Kay Burley talks Camilla’s cunning PR plan to change public image

King Charles and Camilla preview Eurovision venue

Queen Camilla will be crowned alongside her husband King Charles III this Saturday in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

Despite a rough start, particularly following the death of Princess Diana, public opinion of Camilla has softened over the years.

This has been documented in a new three-part podcast hosted by Kay Burley for Sky News, which will be aired in the run-up to the Coronation.

Queen Camilla: For the Love of Charles will look back at Charles and Camilla’s love story and her journey from mistress to Queen.

Commenting on Camilla’s journey, Kay said: “It was so very clever and well orchestrated. Hats off to the public relations team. They executed a brilliant plan – so cunning they could put a tail on it and call it a weasel.”

Kay, 62 has spent her whole journalistic career covering the goings-on in the Royal Household after first reporting on the 1981 wedding between Charles and Diana for the Evening Post and Wigan Chronicle. An event also attended by Camilla and her then-husband, Andrew Parker-Bowles.

Discussing the first time that she met Camilla in an interview with the Radio Times, Kay said she found Camilla “charming, disarming and beautiful”, although she was reluctant to share any of the conversations they had.

In 1996, both Charles and Camilla were both divorced, but it wasn’t until 1999 two years after the death of Princess Diana that Charles hired PR guru Mark Bolland to repair not only his relationship in the press but also Camilla’s.

After a string of public appearances and a clear message from Charles to the public that Camilla was here to stay, they married in 2005, declaring that Camilla would carry the title “Princess Consort” on Charles’s accession to the throne.

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However, as we’ve become more used to seeing Camilla at Royal engagements, the Queen declared her “sincere wish” at her Platinum Jubilee that Camilla be named Queen Consort when Charles took the throne.

Kay went on to say: “I think the Queen was wholeheartedly won round. We all trusted her, so when she endorsed Camilla it was huge.

“The final part of that very long game orchestrated by the Royal Household, beginning when Charles went to them many years previously and said, ‘This is the woman who’s going to be with me for the rest of my life. I’m going to be King. She is going to be my Queen.’”

But whilst public opinion shifted in favour of Camilla, Prince Harry’s autobiography threatened to once again tarnish her reputation, describing her as “dangerous” and “the villain” who “sacrificed me on her personal PR altar”.

Queen Camilla will also be breaking with tradition at the upcoming Coronation and, unlike King Charles III will be anointed in full public view.

Buckingham Palace has described this as just one of the ways in which the service has been adapted and evolved.

Key Burley will lead the coverage of the Coronation for Sky News and can be stationed among the crowds outside Buckingham Palace from 6am on May 6.

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