Love lessons from a duchess

JENNA CLARKE
Last updated 17:03 09/11/2012
Camilla

GOT HIM: Camilla shows off the ring Prince Charles finally gave her.

Camilla
LOVE BIRDS: Camilla and Charles on a royal tour.

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OPINION: A lot of people use Sex and the City's neatly packaged 20-minute episodes as a type of love bible. However, we could all learn some tips and tricks from the British Carrie Bradshaw - Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

While Carrie and ''Big'' went back and forth for six years (not to mention two feature films), Camilla and Charlie's enduring chemistry has continued for more than 42 years.

Sure, their private affairs may be shrouded in controversy and the odd recorded telephone conversation referring to sanitary products, but imagine if Camilla ever pulled a Pippa?

By ''pulled a Pippa'' I mean putting pen to paper to write her own how-to guide titled: The Undeniable Flame: How to be on his Mind for Decades.

Penny Junor can continue to write pages of information sourced from her contacts but within the pages of this sure-fire bestseller, other experts on ''the one that should have/could have been the one'' may also offer their thoughts about enduring love.

Perhaps even Fergie and/or Chelsy Davy would like to weigh in with a chapter called ''How to keep him right where you want him.''

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess's love story started when they were 23-years-old and met at a polo match.

Camilla reportedly had him at hello when she spoke of her ancestor Alice Keppel, King Edward VII's mistress: ''My great-grandmother and your great-great-grandfather were lovers. So how about it?''

According to British historian Robert Lacey, in his book Royal: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Charles was called away on official naval duties in 1972 and told Camilla to forget about him.

She went on to marry Andrew Parker Bowles, who had been pining after her for years (he's the Duckie character if this were Pretty in Pink), and of course Charles went on to marry Diana.

''I suppose the feeling of emptiness will pass,'' he told his uncle Lord Mountbatten after hearing that Camilla was off the market.

However, the ties that bound them were never completely severed. They remained close friends and gave each other the pet names ''Fred'' and ''Gladys''.

Gladys was the person Fred looked to for love, reassurance and a light-hearted giggle.

Things may have been different in this day and age, where break-up songs boast such poignant titles as We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, or she may have flushed a $200,000 engagement ring down the royal lavatory when things went sour, but no, these star-crossed lovers have stuck in there and stood by each other during some pretty horrific experiences.

Here are some possible chapters that could feature in the fantasy piece of non-fiction called The Undeniable Flame: How to be on his Mind for Decades by Camilla Windsor:

The Many Levels of Fox Hunting: Fox hunting was Camilla's favourite pastime after she made her London society debut in 1965.Her taste for finding the perfect pelts allowed her to ride in Land Rovers with boys and thus served up many opportunities for interactions and intimate audiences with the next King of England.

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Make Him your Son's Godfather: One way to ensure he isn't going anywhere is to make him your son's official spiritual guide.It's kind of like trapping a guy by getting pregnant, but instead of demanding financial support, burden him with the responsibility of teaching the kid The Lord's Prayer.

Do Not Alter Your Appearance:
She loves a pastel midi-skirt suit and is still rocking the dirty blonde bob from the '70s, which shows she's a stickler for continuity and lives by the adage, ''If it ain't broke, just get more layers around your face and some softer bangs.'' Charles finally put a 1926 art deco square-cut diamond ring with three baguettes on it, so she must be doing something right.

The Art of Phone Conversations:
When the infamous ''Charles as a tampon'' Camillagate scandal erupted, you may have noticed Camilla kept her responses short and sharp, almost monosyllabic in their delivery. She never showed too much emotional flesh but offered just the right amount of humour and humility - the conversation equivalent of Angelina Jolie's Versace dress at the Oscars this year.

''I can't bear a Sunday night without you. It's like that program Start the Week, I can't start the week without you,'' transcripts showed she told Charles.

''What about me? The trouble is I need you several times a week,'' he replied.

Show me a person who doesn't want to hear that from a dearly departed ex and I'll nominate Brynne Edelsten for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Do Not Worry About the In-Laws:
Camilla didn't meet her now mother-in-law until the couple had been ''involved'' with each other for more than 30 years. Harry and William didn't want much to do with her in the beginning and she reportedly said ''I need a drink'' after Wills caught her staying with Charles at St James's Palace.

The lesson here could be exactly what Tammy Wynette meant when she penned Stand By Your Man - a song that is probably on the cocktail-hour playlist Cam and Kate sing along to while sipping gin and tonics and toasting the future of a loved-up kingdom.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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