Why Prince William’s Kids Don’t Call Camilla Parker Bowles Their Step-Grandma

Extended and/or blended families are complicated, and it seems the Windsors have decided that clear boundaries will help theirs. According to a new book about Queen Camilla (who gets coronated in May, wowie zowie), Prince William’s three children, George, Charlotte and Louis, see her not as any kind of grandmother but as their grandfather’s wife. And that’s just fine by her.

Camilla Parker-Bowles has been in William and Harry’s lives for some time but only married Charles III in 2005, when the kids were 23 and 20, respectively. According to Angela Levin, the author of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall: From Outcast to Queen Consort, William wants to make sure the new queen doesn’t fill the role that should have belonged to his late mother, Princess Diana.

“William has made it clear that Camilla is the wife of his father, but not a step-grandmother to his children,” Levin explains, according to InStyle. The three kids have been brought up to think they have “two grandfathers but only one grandmother.”

Queen Elizabeth II and her heirs apparent (and their spouses) arrive for a drinks reception during the G7 Summit in June of 2021 in Cornwall, England.

WPA Pool/Getty Images

To her credit, Parker-Bowles has never tried to fill Diana’s shoes. “She tried to be encouraging rather than influential” in the family, according to Levin. Besides, Kate Middleton’s parents are reportedly pretty involved in their grandkids’ lives, and Camilla has five grandkids of her own from her marriage to Andrew Parker-Bowles.

In the US, obviously, Queen Camilla and the rest of the royals are less a presence in the lives of Archie and Lilibet. But Harry and Meghan are also taking steps to ensure the late Diana is still alive in memory. In May 2021, Prince Harry revealed that his son Archie had already said “Grandma Diana.” 

“I got a photo of her in his nursery, and it was one of the first words that he said—apart from mama, papa—it was then grandma. Grandma Diana,” said Harry. “It’s the sweetest thing, but at the same time, it makes me really sad because she should be here.”

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