Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles have now been married since the 2005 royal wedding. However, before becoming a husband and wife, Camilla faced a cold reception from the Queen and the British public when she was introduced as the new partner of the Prince of Wales in the years following the death of Princess Diana. This period also saw an abyss between Charles and his older friends, the Van Cutsem family, according to royal biographer Penny Junor.
In her book of 2017, The Duchess: The Untold Story, she writes: [There was] It was a fissure between the Prince of Wales and his older friends, the Van Cutsems, who completely frowned on Mark Bolland's influence and were not in love with Camilla.
"The feeling was entirely mutual.
"They had once enjoyed a position of great power with the prince – he had leaned heavily when his marriage had failed, and after Diana's death, his house became a second home for William and Harry, who were like brothers of the van. The four boys from Cutsem.
"But since Camilla became a recognized and permanent accessory in the prince's life, that influence has diminished."
Hugh van Cutsem Snr had been a friend of the prince since his days in Cambridge, and he and his wife Emilie were also the queen's neighbors near Sandringham.
His sons William and Nicholas van Cutsem are godfathers to the grandsons of Charles, Prince George and Prince Louis, respectively.
However, the family was "foolish," Junor writes, when they "snubbed" Camilla at the marriage of another brother, Edward van Cutsem, to Lady Tamara Grosvenor in 2004.
Charles and Camilla were invited, as was the Queen.
"However, both the bride's and the groom's family thought that since Charles and Camilla were not married, according to the protocol, they should not sit together for the ceremony.
"If this had been a formal occasion, that would be correct.
"The wedding was a private occasion and the plan to sit Camilla several queues behind Charles was a scorn.
"She was also expected to arrive at the cathedral separately and travel in a separate car to the front desk.
"The prince was furious and boycotted the marriage completely."