Chris Jackson/Getty Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
As Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall prepares to turn 75 years old, she is opening up about being a grandparent and how she'll be celebrating her big day next month.
"You know the nice thing about being a grandmother is that you can spoil them occasionally, give them more of the things that their parents forbid them to have," she says mischievously during an interview with British Vogue. "The girls are beginning to get into clothes and make-up and, you know, it's rather frightening when you see them, coming out with pierced ears and a lot of new make-up and funny coloured hair and stuff," she says
Due to celebrate her milestone birthday on July 17, the royal wife who will one day be crowned Queen Consort next to Prince Charles, says she's always happy to learn from her grandchildren, of which she has five in total, from both her children with Andrew Parker Bowles; Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes. "We learn from very young people and they learn from us too. That's the way it's always been."
Jamie Hawksworth / British Vogue Camilla,Duchess of Cornwall in the July issue of British Vogue
Although she draws the line at competitive word games. "I do Wordle every day with my granddaughter. She'll text me to say, 'I've done it in three', and I say, 'Sorry, I've done it in two today.' It's very satisfactory when it tells you how brilliant you are," she says in the candid interview for which she was photographed at Clarence House, the London home she shares with Charles.
One thing she won't be taking advice from her grandchildren on? Ear piercing. "No, I'm not going to give it to myself as a 75th birthday present. [The grandchildren] will try to persuade me but nothing's going to pierce my ears." Instead, she says her birthday will be a low-key affair. "There won't be much celebration," she says. "I shall spend it with my family and a few friends."
Dave M. Benett/Getty Images Duchess of Cornwall with her two children Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes
As demonstrated at the recent Jubilee celebrations, the couple also enjoys spending time with Charles' grandchildren, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. On a side table among antiques and a bust of Winston Churchill are family portraits, including one of Charles with his arm around George in a family portrait (of all three heirs!) from 2020 and on top of the baby grand piano in the Garden Room (according to the writer) sits a framed photo of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their wedding day in 2018.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles and Prince Louis at the Platinum Jubilee
As to whether she pays much attention to the passing of time, Camilla is very matter-of-fact. "I mean, I'd be very happy to turn the clock back," she says, laughing. "When you get to any big number, whether it's 30, 50, 70, you think: "God, that's so old."
Dominic Lipinski-WPA Pool/Getty Images Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles
In a more serious moment of reflection, she notes: "You know, my mother died when she was 72, so I've out-lived my mother, which is quite strange."
As to whether there are any positives to reaching your mid-seventies? "Well, I think you can't do much more about yourself," she says with a sigh. "You've done what you can. I think you just accept that you are who you are. You get to be a 75-year-old."