Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Have Turned to Camilla Parker Bowles for Support

The Duchess of Cornwall knows a thing or two about getting through tabloid scandals.

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As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle weather a very public tabloid storm and legal battle against the British press, they’ve been leaning on an unexpected source of support: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, subject of multiple world-famous scandals. As Vanity Fair reports, Camilla has emerged as a “pillar of support” to the couple.

“I think Camilla was probably just as surprised as anyone else when the documentary came out and perhaps didn’t realise how much Harry and Meghan were suffering,” a source told VF. “She wants everyone to get along and be happy. Her mantra is carry on and keep smiling. She doesn’t want to see anyone struggling and she is fond of Meghan and she could be a very good ally too.”

Meghan’s struggles became especially public after a clip from the ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, went viral. She spoke about hurtful attacks from the British press, and host Tom Bradby asked if she was “not really ok.” She responded in the affirmative. The situation got so dire that even female Members of Parliament have rallied behind the Duchess of Sussex, signing a public letter of support.

Meghan, Harry, and Camilla are making their first official royal engagement together this week. “I think Camilla can easily empathize with Meghan Markle because of what she went through in the media,” royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith told VF. “At one stage, no one was more beleaguered by the tabloids than Camilla, but she was shrewd enough to know that antagonism would get her nowhere.”

“Meghan could learn an enormous amount from Camilla,” Smith added. “I think Camilla is genuinely a kind person and while there are many differences between the two of them, they have both been on the receiving end of some very negative press. The thing Camilla learned was how to cultivate a relationship with the press. I have watched her talk to reporters, be friendly with the photographers and win over the tabloids who had once tried to ruin her.”