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Queen Elizabeth’s royal family: King Charles, Camilla carry monarchy amid drama one year after her death

It’s been a year since Queen Elizabeth II died, and her family is still following her mantra of “keep calm and carry on.”

Britain’s longest-reigning monarch died Sept. 8, 2022, at Balmoral, her beloved Scottish estate. She was 96.

Her eldest son, King Charles III, and his wife Queen Camilla were crowned May 6 at Westminster Abbey.

True Royalty TV co-founder Nick Bullen told Fox News Digital the royals have turned to close friends and confidants as drama continues to rock Buckingham Palace.


a split side-by-side photo of Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles looking at Queen Camilla

Queen Elizabeth II (left) died Sept. 8, 2022, at age 96. King Charles III and Queen Camilla were crowned in May. (Getty Images)

Months after the queen’s death, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle released their Netflix docuseries, which detailed their struggles with royal life. Harry’s memoir, “Spare” was also published in January of this year. 


Prince Andrew, the disgraced Duke of York, was recently the subject of a docuseries that explored his friendship with late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

A close-up of Prince Andrew wearing royal regalia

Prince Andrew (pictured) was the subject of an A&E docuseries, “Secrets of Prince Andrew,” that detailed his friendship with late American financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. (Karwai Tang/WireImage)

“I know that they’ve surrounded themselves by close friends,” Bullen said of Charles and Camilla. “They are supported by friends and family.

“You’ve seen that Annabel Elliot, Camilla’s sister, is with her a lot. And I think that family support, the old friends’ support, has been very good for both of them. The Prince and Princess of Wales have been an incredible support to them. The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh have been a strong support and, of course, the Princess Royal.”

Annabel Elliot and her sister Camilla wearing matching straw hats with a green ribbon

Annabel Elliot (left) has quietly supported her sister Camilla (right) over the years. (Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Bullen is an award-winning documentarian who has been producing programs about the British royal family for 20 years. He has also worked closely with the king, 74, for about a decade. Bullen’s streaming platform is offering “The Queen Elizabeth Collection,” which he said shares “a really interesting blueprint for how Charles and Camilla have launched their first year.”

“I think they have really learned a lot of lessons from the Queen and [Prince Philip] in how to be a monarch and how to be a consort,” Bullen explained. “I think the king and queen have done a brilliant job over the last 12 months. There’s a real homage to not only the king’s mother but his father.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip waving to the crown in royal formal wear

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on the day of their coronation, Buckingham Palace, 1953. (The Print Collector/Getty Images)

“I think the royal family have been very much business as usual over the last 12 months,” Bullen added. “They’ve obviously had these big key moments like [the queen’s] funeral, the coronation. But if you look at the programming of events … all of those traditional visits have stayed in place. So, it’s very much business as usual. And I think you’re seeing a soft evolution in the way the royal family operates.”


A close-up of King Charles and Queen Camilla waving and wearing their crowns

King Charles III and Queen Camilla appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the coronation May 6, 2023, in London.  (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Over the years, the public has slowly warmed up to Camilla, a figure once reviled as the “other woman” and considered a huge liability to the monarchy. The 76-year-old, who had an affair with the king while he was still married to the late Princess Diana, became known as the queen.

Queen Camilla being crowned

Queen Camilla is crowned by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby during her coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey May 6, 2023, in London.  (Richard Pohle/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Her image makeover hit a snag when Harry painted her as a schemer who played “the long game,” with a campaign aimed at “marriage and eventually the crown.” In both “Spare” and interviews promoting the book, Harry, 38, accused his stepmother of trading private information about him and others to the media to forge friendly relationships with journalists and improve her reputation.

Harry said he and his older brother, Prince William, had urged their father not to marry Camilla, but both reluctantly accepted her into their lives.

A close-up of Prince William and Prince Harry looking somber

In “Spare,” Prince Harry (right) wrote that he and Prince William (left) urged their father not to marry Camilla. (Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Camilla’s son, Tom Parker Bowles, hit back, saying, “I don’t care what anyone says. This wasn’t any sort of end game. She married the person she loved, and this is what happened.”

Camilla has remained silent. She rarely speaks about her private life. Instead, she has focused her energy on her causes, including promoting children’s literacy and animal welfare and speaking out about domestic sexual abuse and gender-based violence.

A close-up of King Charles and Queen Camilla looking serious wearing velvet robes

King Charles III and Queen Camilla attend the national service of thanksgiving July 5, 2023, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Getty images)

“[This is a] woman who never thought she was going to be queen,” said Bullen. “And at a time when most people are sitting down relaxing and retiring, she’s taken on the busiest job of her life with cameras focused on her all the time. But I think they’ve done the job brilliantly.”


A close-up of King Charles wearing a beige suit and Queen Camilla wearing a green dress and a matching hat

King Charles and Queen Camilla are in Balmoral. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Bullen noted that the king and queen have also received support from other royals who have stepped up into their roles. Andrew stepped back as a senior royal in 2019, followed by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2020. Harry and his wife, 42, live in California with their two young children.

A close-up of the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh wearing royal formal wear while standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh (Colonel of the London Guards) and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, watch an RAF flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour June 17, 2023, in London.  (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh have taken on a lot more and are becoming much more high profile,” Bullen said of the king’s brother, Prince Edward, and his wife Sophie. “People are receiving them very well.”

The king and queen are currently at Balmoral Castle, where Queen Elizabeth spent her final weeks. It was a tradition for the late monarch to spend her late summers there. Buckingham Palace shared that the couple will spend the first anniversary of the queen’s death in private reflection, something the late monarch used to do in remembering her father King George. The Prince and Princess of Wales are expected to lead public tributes.

A close-up of a yellow sign that reads not my king

An anti-monarchy protestor holds a placard saying, “Not my King,” on The Royal Mile ahead of a procession in Edinburgh July 5, 2023. (Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images)

With Charles and Camilla ascending to the throne upon the queen’s death, many royal critics have questioned whether a monarchy is still relevant. A source recently claimed to the U.K.’s Mirror that Charles “overruled” William by forcing the rest of “The Firm” to welcome back Andrew at Balmoral. Still, the insider claimed the king has “absolutely no desire to be seen with the duke in public.”

Bullen said that no matter the latest scandal, the king and queen will continue to prioritize their roles in ensuring the monarchy remains alive.

King Charles wearing a formal suit with medals sitting next to a crown

When it comes to the British royal family, the crown always comes first, said True Royalty TV co-founder Nick Bullen. (Ben Stansall/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“Charles and Camilla understand duty and loyalty – it’s [the] crown first,” he said. “Everything is about the crown. The present wearers of the crown are merely the custodians, and they know it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Stephanie Nolasco covers entertainment at


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