Amidst the sadness of the day, something truly uplifting. The Royal Family’s tears.
That might sound strange, but they’ve always remained grimly composed no matter what, and it’s always seemed weird and unnatural, because it was.
So how refreshing that they showed the emotion we know they were feeling anyway, because they’re human beings who have lost someone they loved.
Anything else would have been a lie. Their visible sorrow was real, raw and honest. It was also new, and a sign that the family business is changing, evolving with the times, as it must now there’s a new CEO at the helm.
These last 10 days of mourning have also – let’s be honest – simultaneously been a PR launch for King Charles.
The famous Queue could easily have been an online booking system, so people turned up for their allotted slots, and were in and out in under half an hour, but that wouldn’t have had the same effect or provided the same optics.
Now brand loyalty has been reaffirmed, it’s time to usher in the fresh era.
We no longer have a monarch who is a blank canvas, unsullied by a single scandal in seven decades. Instead, we have a King we all heard say he wishes he was a feminine hygiene product, whose dirty marital laundry was aired on a daily basis for years, who loses his temper with stationery and doesn’t even try to hide it.
There’s no point in attempting to be a carbon copy of his mother, because that ship has long sailed and we see his differences far too clearly. So now he has to – in X Factor parlance – make this cover version his own.
Charles’ greatest asset in his bid to do it his way is – said through the gritted teeth of a huge Diana fan – Camilla. He’s married a woman who truly understands him, how he works, and what he needs. The ultimate Plus One, happy to let him be the main attraction, as opposed to Diana, who shone so brightly he may as well have stayed at home, because no-one noticed him anyway.
Charles and Camilla’s relationship appears to be the antithesis of Charles and Diana’s – effortless, easy, fun.
And this week, firmly in one of the For Worse parts of life, their marriage seems rock solid. Take one of his pen-related meltdowns, during a signing ceremony in Northern Ireland. As he cried, “Oh God, I hate this… every stinking time” while ink leaked on his hand, Camilla stood by his side.
She didn’t attempt to pacify him or quieten him. She allowed him to be frustrated with a situation that was clearly frustrating.
And when the couple were finally allowed a day off, a week after the Queen died, they went to separate estates. Many spouses wouldn’t have been able to cope with that, would have felt rejected by their partner wanting to grieve alone, needing space.
Camilla was apparently happy to let Charles have it. What greater gift could any wife give than the freedom to allow their husband to just be exactly who he is? (Men who aren’t currently King, don’t get any ideas).
When Camilla’s new title was announced back in February, us Diana fans vowed that she would never be our Queen. We didn’t realise that this is irrelevant. Camilla is, and always has been, Charles’ Queen, and that’s all that really matters.
His Strength and Stay 2.0 – who hopefully has a trusty biro about her person at all times.