Camilla: ‘I bit through several pencils’ writing article about Prince Charles

·3 min read
The Duchess of Cornwall is joined by the Prince of Wales as she looks through page proofs of the issue of Country Life which she guest edited
The Duchess of Cornwall is joined by the Prince of Wales as she looks through page proofs of the issue of Country Life which she guest edited

The Duchess of Cornwall “bit through several pencils” as she agonised over a personal article about the Prince of Wales for Country Life magazine, she has revealed.

The Duchess, 74, admitted it was a challenge to write about her husband, who she chose as one of her “countryside heroes” for a feature in next week’s edition.

“It’s not easy to write about your husband,” she admitted.

“I bit through several pencils.”

The Duchess guest edited the magazine to mark her 75th birthday and commissioned the Duchess of Cambridge to take her photograph for the front cover.

Her spell at the helm was filmed for a behind-the-scenes ITV documentary, Camilla’s Country Life.

Director Michael Waldman said: “We filmed the Duchess discussing the article she has written about her husband: she has chosen him as her main countryside champion and it’s an affectionate piece.

“The accompanying full-page picture shows the Prince hedge-laying.”

The cover of Country Life featuring the Duchess of Cornwall in a photograph taken by the Duchess of Cambridge - PA
The cover of Country Life featuring the Duchess of Cornwall in a photograph taken by the Duchess of Cambridge - PA
The Duchess of Cornwall looks through page proofs before publication with editor-in-chief Mark Hedges and managing and features editor Paula Lester - Mark Williamson
The Duchess of Cornwall looks through page proofs before publication with editor-in-chief Mark Hedges and managing and features editor Paula Lester - Mark Williamson

The documentary makers also accompanied the Duchess and her sister Annabel Elliot as they returned to Hall Place in West Meon, Hants, the former home of their maternal grandparents.

They reveal that Camilla once buried her younger sister’s beloved teddy bear, known as “Tiddy Bar”, in the grounds and only confessed many years later.

The Duchess laughed: “Yes, Tiddy Bar, he had a very happy resting ground.”

Mrs Elliot joked: “I’ve not forgiven her, it still rankles to this day.”

The pair reminisced about rolling down the hills, catching butterflies in jars and dressing correctly for their strict grandmother, chatting about the furnishings they each now have in their own homes.

The Duchess said of the property: “I could find my way around here with my eyes shut.”

The Duchess of Cornwall visits Hall Place in Hampshire with her sister Annabel Elliot (right)
The Duchess of Cornwall visits Hall Place in Hampshire with her sister Annabel Elliot (right)

Some of those closest to the Duchess also appear in the programme, which will be broadcast on July 13.

Her friend Sarah Troughton, a first cousin once removed of the Queen, said of the future Queen Consort: “She’s certainly not a prude.

“She’s got a wicked sense of humour, risque as well as naughty, and that’s what gives her her charm.”

The Duchess and Prince Charles were filmed undertaking various royal duties, including as they prepared to leave for the State Opening of Parliament in May, when the Prince stood in for the Queen for the first time.

The cameras also followed the Duchess during a visit to Manchester where she met survivors of domestic abuse.

She said of her ongoing campaign against domestic violence: “The countryside is not all roses: there are darker things happening.

“So anything I can do to help, it’s been a taboo subject for too long.”

On guest editing Country Life magazine, she added: “It’s quite hard work but I’m loving it.”

Meanwhile, the Duchess revealed she was an “avid viewer” of the BBC’s Crimewatch during a tour of the corporation’s new Welsh headquarters.

She said she was gripped by the programme, which appeals to the public to help detectives solve cases, adding that she was “amazed” at the number of crimes viewers provide information about.