Camilla had faced difficulties in the years following Princess Diana’s untimely death in 1997, and the prospect of the Duchess’ reception in the US – famously “Diana’s heartland” – was “terrifying”, according to royal author Penny Junor. Added to this, after the New York meeting with the Trumps, the reaction was particularly “rude and unpleasant”. In her 2017 biography “The Duchess: The Untold Story”, Ms Junor recounts the Prince of Wales and Camilla’s first official tour together in 2005.
Ms Junor wrote: ”It was to America – Diana’s heartland.
“No one could have devised a more terrifying initiation.”
She continued: “[Camilla] knew the eyes of the world would be on her and that they would be making comparisons with the princess’ first trip with Charles in 1985.
“Diana had wowed the country.
“Most memorable were the 15 minutes she spent on the dance floor with John Travolta at the White House.
“Diana had been 23, athletic, wraith-like and coy; Camilla was 58 and none of those things.
“A banner held up by a woman outside the United Nations summed it up: ‘Camilla you are not Diana.’”
When the royal pair met Donald and Melania Trump, among other famous guests, at the Museum of Modern Art, The New York Post ran the headline: “Queen Camilla is New York’s Frump Tower.”
A member of Charles and Camilla’s team told Ms Junor: “The trip to America in 2005 was the tough one.
“There were a lot of nerves around because it was her first overseas trip but it was a triumph.
“‘Frump Tower’ was really rude and unpleasant but they would have written some of that stuff anyway, because she was not Diana and certain sections of the media couldn’t understand how a wealthy royal would swap a beautiful blonde for someone less beautiful.”
The unnamed source continued: “Once the American reporters on the ground started to see them in action and hear her, they started writing more favourable stuff.”
She wrote: “[Diana] asked Prince William if he minded her losing her royal status.”
According to Ms Junor, the 14-year-old William replied: “I don’t mind what you’re called – you’re Mummy.”
The Duchess of Cornwall met Donald and Melania Trump again today as she joined Prince Charles and the Queen to welcome the President and First Lady as they arrived on their state visit at Buckingham Palace.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall also hosted the Trumps for afternoon tea at Clarence House.
She will be attendance with Charles again this evening, alongside Prince William and Kate Middleton, at the state banquet hosted by the Queen.