Camilla's biggest royal gaffes

Holly Hales
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Camilla got cosy with a koala during a visit Down Under in 2015. Photo: Getty

Since officially becoming a royal more than a decade ago, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has transformed into an integral part of the family’s public image.

As the wife of the heir, Prince Charles, the 72-year-old is among The Firm’s most senior members, but her journey towards the throne hasn’t been without a bump or two along the way.

From winking her way into the hearts of Trump’s critics, to getting caught giggling during the most official of duties, Camilla has regularly proved that royals are just (very rich) regular people, and things can and will go wrong when you have cameras shoved in your face for long enough.

Here, Yahoo Lifestyle celebrates the duchess’ birthday by having a chuckle at some of her most human moments as she continues to prepare for her biggest role yet.

Winking away Donald Trump

Camilla stole headlines earlier this year for winking, apparently at her staff, before heading to tea with the Trumps. Photo: ITV

Royals on duty are often hallmarked by strict rules and protocol, due to the notion they’re present as representations of the crown.

But when US president Donald Trump paid his inaugural state visit to the UK last month, Camilla was unafraid to stray from stringencies of her role as a senior royal.

This was most evident in a now-viral moment which saw the duchess offer a wink to her staff before heading off to have tea with Trump and his wife Melania.

The brief footage showed the Duchess of Cornwall winking at what is thought to be her protection officers as the foursome exit the room.

It was quickly picked up by royal watchers, which left many trying to figure out what exactly Camilla was trying to communicate.

And while the moment was perhaps the only indication towards how the royals felt about the president coming to stay, it actually gained the duchess a hoard of new fans who resonated with her humour.

“Camilla’s wink is probably the best thing about this visit so far,” wrote one royal watcher.

“Camilla knows what's up,” quipped another.

Brooch blunder

Camilla wore the Pearl of the Dee Brooch upside down to her first ever royal engagement to the Monaltrie Park playground in Scotland in 2005. Photo: Getty

Settling in as a new member of the very public royal family is famously no easy feat.

Camilla realised this early on in the weeks following up to her royal wedding to Charles when she stepped out wearing a family heirloom - upside down.

The brooch blunder involved a jewel-encrusted accessory originally gifted to the Queen Mother on her 100th birthday in 2000, which the palace said was ‘lent to the duchess rather than given’.

However, its maiden wear in the couple’s engagement photos and later at Camilla’s first ever royal outing was tainted with a little embarrassment by the piece’s designer.

“She is wearing it upside down," Rachel Jeffrey said at the time. "I designed it to wear the other way up."

Commonwealth Games gaffe

Hosting the Commonwealth Games is an honour vied for by cities around the globe for its ability to bring together some of the world’s best athletes.

But when the coveted competition came to the Gold Coast in 2018, Camilla caused controversy when she was caught on camera flicking through a programd during its opening ceremony.

While her husband gave a speech crediting the Games’ ability to connect ‘people of different backgrounds and nationalities’, the duchess was caught looking less than interested.

In a poorly-timed camera pan, Camilla was seen with her head down rather than watching the festivities.

The move sparked divide among viewers, with some calling the behaviour ‘disgraceful’.

Camilla who is not even trying to look interested,” wrote one social media user.

Posing with her favourite pollie

Camilla posed with several joke Trump heads at a charity event in 2017. Photo: Getty

Surprisingly, Camilla’s now-famous wink wasn’t the first time she came head to head with Donald Trump - literally.

In late 2017, almost one year into his presidency, the duchess attended a charity day in London where she became caught up in a pretty major political gaffe.

For reasons unknown, Camilla chose to pose alongside charity representatives dressed in unflattering Trump-esque masks.

At the time, he and the UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May were embroiled, unsurprisingly, in an online war of words leaving some worried the political misstep cause a crisis between the two famously-close nations.

We’re sure it wasn’t this photo that impacted the relationship.

Laughing at throat singing

Charles and Camilla were caught giggling while watching two Indigenous women perform in Canada. Photo: YouTube

Charles and Camilla’s official visit to Canada two years ago was intended to focus on celebrating the country’s 150-year anniversary.

Instead, the pair grabbed headlines for breaking into a fit of giggles while watching two Indigenous women perform a traditional ‘throat singing’ duet in the remote Arctic capital of Iqaluit.

And while each performance only lasted three minutes, it seemed Camilla and Charles couldn’t hold it together for the duration of the sing-off.

A clip of the duchess showed her attempting to cover her constant giggling with a well-placed hand, but the move didn’t stop the laughter making headlines.

However, while the royal duo obviously found humour in the performance, others thought their response was downright offensive.

“Uneducated and disrespectful royal idiots,” wrote one disgruntled tweeter.

“Are we paying for Charles and Camilla to travel to Canada? Also they are rude enough to laugh at a folk singing performance. Poor.”

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