Camilla’s Country Life and 75th milestone

Wednesday: Camilla’s Country Life - (ITV, 9pm)
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On July 17, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, turns 75. Meanwhile, the magazine Country Life is celebrating its 125th anniversary.

So, how better to celebrate both milestones than by asking the Duchess to act as guest editor for a special edition and getting the cameras to follow how she gets on?

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Well, perhaps there would have been a time when the Duchess could have been forgiven for wanting to avoid the press altogether, even a magazine that shared her passion for the countryside. Many people in Britain first became aware of Camilla Parker Bowles in the early 1990s, when her relationship with Prince Charles was splashed across the papers – and it’s safe to say that the coverage was not generally favourable.

Camilla, Duchess of CornwallCamilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

Since their marriage in 2005, the public have begun to see her in a new light. Yet many of us still don’t know much about the Duchess of Cornwall beyond what we may have picked up from the tabloids or from watching Netflix’s hit drama The Crown.

This documentary should put that right and give us a chance to get to know the real woman. According to Jo Clinton-Davis, ITV Controller of Factual: “This film presents a unique opportunity to gain an insight into The Duchess of Cornwall, at close quarters, immersed within her personal passions and engaged with some of those closest to her.”

As she’s guest editing Country Life, it’s perhaps not surprising that the documentary will find Her Royal Highness talking about her love of the British countryside and reflecting on some of the people and places that have helped to shape her. To put the edition together, she’s called in some guest writers to help cover the subjects that are close to her heart. So, they’ll be meeting the people who run the charities and advocate for the causes that she cares deeply about.

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There should be plenty to choose from. Her Royal Highness is a patron of numerous charities and has helped to draw attention to a wide variety of issues, ranging from support for the elderly and victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse to promoting literacy and the arts.

She’ll also be helping to turn the spotlight on some countryside champions. Of course, this isn’t just a significant year for both the Duchess of Cornwall and Country Life – it’s also been a big one for the Royal Family as whole.

In June, the nation came together to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, but while we celebrated her reign, thoughts also turned to the future of the monarchy.

The Duchess of Cornwall is set to be a big a part of that future. In a message marking the 70th anniversary of her reign, the Queen said it was her ‘sincere wish’ that Camilla would be known as Queen Consort when Prince Charles becomes King. As a result, she has numerous royal duties – and as this documentary reveals, they don’t stop, even when she has a magazine to edit.

So, expect celebrity cameos and an insight into her daily life, as well as her experiences of being on the other side of the press coverage.