London: Prince Charles and Camilla are leading separate lives as she is struggling to cope with the pressures of being a royal, it has been revealed.
The Duchess of Cornwall regularly leaves her husband and escapes to her old country house in the Cotswolds, where she is free from the stuffy red carpet world, Charles’ demanding ways and being on show at public events.
Camilla revealed her secret getaways to her hairdresser confidante Jo Hansford, who has been with her for 20 years.
Jo has lifted the lid on the royal marriage as the couple approach their seventh wedding anniversary in April.
It has also been revealed that the Palace officials are “concerned” over Camilla’s disappearing acts, which take place nearly every ten days.
Additionally, an “irritated” Charles, 63, has spoken to his 64-year-old wife about the time they are spending apart.
The Duchess spends hours gardening and with her grandchildren at Ray Mill House in Wiltshire, which she bought before their marriage.
“Ray Mill House is her escape. She likes to be in her own home,” the Daily Star quoted Jo, whose A-lister clients include Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow as saying.
“With that kind of life how can you ever be a normal person? He was born into it, she wasn’t, she came into it much later in life.”
“It has been harder for her than it will be for Kate, because Kate is that much younger.”
“It is not like they are 20 and you think, why are you doing that, what has gone wrong with the relationship? It’s sensible.”
“Why would he want to take on all her family, then feel uncomfortable being in another situation?”
“That escape is fantastic from her point of view.”
“Also it is somewhere her children can go to be with the grandchildren and all feel comfortable together and chill out.”
“It’s a good idea. You both have your little bit of independence. They are not teenagers, are they?”
“I think it just works for both of the families. She likes to be in her own home, tend the garden, have her own grandchildren there and not have to think about anything running amok,” Jo said.
Out of more than 80 engagements over the last five months, Charles and Camilla have only carried out nine together.
A royal aide said: “This is causing concern about the future. She goes off at least once a week or every ten days to escape.”
“Charles is worried and irritated and has spoken to her.”
“But she thinks he is being unfair and can’t understand all the fuss.”
“He is used to getting his own way but Camilla feels that now, within reason, she is going to lead her own life.”
“At the moment he is prepared to put up with it but there will come a time when he won’t.”
“They are not talking about divorce, they are mature people. This is how they make their marriage work.”
Camilla poured out the intimate details of her life during her regular 450-pound two-hour long hair colouring appointments at Jo’s exclusive salon in London’s Mayfair.
Jo revealed Camilla also loves travelling to Scotland to get away from the demands of royal life and having to look tip-top all the time.
“She likes being in Scotland, it’s sanctuary, no cameras and no dressing up. She loves it up there,” Jo said.
A spokesman for Charles and Camilla also commented on the situation.
“She has always had a home at Ray Mill where she spends time with her family,” the spokesman said.
“They are not leading separate lives, they do joint engagements and individual engagements to maximise the impact the royals have,” he said.