Cheers for Camilla

Will Prince Charles' tweedy, toothy companion ever escape Princess Diana's shadow?

Published November 1, 2005 9:40PM (EST)

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles landed at New York's JFK Airport today, embarking on the first leg of an eight-day American tour that will take them to the former World Trade Center site, as well as Washington, New Orleans and San Francisco. But while the tour marks the pair's first trip abroad since their April wedding, it seems most of America has already dubbed the visit a "royal bore," reports USA Today.

Why the snub? The not-so-sub subtext of most media reports seems to be that toothy, tweedy Camilla of Corwall is no match for her formal rival, the late Princess Diana.

An ABC News poll revealed that "59 percent of respondents [said] they were 'not at all interested' in the [royal] visit. Only 19 percent said they would like to meet Charles and Camilla in person, compared to 31 percent who, in 1985, said they would like to meet Charles and Diana."

Of course, it makes sense, really. I mean, so Camilla's a tough broad who waited two decades for the guy she loved and then helped him stand up to his overbearing mother. Big deal. Diana danced at the White House with John Travolta! What could possibly beat that?

Camilla's enlisted the help of a team of stylists and dental hygienists to help her earn some admirers of her own. But maybe all America needs is a new frame of reference.

As Andrea Peyser says so well in today's New York Post:

With Camilla, "Buckingham Palace has traded in its resident high drama, depression and bulimia for laugh lines, liver spots and middle-age spread ... The result's a woman comfortable in her own skin. So welcome to America, Charles and Camilla. You've earned a pleasant trip."

By Sarah Karnasiewicz

Sarah Karnasiewicz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Until recently, she was senior editor at Saveur magazine; prior to that she was deputy Life editor at Salon. She has contributed to the New York Times, the New York Observer and Rolling Stone, among other publications. For more of her work, visit and Signs and Wonders.

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