Amid the glamorous outfits, toasts and heartfelt speeches, tensions were running high thanks to a dramatic couple of weeks which saw Charles and Camilla fall out of favour with the British public and three of Meghan’s royal staff sensationally quit their jobs.
“Behind closed doors, Charles’ birthday soiree was an absolute nightmare – you could cut the tension with a knife,” a palace source reveals.
“For the cameras it was all smiles and happiness, but behind the scenes it was a very different story.”
In front of guests – including the Earl of Snowdon, Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg, Lady Helen Taylor and Santa Montefiore, Zara and Mike Tindall, Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – the Queen made a touching toast to her eldest son on his milestone birthday.
“…Over his 70 years, Philip and I have seen Charles become a champion of conservation and the arts, a great charitable leader – a dedicated and respected heir to the throne to stand comparison with any in history – and a wonderful father,” she said.
“Most of all, sustained by his wife Camilla, he is his own man, passionate and creative. So this toast is to wish a happy birthday to my son, in every respect a Duchy Original. To you, Charles. To the Prince of Wales.”
However, despite her heartfelt declaration to the “respected heir”, Charles and Camilla’s prospects as future King and Queen of England were sensationally savaged by the British public as a popularity poll saw the Duchess of Cornwall favoured by just 29 per cent of the public and Charles at 48 per cent, putting them behind Prince Harry, the Queen, Prince William, Kate, Meghan and even Prince Philip.
As a result, palace insiders report that a disgruntled Camilla was in a foul mood and went out of her way to be difficult.
“Camilla was causing trouble left, right and centre, complaining that there wasn’t enough food, the drinks were warm – just the usual ‘Camilla being difficult’ type of scenarios,” spills the source.
“There were also her usual jabs towards the younger royals, including Meghan and Kate. However, it was her anger towards who was and wasn’t invited that she was most vocal about – and it was excruciatingly embarrassing to listen to. She felt she should have had more of her English society friends there, she wanted it to be more about her. She didn’t like that there were so many dignitaries there.”
But the guest who really got her riled up was Princess Mary.
“She’s long been jealous of the Danish princess and of the friendship Mary has with Charles and she didn’t hold back on her thoughts during the night either.”
Another sore point during the evening was the recent revelation three of Harry and Meghan’s staff have quit in the past six months.
Meghan’s personal assistant Melissa is understood to be the latest to quit, amid whispers the pair’s private secretary Samantha Cohen is also preparing her exit – news that took the shine off the couple’s recent baby news.
“Despite it being painted as a shock move, she was actually asked to leave after it was suspected she was secretly spying on the couple in exchange for a six-figure publishing deal to reveal the ins and outs of royal life,” spills a source.
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