Inside Queen Camilla's relationship with her little sister
Camilla’s most loyal supporter! Queen’s sister Annabel Elliot has been her constant companion – from the tumultuous pre-marriage years with Charles to helping her through the Coronation
- Queen Camilla and her little sister were both pictured at Wimbledon yesterday
- READ MORE: Queen Camilla meets the Queen of Baking! Her Majesty is joined in the Royal Box by Mary Berry
Since the Queen was coronated back in May, there has been one unexpected person who has been by her side every step of the way.
Camilla’s sister Annabel Elliot, 74, has joined her at a number of events, including sitting alongside her in the Royal Box at Wimbledon yesterday.
The pair looked animated as they enjoyed an enthralling match between Ons Jabeur and Elena Rybakina, leaning into each other to chat as they kept their eyes on the court.
And last month, Camilla and Charles enjoyed their first Royal Ascot since being crowned – and were joined by a grinning Annabel, amid other family members.
It is perhaps not surprising that the duo are being spotted together more, with Camilla proving to be a pillar of support for the recently widowed Annabel.
Annabel Elliot and the Queen appeared animated as they enjoyed an enthralling match between Ons Jabeur and Elena Rybakina
Here, FEMAIL looks at the history of closeness shared by the siblings…
OPPOSITES IN THEIR YOUTH
Annabel – an interior designer and antiques dealer – has been described as her sister’s quieter counterpart.
The pair previously recalled spending their childhood rolling down hills, catching butterflies and dressing correctly for their strict grandmother while staying at their grandparents’ Hampshire home.
As young women, Camilla loved the debutante circuit while Annabel was rather more serious and preferred a quieter life — ‘not the kind of girl to throw her knickers on the table’, as it has been put.
Annabel has said that Camilla, who was a debutante a year ahead of her, ‘was a great success, but I certainly wasn’t. I probably wasn’t quite as confident as her.’
At the same time, Annabel was seen as the more intelligent sister with ‘taste’, who eschewed the London party scene. Instead, she went to Florence to study art.
One friend asserted that Annabel, ‘with her style and good taste, is the one who should have been a duchess’.
‘She’d have been perfect,’ said the friend, ‘but would never want to change places. As for Camilla, she pulls it off, in her own way.’
In 1972, Annabel married her first real boyfriend at 23 – Simon Elliot, and in 1973 Camilla, aged 25, married her first husband – dashing Army officer Andrew Parker Bowles.
Annabel and her husband, who died in March aged 82, inhabited a country house in the Dorset village of Stourpaine where Charles and Camilla would meet for discreet weekends as secret lovers.
The pair have previously recalled spending their childhood rolling down hills, catching butterflies and dressing correctly for their strict grandmother. Pictured as children
As young women, Camilla loved the debutante circuit while Annabel was rather more serious and preferred a quieter life. Pictured as children
The then Camilla Parker Bowles with her sister and brother-in-law Simon Elliot at the Westminster Boating Base for Henry Dent-Brocklehurst’s 30th birthday party
STANDING BY HER SISTER
Annabel continued to support her sister throughout the difficulties of the relationship, driving Camilla away and out of public view when John Major announced in the Commons the separation of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1992.
Annabel’s 40th birthday party was where Diana confronted Camilla over her relationship with Charles.
It was her 50th birthday celebrations at the Ritz where Camilla came out as Charles’ partner, using the occasion to pose for their first public pictures together on the hotel steps.
Charles and Camilla have also been advocates of Annabel’s interior design business, reportedly paying her £1.5million for goods and design services since the pair married in 2005.
Annabel was paid for refurbishing the Duchy’s holiday cottages in Cornwall, the Scilly Isles and Wales as well as the Duchy’s office in Restormel, Cornwall, and Penlyne Nursery, also in Cornwall.
She was also employed to oversee a huge interior design commission from the Duchy of Cornwall — a 20-bedroom pub in the centre of Dorset model village Poundbury.
The Duchy admitted that the contract for the work was not put out to tender.
But a spokeswoman said that Elliot understood the Duchy’s commitment to environmental sustainability and to sympathetic design which is in-keeping with the local area.
When the pair were younger, Annabel was seen as the sister with ‘taste’, who eschewed the London party scene and went to Florence to study art . They are pictured together in 2016
Camilla’s younger sister, interior designer and antique dealer Annabel Elliot, has supported the Queen Consort throughout the difficulties of her relationship with Charles. Pictured in 2014
SUPPORTIVE FAMILY DURING GRIEF
In March this year, Charles and Camilla were among guests who flocked to the streets of Dorset to pay their respects to Camilla’s brother-in-law Simon Elliot.
The businessman was married to the royal’s younger sister Annabel for over 50 years and passed away at the age of 82.
The Queen was so close to her brother-in-law that she invited him and her sister Annabel to join her and Charles on their honeymoon in Scotland, Balmoral, after she wed the then Prince Charles in 2005.
The King and Queen frequently visited the couple in Stourpaine when they were dating.
Grieving friends and family of the late businessman were pictured arriving at the service at Holy Trinity Church in Stourpaine, Dorset earlier htis year.
Police sealed off all roads to the church during the service to allow Simon’s coffin to be driven through the small village.
Following the service, guests were seen making their way to the local pub The White Horse Inn.
Although Charles and Camilla were not pictured arriving at the funeral, they are understood to have attended the service in a show of support to his widow Annabel.
The church in Stourpaine is where funerals of the Queen’s brother, Mark Shand, and her father Major Bruce Shand, had previously been held.
Leading the mourners were Simon’s three children, former Conservative Party co-chairman Ben Elliot and his sisters, Alice and Catherine.
CAMILLA’S CORONATION COMPANIONS
Queen Camilla was joined by two elegant companions as she walked alongside her sister Annabel Elliot and close friend The Marchioness of Lansdowne during the historic Coronation ceremony earlier this year. Pictured left to right: Ralph Tollemache, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, Nicholas Barclay, Prince George, the Marchioness of Lansdowne, King Charles III, Queen Camilla, the Queen’s sister Annabel Elliot, the Queen’s grandson Freddy Parker Bowles, the Queen’s great-nephew Arthur Elliot, and the Queen’s grandsons Gus Lopes and Louis Lopes
The royal, 75, axed the centuries-old tradition of having ladies-in-waiting as part of her retinue last September – instead opting to have a smaller number of ‘Queen’s companions’
Fiona Clare created two long, ivory dresses for Her Majesty’s Companions, designed to complement each other whilst retaining individual touches in terms of the embroidery and choice of fabric
Queen Camilla was joined by two elegant companions as she walked alongside her sister Annabel and close friend The Marchioness of Lansdowne during the historic Coronation ceremony earlier this year.
The royal, 75, axed the centuries-old tradition of having ladies-in-waiting as part of her retinue last September – instead opting for a smaller number of ‘Queen’s companions’.
It’s evident that both have an eye for fashion and aesthetics – having worked in interior design – as the two women struck the perfect chord between sophistication and glamour with their gowns.
Fiona Clare created two long, ivory dresses for Her Majesty’s Companions, designed to complement each other whilst retaining individual touches in terms of the embroidery and choice of fabric.
Silver edging features on The Marchioness’s, whilst Annabel’s has a standing collar and hand-embroidered detail.
The royal had her two confidantes by her side throughout in the festive ceremony.
ENJOYING SUMMER FESTIVITIES TOGETHER
Just yesterday Queen Camilla and her sister were joined by culinary royalty as both Her Majesty and Mary Berry attended the Royal Box at Wimbledon
Elsewhere, last month both were in attendance as Queen Camilla appeared on the edge of her seat while attending her first Royal Ascot since the Coronation. Annabel pictured with Princess Anne
The sisters have been pictured at two big socialite calendar events this summer so far.
Just yesterday Queen Camilla and her sister were joined by culinary royalty as both Her Majesty and Mary Berry attended the Royal Box at Wimbledon.
Dressed in Wimbledon whites, Camilla looked elegant in a knee-length dress with navy piping.
The royal finished the look with a stylish straw clutch bag and a cream shawl, clearly mindful of the changeable Wimbledon weather.
Meanwhile Mary, 88, who is cherished by amateur bakers up and down the country, opted for a summery turquoise dress with flowing sleeves.
Queen Camilla had a front row seat to the action on Centre Court within the Royal Box she sat next to Annabel.
And as Ons Jabeur took on Elena Rybakina in the women’s quarter finals, Her Majesty’s facial expressions suggested she was absolutely enthralled. Tunisia’s Jabeur beat Kazakhstan’s Rybakina in a bitterly fought match, and will sail through to the semi finals later this week.
Elsewhere, last month both were in attendance as Queen Camilla appeared on the edge of her seat while attending her first Royal Ascot since the Coronation.
The royal looked effortlessly elegant in cream coat dress, matching hat and gloves for her day at the Berkshire races.
Annabel Elliot and Sir Ben Elliot pictured on day one of Royal Ascot 2023. King Charles and Queen Camilla appeared in high spirits as they lovingly greeted members of their family at the event
The mother-of-two arrived in a horse-drawn carriage with her husband King Charles and their friends the Duke and Duchess of Wellington.
After warmly greeting other members of the Royal Family, the King and Queen made their way to the Royal box – where they had a prime view of the races.
As a life-long fan of horseracing, Camilla seemed particularly invested in what was unfolding on the tracks.
Grasping onto her binoculars, the Queen was seen grimacing as she watched from the sidelines.
King Charles and Queen Camilla appeared in high spirits as they lovingly greeted members of their family at the event.
The couple were joined by other members of the Royal Family – including Princess Anne, Zara and Mike Tindall, Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, and Camilla’s recently widowed sister Annabel.
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