Connect with us

News

Camilla takes the reigns as head of the Royal family: Confident-looking Queen steps up to represent the British monarchy at memorial service attended by whole host of European royals in Charles’ absence

Published

on

Queen Camilla took the reigns as head of the Royal family on the world stage for the first time as she lead a memorial service for King Constantine of Greece. 

She appeared calm and confident in an elegant pinstripe outfit as she stepped up as the most senior figure representing the British monarchy in Charles’ absence. 

King Charles III missed the service as his treatment for cancer continues, while Prince William had been due to give a reading but pulled out for ‘personal reasons’.

No further detail was given on William’s absence, and it is not known if this relates to his wife Kate Middleton’s ongoing recovery after her abdominal surgery last month. 

Camilla has been long-praised as the strength and stay of the royal family, and has stepped up to lead the firm after the King’s shock cancer diagnosis.

As she leads both British and foreign royals it is this strength of character that will allow her to stabilise the ship.

Advertisement

Princess Anne previously admitted she ‘does her role really well’ despite ‘not being a natural’, while a former royal butler praised her ‘steady hand on the tiller’.

The Queen admitted six years ago that royal life is ‘tiring’, but has nevertheless stepped up to continue working, leading the nation in her husband’s absence.

Exiting the ceremony, Camilla appeared confident as she stood by Queen Anne Marie of Greece at the conclusion of the service, with Princess Anne smiling on her right hand.

Queen Camilla is greeted as she attends the thanksgiving service for the life of King Constantine in Windsor Castle

She appeared to brush away tears as she watched the ceremony

She appeared to brush away tears as she watched the ceremony

In an emotional display of affection for her husband’s late relative, she appeared to brush away tears as she watched the ceremony

Camilla smiled warmly

Camilla outside the chapel

Camilla smiled warmly as she met with people outside the chapel

Once inside the chapel the Queen adopted a dignified silence as she waited for the ceremony to start

Once inside the chapel the Queen adopted a dignified silence as she waited for the ceremony to start

Exiting the ceremony, Camilla appeared supportive and confident as she stood by Queen Anne Marie of Greece at the conclusion of the service, with Princess Anne smiling on her right hand

Exiting the ceremony, Camilla appeared supportive and confident as she stood by Queen Anne Marie of Greece at the conclusion of the service, with Princess Anne smiling on her right hand 

The Queen looked confident as she lead the royals out of the church at the conclusion of the service

The Queen looked confident as she lead the royals out of the church at the conclusion of the service

Breaking into a smile at its conclusion, Camilla elegantly spearheaded the troop of royals through the event

Guests attend a thanksgiving service for the life of King Constantine at Windsor Castle today

Guests attend a thanksgiving service for the life of King Constantine at Windsor Castle today

Queen Camilla was seated at the front and centre of the service, and was spotted leaning over to speak to Princess anne on her left

Queen Camilla was seated at the front and centre of the service, and was spotted leaning over to speak to Princess anne on her left

The royals turned out in force for the service, with the Princess Royal ringed by the Duke of Gloucester, Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and in the row behind Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Sarah Duchess of York, Lady Helen Taylor and the Duke of Kent

The royals turned out in force for the service, with the Princess Royal ringed by the Duke of Gloucester, Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and in the row behind Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Sarah Duchess of York, Lady Helen Taylor and the Duke of Kent

Prince Andrew, Duke of York (L), Sarah, Duchess of York (2L), Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence (C), Mike Tindall (5R) and Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal (4R) arrive at the service

Prince Andrew, Duke of York (L), Sarah, Duchess of York (2L), Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence (C), Mike Tindall (5R) and Britain’s Princess Anne, Princess Royal (4R) arrive at the service

Crown Princess Marie Chantal of Greece and Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece

Princess Nina of Greece and Denmark and Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark

Crown Princess Marie Chantal of Greece and Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece attend the thanksgiving service (left) alongside Princess Nina of Greece and Denmark and Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark (right)

Princess Michael of Kent (left) in an elegant fir wrap and Prince Michael of Kent, dressed in a somber, muted suit look quiet as they attend the service

Princess Michael of Kent (left) in an elegant fir wrap and Prince Michael of Kent, dressed in a somber, muted suit look quiet as they attend the service

Zara Tindall smiles warmly as she attends the service, while rugby-ace husband Mike Tindall looks somber in a suit and tie

Zara Tindall smiles warmly as she attends the service, while rugby-ace husband Mike Tindall looks somber in a suit and tie

Lord Cavendish of Furness, US climate envoy John Kerry and Dame Norma Major chat as they wait for the ceremony to begin in Windsor

Lord Cavendish of Furness, US climate envoy John Kerry and Dame Norma Major chat as they wait for the ceremony to begin in Windsor

Dax Miller and American heiress Alexandra von Furstenberg

Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester and Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester

Dax Miller and American heiress Alexandra von Furstenberg arrive at the ceremony (left), alongside Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester and Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester (right)

(front row left to right) Princess Theodora of Greece, Prince Philippos of Greece, Queen Sofia of Spain and Princess Irene of Greece attend the thanksgiving service at Windsor Castle today

(front row left to right) Princess Theodora of Greece, Prince Philippos of Greece, Queen Sofia of Spain and Princess Irene of Greece attend the thanksgiving service at Windsor Castle today 

Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York lead members of the royal family in Windsor today

Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York lead members of the royal family in Windsor today

The Prince of Wales is understood to have called the family to apologise, while Kensington Palace confirmed the Princess was ‘doing well’ as she recovers at home.

Camilla appeared to grin as she arrived at the Castle this morning, and was greeted at the door.

Wearing a somber black jacket wiith a subtle pinstripe, she paired it with a matching skirt and a wide-brimmed hat with a dark fringe.

She smiled warmly at those gathered to meet her, before entering the venue and adopting a solemn and dignified silence.

Advertisement

And in an emotional display of affection for her husband’s late relative, she appeared to brush away tears as she watched the ceremony.

Camilla and other family members were joined by the late king’s widow Queen Anne-Marie, their eldest son, Crown Prince Pavlos and other members of the Greek royal family for the service in the nave of the 15th century chapel. 

Prince Andrew was present along with Sarah, Duchess of York and his daughters Princess Eugenie and Beatrice because it was deemed a personal family event. 

It is also understood that the Duke of York was attending the service as a member of the British Royal Family and had been invited by the Greek Royal Family. 

As for Charles, he was at Windsor Castle earlier in the day but left before the service began – with the reception afterwards set to be hosted by Camilla. 

Charles was unable to attend Constantine’s funeral in Athens last year because of commitments which included meeting the president of Cyprus. The Princess Royal represented him at the service.

Princess Beatrice (left) and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi at the service at Windsor Castle today

Princess Beatrice (left) and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi at the service at Windsor Castle today

(From left) Princess Alexandra the Honourable Lady Ogilvy, Marina Ogilvy and Prince Andrew

(From left) Princess Alexandra the Honourable Lady Ogilvy, Marina Ogilvy and Prince Andrew 

(front row left to right) Princess Olympia of Greece, Prince Achilleas of Greece, Carlos Morales and Princess Tatiana of Greece joined by (second row left to right) King Felipe of Spain, Queen Letizia of Spain, King Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Benedikte of Denmark at Windsor today

(front row left to right) Princess Olympia of Greece, Prince Achilleas of Greece, Carlos Morales and Princess Tatiana of Greece joined by (second row left to right) King Felipe of Spain, Queen Letizia of Spain, King Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Benedikte of Denmark at Windsor today

Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma (centre) and Zara Tindall exchange a cheerful greeting

Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma (centre) and Zara Tindall exchange a cheerful greeting 

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson walk to the service, where they will join their daughters

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson walk to the service, where they will join their daughters

Prince Andrew drives to the service at Windsor Castle today with Sarah, Duchess of York

Prince Andrew drives to the service at Windsor Castle today with Sarah, Duchess of York

Prince Andrew attends a thanksgiving service for the life of King Constantine at Windsor today

Prince Andrew attends a thanksgiving service for the life of King Constantine at Windsor today

Prince Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece, Prince of Denmark RE, and Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece, Princess of Denmark are greeted as they arrive for the thanksgiving service

Prince Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece, Prince of Denmark RE, and Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece, Princess of Denmark are greeted as they arrive for the thanksgiving service

Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Thomas Hooper and Lady Alexandra Hooper arrive at St George's Chapel today for the thanksgiving service for King Constantine

Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Thomas Hooper and Lady Alexandra Hooper arrive at St George’s Chapel today for the thanksgiving service for King Constantine

Sir Jackie Stewart (centre) attends the thanksgiving service at Windsor Castle this morning

Sir Jackie Stewart (centre) attends the thanksgiving service at Windsor Castle this morning

Sir Jackie Stewart attends a thanksgiving service for King Constantine at Windsor Castle today

Sir Jackie Stewart attends a thanksgiving service for King Constantine at Windsor Castle today

Guests attend the thanksgiving service for King Constantine at St George's Chapel today

Guests attend the thanksgiving service for King Constantine at St George’s Chapel today

Camilla’s role in the service will see her again taking the reigns as she works to take the pressure off her husband.

Advertisement

It comes after Camilla who six years ago, before she was even Queen, during an audience with the Sultan of Brunei’s wife, Queen Saleha, at the Sultan of Brunei, was asked if she found royal life tiring.

She said: ‘Very tiring. Every day, we’re non-stop. It’s more tiring as you get older. I keep trying to tell everybody that I’m not as young as I used to be, and have to slow down.’

Members of the Royal family have rallied around the King, with Prince William returning to duties after spending time caring for his wife Princess Kate.

Charles’ profound sense of duty and strong work ethic has seen him continue working privately through treatment.

Today’s service at St George’s Chapel was held in honour of the King’s close friend and second cousin Constantine II, the former ruler and last king of Greece.

The King has reportedly sought spiritual advice from his friend Archimandrite Ephraim, Abbot of the Greek Orthodox Vatopedi monastery on Mount Athos.

Abbot Ephraim is said to have told Greek media outlets: ‘Yes, he has been in contact since the diagnosis and I believe he’ll overcome it. Charles has a spiritual sophistication, a spiritual life.’

Advertisement

Constantine was a first cousin once removed and sailing partner of the late Duke of Edinburgh, and died at the age of 82 in January last year, decades after being toppled from the throne in a military coup.

The King had a close friendship with Constantine, choosing him as a godfather for his son William, now the Prince of Wales.

The thanksgiving service for the life of King Constantine of the Hellenes at St George's Chapel, in Windsor Castle, got underway this afternoon

The thanksgiving service for the life of King Constantine of the Hellenes at St George’s Chapel, in Windsor Castle, got underway this afternoon

King Constantine attends church with Charles and Camilla at Sandringham in December 2007

King Constantine attends church with Charles and Camilla at Sandringham in December 2007

King Constantine II and Queen Elizabeth II at Wellington College in Berkshire in October 2011

King Constantine II and Queen Elizabeth II at Wellington College in Berkshire in October 2011

Prince William and Kate Middleton speak to King Constantine at Windsor Castle in 2012

Prince William and Kate Middleton speak to King Constantine at Windsor Castle in 2012

The former king was also godfather to the daughter of Prince and Princess of Michael of Kent, Lady Gabriella Kingston.

Camilla and other family members will be joined by the late king’s widow Queen Anne-Marie, their eldest son, Crown Prince Pavlos and other members of the Greek royal family for the service in the nave of the 15th century chapel.

Charles was unable to attend Constantine’s funeral in Athens last year because of commitments which included meeting the president of Cyprus. The Princess Royal represented him at the service.

Constantine, who died in an Athens hospital, acceded to the throne at the age of 23 in 1964.

The young king, who had won Olympic gold in sailing, was initially hugely popular.

Advertisement

By the following year he had squandered much of that support with his active involvement in the machinations that brought down the popularly elected Centre Union government of prime minister George Papandreou.

The episode, still widely known in Greece as the ‘apostasy’ or defection from the ruling party of several politicians, destabilised the constitutional order and led to a military coup in 1967.

Constantine eventually clashed with the military rulers and was forced into exile.

The dictatorship abolished the monarchy in 1973 and a referendum after democracy was restored in 1974 dashed any hopes Constantine had of reigning again.

King Constantine (top left) after Prince William's confirmation in 1997 as one of his godparents

King Constantine (top left) after Prince William’s confirmation in 1997 as one of his godparents

King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie, pictured with four of their children in 2014

King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie, pictured with four of their children in 2014 

Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece (centre left) and Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark (centre right) carry the coffin of King Constantine II during a burial at Tatoi in January 2023

Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece (centre left) and Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark (centre right) carry the coffin of King Constantine II during a burial at Tatoi in January 2023

King Charles met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Buckingham Palace on February 21, with the pair seen smiling during their first face-to-face meeting since the King's cancer diagnosis

King Charles met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Buckingham Palace on February 21, with the pair seen smiling during their first face-to-face meeting since the King’s cancer diagnosis

He lived in exile for many years in Hampstead Garden Suburb in north London, before returning to his home country in 2013.

Charles, 75, who was diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer just over a fortnight ago, is not carrying out public duties while he has treatment.

The royal family has pulled together to help his recovery as they pick up his duties to allow the monarch to draw away from the spotlight.

Advertisement

Prince William, 41, held an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle earlier this month before attending London’s Air Ambulance charity gala dinner later that evening.

Last week he attended the BAFTA awards and met with filmmakers and stars, as well as congratulating awards winners, before giving out more awards at a second investiture.

Former Chancellor Sir Sajid Javid was also among those to be knighted by the Prince of Wales for his services to politics and public life, while Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke and her mother were handed MBEs for setting up a brain injury charity.

However William’s father is said to be supportive of him putting his own family first, and taking time out of engagements to look after his wife and children.

It is understood he visited his father at Sandringham for a half-term holiday along with Kate and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Constantine, who continued to style himself as King and his children as princes and princesses despite Greece no longer acknowledging the titles, was a close friend of many senior British royals

Constantine, who continued to style himself as King and his children as princes and princesses despite Greece no longer acknowledging the titles, was a close friend of many senior British royals

The godfather of Prince William, King Constantine was also Prince Philip's nephew. His royal connections also include the Queen of Denmark, who was his sister-in-law and the King of Spain, who was his brother-in-law

The godfather of Prince William, King Constantine was also Prince Philip’s nephew. His royal connections also include the Queen of Denmark, who was his sister-in-law and the King of Spain, who was his brother-in-law

A source said: ‘The King adores Catherine and thinks she is doing a wonderful job. He understands that family comes first.’

Meanwhile the King was visited in London by Prince Harry, who cleared his diary to fly over from his California home in Montecito while leaving wife Meghan Markle and his two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lillibet, behind.

Advertisement

The Duke of Sussex, 39, flew to London on a commercial plane the day after the announcement, arriving at Clarence House in the afternoon.

He is then thought to have spent around 45 minutes with his father, seeing him for the first time since the late Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

Harry is not believed to have seen his brother, with the rift between Charles’ sons showing few signs of ever repairing.

The prince then stayed overnight in a hotel before flying home the next morning.

Source: Daily Mail

Advertisement

Follow us on Google News to get the latest Updates

Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending