Yesterday, November 18, the Duchess of Corwall went to Bath to switch on the traditional Christmas tree lights. Illuminating city high streets for the holiday season is a British tradition that brightens up otherwise gray days and is usually performed with some form of pageantry. However, not all present were pleased with the choice.
Sarah Bevan of Bath Council criticizes choice of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall for lights
Sarah Bevan, chairman of Bath City Council, commented that she did not think the Duchess of Cornwall was a good choice for the occasion. Given the current economic situation, she said, she felt that “local talent” might have been more appropriate.
The organizers said that the Duchess, who was not paid, helped raise awareness of Bath and brought in more tourists and, therefore, shoppers. Highgrove, Prince Charles’ Gloucester estate, has a shop in Bath and the Duchess had visited the store earlier to chat with staff.
Ms. Bevan, who made two speeches herself, made the comments to BBC Bristol. Clarence House made no comment and Ian Bell, a director of the Future Bath Plus city development group, noted that Councillor Bevan was entitled to her opinion. Another Council member, Francine Haeberling, said that the Duchess had strong links to the area and said that the views of the individual were not shared by the Council.
Duchess switches on Bath’s Christmas lights without a hitch
Despite her worries at working “this incredibly complicated thing,” the Duchess switched on the lights without incident, setting off fireworks with the press of a switch. She was joined on stage by Father Christmas and Olympic Medalist Amy Williams. In her speech, she told of her love of the city and said that it had the best shopping in this part of the world.
After the lighting, the Duchess of Cornwall also attended two receptions, the first for charity representatives at the Guildhall and the second for local dignitaries and Council members at the Roman Baths.
Prince Charles heard saying that his Duchess may become Queen
If Prince Charles has his way, it seems that the Duchess of Cornwall might become even more high-profile. In an interview that was broadcast on ABC TV tonigh, Prince Charles said there was a possibility Camilla would assume the title of Queen, instead of the previously agreed-upon Princess Consort.
At the time of their wedding in 2005, anti-Camilla feeling was still very strong in the United Kingdom. Now, however, the Duchess’ humor and down-to-earth style has endeared her to the public and she may well be the next Queen.
In a perhaps-telling insight into the Prince’s mindset, he also ceded that he might not still be alive when the Queen cedes her throne. Royal spokespersons have since scrambled to say that the Prince was caught off-guard by the question, and that the ultimate decision would be made by the government.
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