which was later clarified by reports that she would join Charles for the start, but fly back to London early. Charles will wrap up the tour on April 10 solo due to Camilla having a difficult time traveling in significant heat.
This was followed by criticism of Camilla’s behavior during the opening ceremony itself, but more on that in a moment.
Charles was there on behalf of his mother, the Queen, and delivered remarks that you can read here. However, it was Camilla who soon took the spotlight when she was captured by cameras looking “bored” and “indifferent.” I haven’t seen the broadcast and can’t vouch for what her facial expressions were, though the fact that “Camilla” was briefly trending on Twitter today courtesy of outraged onlookers isn’t a great sign.
You can read a rundown of tweets here.
Thanks to bad weather and a protest going on outside the stadium by Indigenous Australians, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this tour isn’t off to a great start. It’s a shame since this these next few weeks are important for Charles, coming so soon before the start of the Heads of State meetings in London in two weeks.
But God knows this isn’t Charles’s first rodeo, so I’m pretty confident he’ll get this train back on the tracks in short order. We won’t be covering this trip day in and day out, but I do plan to put up a post on his visit to Vanuatu next week.
As for Camilla, certainly we’ve heard her remark about how much she detests warm temperatures below and I’ve generally refrained from commenting, but it’s not a good look. Given that there’s plenty of speculation going on in the background that the plan is to name her queen consort one day – which is her legal right – it would be great if she wasn’t getting bad PR.
Camilla carries out her engagements well and does considerable good work with her patronages – not for nothing, but she is a number of royal reporters’ favorite member of the Royal Family thanks to her friendliness and sense of humor. I don’t think she’s lazy, though I will grant you there are some odd optics given that she hadn’t held a job prior to her second marriage. Just, you know, fake a little extra enthusiasm tomorrow, yes?
Anyway, another item I forgot to mention yesterday was that there is officially restricted parking around the Lindo Wing (where the Cambridges’ baby is due to be born) starting on April 10. That speaks to a mid-month due date and means we’re definitely getting down to the wire! It also means there’s a chance Charles will miss the birth of his third grandchild.
In the meantime, Buckingham Palace announced that the Duke of Edinburgh’s hip surgery was successful and he is currently recovering well from the procedure.