Queen Camilla "bring a sort of unstuffiness" to the royals, author Robert Hardman tells PEOPLE
Robert Hardman, author of The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy, tells PEOPLE that Queen Camilla "knows the sort of boundaries" that King Charles maintains.
"She wouldn't want to be getting into the King's space with his grandchildren," he says. "She’s not going to push herself. She's still very keen to maintain. She's still got her own family. That’s very important to her, and she appreciates how important it is for him."
Hardman says that King Charles, 75, is a "doting grandfather" to Prince William and Kate Middleton's three children: Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5. In fact, he is spending "a lot more time at Windsor," the Prince and Princess of Wales' home base, "than anyone expected."
"Normally, he's often there on a Thursday and a Friday. Obviously, the Waleses are within walking distance of the castle," Hardman says. "He's never really had that sort of proximity to the younger family. Now, there's more overlap."
King Charles' bond with Prince Louis was displayed at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022, when Louis popped on his grandfather's lap during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant. The King greeted Princess Charlotte with a warm embrace at a coronation practice, as seen in the recent BBC documentary, and Prince George acted as a Page of Honor to the monarch during the crowning ceremony.
Meanwhile, Queen Camilla, 76, is also a grandmother of five from her two children, Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes (née Parker Bowles). Tom shares daughter Lola Parker Bowles and son Freddy Parker Bowles with his ex-wife Sara Buys. Laura shares daughter Eliza Lopes and twin sons Gus and Louis Lopes with her husband Harry Lopes.
Queen Camilla's three grandsons stepped into the royal spotlight when they served as her Pages of Honor at the coronation in May.
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Hardman says that Queen Camilla "does bring a sort of unstuffiness" to the royal family.
"She can laugh when there are either adverse headlines or there's some crisis or something. She's just an upbeat person," he says. "I could see her in a real crisis, I think she'd be a great asset."
Indeed, as Charles prepares for his upcoming surgery to treat an enlarged prostate, Camilla is by his side.
She shared an update on her husband during an official outing after the palace announced that the King would have a “corrective procedure” for the benign condition next week.
"He's fine, thank you very much. Looking forward to getting back to work," the Queen told a well-wisher.
Comparing her to Queen Elizabeth's husband of 73 years Prince Philip, Hardman adds, "There in the sense of someone who is absolutely central to the story, but who is entirely comfortable with being — not quite second fiddle, but there are areas where he's unquestionably in charge but there are other areas where she can help, or take some of the load."
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