Camilla, Queen Consort, may be adapting to a new title and an entirely different era before her after the late Queen Elizabeth II’s death earlier this month. But there’s one part of her former private life the 75-year-old is vowing to hold onto. That’s her private six-bedroom home in Gloucestershire which she bought after the divorce of her first husband Andrew Parker-Bowles. There are no plans for the property to be put onto the market, it has been reported.
The new Queen is said to absolutely cherish this home because of the relaxed times she has spent there with family and friends.
The Ray Mill setting itself has been labelled as a place where Camilla can truly breathe away from the pressures of Royal life, and has already provided that much-needed relief since the death of her mother-in-law two weeks ago.
In the time that has followed, there has been a 10-day national period of mourning – and the Royal Family is currently amid its own private period of reflection and mourning – lasting for an additional seven days.
While it may have been assumed the Queen Consort may have retreated to her quiet Wiltshire residence, it was reported earlier this week that King Charles III and his Queen Consort had flown to Edinburgh in Scotland where they may be staying at their Birkhall home on the Balmoral Estate.
The Queen Consort’s new role is to support her husband, King Charles III as he takes on a longer list of responsibilities as monarch. Despite Camilla’s change of title, she has been supporting her husband in his days as Prince for the best part of two decades.
But this does not mean the sudden shift in dynamic following the late Queen Elizabeth II’s death will not be hard to digest. Another reason why Her Majesty may be wanting to keep hold of her very own private residence.
One friend of the Queen spoke about Ray Mill and how much of an “informal” setting it is in comparison to the King and Queen Consort’s other residences.
The friend said: “If you consider that Highgrove is the most relaxed of the King’s residences, even there you are always surrounded by a team of private staff including a chef, a butler and police on every corner, so there is no true private time.
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“The King has grown up with that all of his life, so it’s not such a burden for him to exist in that observed world, but the Queen Consort has spent most of her life as a private citizen – so she understands the meaning of shutting your front door and having a place to yourself.
“Ray Mill is the only place where she can literally and metaphorically kick off her shoes and spend time with family and friends in a really informal setting. It’s an escape from royal life and it will be treasured even more greatly now.”
The Queen Consort’s Ray Mill property is only a short distance away from Highgrove, which is her home with King Charles III – but it’s not entirely shaded away from the thrust of the public eye. Highgrove has its garden open to the public on set days.
The Telegraph has also reported that in the event of her outliving the King, the Queen Consort will be able to return to Ray Mill without having to work out where she will live. It is also a property her own children will be able to inherit.
King Charles III now has a number of residences in his portfolio, from Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and Hillsborough Castle outside Belfast.
This ranges to royal residences including St James’s Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House, with Balmoral and Sandringham estates now under his name as the new monarch.
Queen Consort Camilla has owned Ray Mill since 1994, and lived there from 1996 to 2003, keeping it as a country base in later years.