SIMPLE PLEASURES

Camilla Parker Bowles Has Discovered the Wonders of Houseparty

The 72-year-old is staying social while keeping her distance from Prince Charles, who has the coronavirus.


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No royal seems to have as much fun as Camilla Parker Bowles, so it’s no surprise that the 72-year-old is managing to keep her spirits up amidst the current pandemic. And that’s quite an accomplishment: Up until just two weeks ago, Camilla was set to be an international tour with her husband, Prince Charles—an activity at which they particularly excel. Instead, Camilla is currently holed up in the Scottish highlands, coping with the fact that Charles has the coronavirus.

Camilla tested negative, and has been careful to keep her distance from Charles while they both take refuge in Birkhall, their Balmoral estate. And yet, amidst isolation, Camilla is staying social. In some corner of Birkhall—hopefully far away from Charles—the Duchess of Cornwall discovered the wonders of video chat.

Like seemingly everyone in your contacts, Camilla primarily uses Houseparty, a group video chat app that’s soared in popularity as the world endeavors to social distance. “It’s amazing,” Camilla apparently told a friend. “I just press a button and all my family pop up!”

Why Can’t All Royals Be More Like Camilla Parker Bowles?

Camilla Parker Bowles wielding a knife in front of Prince Charles during a visit to Seppeltsfield Winery in Barossa Valley, Australia, November 2015.

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Camilla Parker Bowles double-fisting ice cream during a visit to the village market in Droromore, Northern Ireland, May 2017.

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Camilla Parker Bowles hanging out with a crew of “Donald Trumps” at the ICAP’s annual charity day in London, December 2017.

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Camilla Parker Bowles trying some of her 61st birthday cake during her visit to the “Dig for Victory” organic allotment in St James’s Park in London, July 2008.

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Camilla Parker Bowles holding a koala named Matilda with Prince Charles during their Diamond Jubilee Tour of Papua New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand, in Adelaide, November 2012.

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Camilla Parker Bowles presenting a “special doggy cake” and long service certificate to a rescue dog named Ruby in Warminster, England, February 2015.

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Camilla Parker Bowles holding an umbrella at the VE Day 65th anniversary tributes, in commemoration of Victory in Europe day, in London, May 2019.

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Camilla Parker Bowles eating ice cream with Dame Judi Dench at the Queen Victoria’s private beach in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, July 2018.

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Camilla Parker Bowles taking a sip of rum punch during a visit to the Hermitage Plantation House in Saint Kitts and Nevis, March 2019.

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Camilla Parker Bowles going to great lengths to cut a cake during a visit to the Newquay Fire Station in Cornwall, England, July 2017.

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Camilla Parker Bowles encountering a reptile known as a Tuatara on her and Prince Charles’s visit to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary in Dunedin, New Zealand, November 2015

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Camilla Parker Bowles reacting to Prince Charles lighting the candles of her 60th birthday cake during a visit to Bronham in Wiltshire, England, July 2007.

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Camilla Parker Bowles preparing to take a shot of gin during a visit to a food market in Honiton, England, July 2018.

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Camilla Parker Bowles taking in the action at the Essex Dog Training Centre in Brentwood, October 2011.

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Camilla Parker Bowles marveling at a plastinated dog’s heart during a visit to Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital in London, February 2015.

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Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles wielding boomerangs during a visit to Kings Park in Perth, Australia, November 2015.

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Camilla Parker Bowles at a loss for words upon glimpsing the cake at the opening of Ebony Horse Club in London, October 2011.

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Prince William and Camilla Parker Bowles laughing during the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games, a sporting event for wounded servicemen and women, in London, September 2014.

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Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles reacting to a bald eagle flapping its wings during their visit to the Sandringham Flower Show in King’s Lynn, England, July 2015.

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Camilla Parker Bowles double-fisting cupcakes at a “Women in Business” event during a royal tour of the Middle East, in Muscat, Oman, November 2016.

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Camilla Parker Bowles preparing to cut a cake at the 30th anniversary celebration of the Queen Mother Hospital for Small Animals in Hatfield, England, April 2016.

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Camilla Parker Bowles toting a giant teddy bear that an admirer gave her during an official visit to Leipzig, Germany, May 2019.

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Camilla Parker Bowles sampling a spread on the set of ITV’s This Morning, where she was celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Royal Television Society, in London, January 2018.

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Camilla Parker Bowles sampling a glass of Australian wine during an Australian Day Reception at the Violin Factory in London, January 2015.

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The Duchess downloaded the app after a suggestion that it would help her stay in touch with her two children, Laura and Tom, though she now most regularly keeps in touch with her sister Annabel Elliot, a 71-year-old interior designer. When she’s not chatting Camilla has been drawing attention to the increased threat of domestic violence amidst the pandemic, as well as working with hotlines like the Silverline, which is a health service for the elderly.

Meanwhile, Charles has apparently been sticking to phone calls and ordinary video conferences. But, like Camilla, he’s also been sharpening his skills at Instagram Stories. On Thursday, the official Clarence House Instagram account posted a split-screen video of the pair participating in the #ClapForOurCarers initiative, in praise of healthcare workers. From the look of things, Charles is surprisingly technologically adept; whereas someone filmed Camilla outside of her window, Charles seem to have set up his all by himself.

Related: Queen Elizabeth II, 93, Discovers the Wonders of Self-Checkout