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Camila, wife of King Carlos III, has spent years in the shadows. Now, at 75, she will take her first international steps as queen consort during the state visit that the royal couple will make to Germany starting Wednesday.

Source: AFP

The first part of the royal trip, which was due to start on Sunday in France, was postponed due to violent protests in that country against the reform of the retirement system.

But, the second wife of the British king, with her graying blond hair, his gravelly voice and quiet smile, is used to stoically enduring crisisafter being demonized for years by the shipwreck of the marriage of the then Prince Charles with the Princess Diana.

In the United Kingdom, its popularity has not skyrocketed48% according to YouGov in March, despite the unwavering devotion she has shown to her husband and the Crown, and her many charitable activities.

“It has struggled to remain in the background in recent decades (…) it is not very well known,” admits the former British ambassador to France Peter Ricketts. He has “strong convictions, he is a very warm person,” he says. “She always one step behind her husband,” he adds.

She regularly accompanies him on his travels, calming him down like when the new king lost his temper on camera for a leaky fountain pen.

She will be crowned with Carlos III on May 6 at Westminster Abbey.

It is also President or patron of more than 90 charities.

For years, she has defended the victims of rape and sexual assault, a cause that she hopes to “defend for the rest of her life.”

His other interests are health, arts, literature and horsesthe latter hobby that he shared with the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Two years ago he also created a reading circle on Instagram, “The Reading Room”.

She shows special interest in some causes, such as the Royal Osteoporosis Society, of which she became president in 2001. Her mother and grandmother died of this bone disease.

– Rottweiler –

It took a lot of time and effort for Camila, known as Duchess of Cornwall since her marriage to Carlos in 2005, gaining acceptance. Elizabeth II, reluctant, did not attend her civil wedding in Windsor.

Princess Diana, who had immediately realized that Camila was the great love in Carlos’ life, nicknamed her “Rottweiler“, a nickname that accompanied her for years.

Divorced in 1995 from Andrew Parker-Bowles, mother of two older children and grandmother of five teenagers, Camila gradually established herself in the hearts of the British.

His sense of duty, his simplicity and his humor overcame some reluctance against this upper middle class womandaughter of an officer turned wine business.

A few months before his death, Elizabeth II expressed her “sincere desire” to be known as “queen consort” when Carlos acceded to the throne, ending years of discussions on the subject.

Camila, whose maiden name was Shand, met Prince Charles in 1971. After a brief romance, they both ended up marrying other people, she with Parker Bowles in 1973, he with Diana in 1981.

They resumed their romance when Carlos was still married to Diana.

Many people recognize the positive impact she has had on her husband, with whom she shares a deep interest in ecology.

“People realize that Camila is perfect for Carlos and that they work wonderfully well as a team,” says royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams.

“They are the same age, the same sense of humor and the same friends. She is everything that Diana was not“he tells AFP. “She supports him in her way so peaceful“.

Being in the spotlight of the media all the time “is not easy,” Camila acknowledged last year in an unusual interview with Vogue magazine. “No one likes to be watched and criticized all the time… but I think I got over it in the end (…). You have to keep living.”

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