King Charles III and Queen Camilla‘s romance is an “all-conquering love that’s left a lot of collateral damage,” Patrick Jephson told ET on Friday. Jephson, now a journalist, also served as Princess Diana’s private secretary in the 1980s and ’90s.

“The polls are fairly unequivocal at this point,” Jephson told ET’s Kevin Frazier. “I saw two just recently, one said 14 percent approved of [Camilla] being made queen and the other poll said 10 percent, so whichever way you look at it, a lot of people aren’t entirely happy with Camilla being called queen and there is a reason for that.”

Jephson explained that Camilla’s life in the royal spotlight continues to be tainted by its dramatic beginnings. “There’s been a hell of a semantic game that the palace has played,” he said, pointing to the ways that Camilla was, for years, labeled an “indispensable friend” to Charles when the public would later learn the two were having an affair during Charles’ marriage to Diana.

Jephson also pointed out the palace had at one time said Charles would never remarry, that Camilla would “never be called a princess,” and that “if he remarries, she will be called Duchess of Cornwall, if he becomes king, she’ll be called the Princess Consort.”

Of course, all these plans proved untrue — Camilla became the Queen Consort upon Queen Elizabeth II’s death, and the coronation’s invitation later indicated she will now use the title, “Queen Camilla.”

Jephson attributed the changes to Charles and Camilla’s “all-conquering love.”

“It’s an all-conquering love, and that leaves a lot of people uneasy, me included,” Jephson said, but added that Camilla “is not queen in the sense that Queen Elizabeth was queen, she’s not Queen Regnant, she’s Queen Consort, even though the king wants us to call her queen.”

As such, Jephson ceded that Camilla’s “job as Queen Consort is to support the king, plain and simple, and over the years, she has obviously shown she’s very good at that.”

Royal expert Katie Nicholl echoed Jephson’s points about Camilla’s unprecedented title changes. “If you look by at the 20 years or so ago, the idea that we would see Charles and Camilla married, Camilla 15 years later being crowned queen, was quite simply unthinkable,” Nicholl told ET. “Even when they got married in 2005, of course the very obvious question we were asking the palace is, ‘What will her title be when Charles becomes king?’ Well, for sure she would take the title of Princess Consort.’ Well, it’s not even Queen Consort anymore, which was the queen’s wish, and I know from some sources close to the king that this was always his intention. He was always going to have Queen Camilla.”

Nicholl added that Camilla has done her time in proving she’s able to support and love Charles. “He loves her, because she stood by him through thick and thin, because she makes him happier, better, I think a more accessible person, and I think he feels that she has been through so much. You have to remember those years in the ’90s were not easy years for her. She was reviled, she was hated in Britain…yet she stood by Charles through thick and thin. They are an amazing partnership.”


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