Camilla admits to nerves and friend reveals duchess' ‘wicked sense of humour’ in ITV documentary

The Duchess of Cornwall tells 'very risqué' jokes, a friend told the ITV documentary. Credit: ITV

The Duchess of Cornwall has confessed to feeling nervous ahead of important public occasions, but says she takes "a deep breath" and just gets "on with it". 

She made the comments in an ITV documentary released this week to mark her 75th birthday and her guest editorship of Country Life magazine.  

Camilla is the cover star and guest editor of Country Life Credit: The Duchess of Cambridge/Country Life Magazine/Future Plc/PA

"I think everyone gets nervous before big events, it's nature, isn't it?" She told the programme.  

Camilla attended the State Opening of Parliament in May, accompanying her husband the Prince of Wales, who stood in for the Queen for the first time.  

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the State Opening of Parliament Credit: Hannah McKay/PA

Asked whether she found the new responsibilities "onerous" or "exciting", the duchess said: "No, there's always exciting new prospects, there is always something exciting round the next corner you never know what's going to happen next."

The documentary paints a personal portrait of the duchess, who is seen walking her two Jack Russel Terriers, at Highgrove, Charles’ Gloucestershire home. 

Bluebell and Beth, both rescue animals from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, are even photographed in the magazine draped in pearl necklaces.  

The portrait is a wry tribute to the debutantes once featured in the pages of Country Life and affectionately known as "The Girls in Pearls". 

Camilla's dogs feature in the edition of Country Life she has guest edited. Credit: Country Life

Camilla’s friend Sarah Troughton, a first cousin once removed of the Queen, says Camilla has a "wicked sense of humour" and tells "very risqué" jokes. 

"I think there has been a wind of change in the duchess' popularity", Ms Troughton said.

"But I think it's because she has been entirely natural, entirely straight with everybody, looks you straight in the eye, does her royal duties with real panache and style and the public are very happy to meet her." 

Earlier this year, the Queen expressed her "sincere wish" that her daughter-in-law be known as Queen Consort when the prince becomes king. 

Camilla was photographed for the front cover of County Life by the Duchess of Cambridge, a keen amateur photographer.  

"There wasn't much hair and make-up - it was just done in the garden with a lot of laughs, no, it - was a lovely way of doing it," she said. 

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Jeremy Clarkson, the former Top Gear presenter turned famer, is one of several celebrity friends to make an appearance in the programme.

The broadcaster became an unlikely campaigner for the farming industry, after starring in the Amazon series Clarkson’s Farm, which follows his haphazard attempts to grow crops and raise livestock on his land in the Cotswolds.  

The duchess said of Clarkson: "He made people realise how difficult farming is - I think some people see farming as cows sitting in the meadow on a beautiful day and they don't realise the work and the difficulties that are behind it." 

Charles and Camilla at the Cop26 UN Climate Change summit in Glasgow (Phil Noble/PA

Articles commissioned by Camilla for the magazine range from a piece about her favourite roast chicken dinner, recreated by John Williams, executive chef at the Ritz, to Paul O'Grady talking about his work with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.  

The duchess also featured a piece highlighting the Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust, which provides home security services for the elderly, disabled and victims of domestic abuse. 

Camilla, who has championed victims of abusive relationships, says: "What I am trying to portray is however beautiful the countryside is, it's not all buttercups and daisies, there are darker sides. 

"So, I wanted to put a little bit of an emphasis on rising crime, on domestic abuse, all the things that are going on without people probably realising it - so I hope I have got a good balance." 

Camilla’s Country Life will be screened on Wednesday July 13 at 9pm on ITV and the ITV Hub.