When Meghan Markle joined the royal family, Camilla is said to have taken her under her wing to help guide her through royal life, but after her move to the US with Prince Harry, their relationship is thought to have soured.
When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry, not only did she have to get to know her new family but all the finer details of royal protocol.
And one royal who had been in the exact position years before was the Duchess of Cornwall. She too was a divorcee marrying into the family having previously led a non-royal life.
And at first, both Meghan and Camilla seemed to warm to each other, finding common ground in their shared interests.
But in recent times, it seems their relationship has soured – especially since Harry and Meghan quit as senior royals.
When Meghan was first introduced to Harry’s family, she is said to have bonded with both Camilla and her father-in-law to be Prince Charles.
According to his unauthorized biography Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, Andrew Morton writes that Meghan clicked with Charles over their interest in “sustainable organic food, classical music, and architecture”.
And she also found common ground with Camilla with the book claiming they both “shared a love of fine wine and yoga”.
When Harry and Meghan’s engagement was announced in November 2017, Camilla touchingly told reporters while on a visit: “America’s loss is our gain. We are all absolutely delighted. As you can see, they’re so happy.
“Sometimes in a climate where we’re surrounded by a lot of bad news, it’s a real joy to have a bit of good news for once.”
Harry and Meghan married in a beautiful ceremony in St George’s Chapel in Windsor, with Charles, Camilla, and the Queen among the guests.
And just days later Harry, Meghan, Charles, and Camilla made an appearance at a Buckingham Palace garden party.
The party was being held in honor of Charles’s 70th birthday and as they were leaving, Camilla grabbed Meghan’s hand as she kissed her goodbye.
And author Andrew Morton writes in his updated biography Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, it was a rare gesture that showed “genuine affection” to Meghan.
He says: “On 22 May 2018, when the Duchess of Cornwall, the future queen consort, held the hand of the new Duchess of Sussex during a garden party to celebrate Prince Charles’s seventieth birthday at Buckingham Palace, this rare royal gesture was a sign of how quickly the American actor had been accepted and treated with genuine affection by the Royal Family.
“On that day, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who had previously advised Kate Middleton on the finer points of protocol during her royal apprenticeship, was, without saying a word, signaling to the watching world that Meghan was now ‘one of us’.”
Back in 2018 — just months after Harry and Meghan tied the knot — a close family friend told Vanity Fair that Camilla and Meghan got along “aces”.
They continued: “They clearly really like each other. There is real warmth and support. Camilla has been very helpful to Meghan.”
Like Meghan, Camilla had faced her own share of negative backlash, especially it emerged that she had been having an affair with Charles.
Sources close to Meghan alleged that Camilla had taken the royal newcomer to private lunches and offered her advice on how to cope with the pressure of being a royal, having had such a tumultuous start herself.
Support for Meghan
In 2019, after just a year in the royal family, Meghan gave birth to her first child, Archie.
Later that year, Meghan, Harry, and Archie embarked on a tour of South Africa, and in an interview, which formed part of a documentary on the tour, an emotional Meghan admitted she was “not OK”.
She added that the said the ongoing scrutiny meant she was “existing, not living.”
And it was reported that Camilla was supporting Meghan behind the scenes.
A source told Vanity Fair: “I think Camilla was probably just as surprised as anyone else when the documentary came out and perhaps didn’t realize how much Harry and Meghan were suffering.
“She wants everyone to get along and be happy. Her mantra is to carry on and keep smiling. She doesn’t want to see anyone struggling and she is fond of Meghan and she could be a very good ally too.”
However, signs there were cracks in their friendship came soon after.
The Mirror revealed that Camilla was left “very upset” after Meghan insisted photos of her at a theatre appeared on the day as she gave the important address.
Camilla had been planning today’s speech on the 10th anniversary of the Women of the World Festival in London for nearly a year.
But Meghan allegedly broke a pledge not to overshadow Camilla’s vital campaign against abuse by getting the pictures of her private visit to the National Theatre be published the same day.
Palace officials remained tight-lipped about the row but one well-placed insider said at the time: “Camilla’s work is very important to her and her decision to highlight the scourge of domestic violence at the 10th anniversary of Women of the World was a carefully thought-out plan.
“Over the last four years, she has worked tirelessly, mostly behind the scenes but to great effect, to use her platform and personal experiences to highlight the issue and help sufferers.
“Of course it was known Harry and Meghan would be doing engagements this week, some privately, but everyone was in agreement that Camilla’s speech should take precedence. Unfortunately some people had other ideas.”
The move sparked shock and fury inside the Palace, with insiders revealing how Meghan has “refused to listen” to the pleas of staff.
Early last year, Harry and Meghan both quit as senior royals and left the UK to pursue a new life in California with their children Archie and now Lilibet.
And much has been made of the relationship between Harry and his father Prince Charles.
In an interview several months after moving to the U.S, Harry claimed that his family had “literally cut me off” financially and that he had been “let down” by Charles.
And in August, a royal insider came forward to claim that the rift caused by Megxit has done irreversible damage when it comes to the bond not just between Harry and Charles, but between Camilla and Meghan as well.
They told the Telegraph: “I don’t think the Duchess will ever forgive Meghan for what she’s done to the Prince of Wales.”