Royal bride Camilla was fuming as she faced a wretched honeymoon from hell in the windswept wilds of Scotland. She secretly dreamed that Prince Charles would surprise her at the last minute by whisking her off to Italy, or an exotic sun-kissed isle, immediately after they married. But instead of basking in wedded bliss, Charles decided on a remote, rain-drenched retreat, miles from civilization — a final disappointment for Camilla who watched her wedding plans go wrong from the day it was announced.
"Charles and Camilla were under terrible stress in the weeks before the wedding," explained a royal insider. "Their love life suffered because of the pressures, not even knowing until the very last minute that their marriage was legal. Camilla was praying that sunny Tuscany, a few bottles of Pinot Grigio and long walks in the Italian countryside would relax Charles — and put some zest back in their flagging sex life."
But Charles was determined to honeymoon at Birkhall. He inherited the Birkhall house on the grounds of the Balmoral estate from his grandmother, the Queen Mother, who died in 2002. He splashed out $1.5 million to refurbish the 12-bedroom house.
"She never dreamed he'd insist on taking her to chilly Scotland, which did nothing to inspire Camilla's passion or Charles' libido!" said the insider.
Summery gowns and pretty pumps were out. Tweed jackets and green rubber boots to trudge through the countryside were in. Adding insult to the enormous letdown, the whitewashed Birkhall estate Charles selected was where he took Diana right before he proposed.
A royal insider said, "You'd have thought Charles would have been a bit more adventurous — and thoughtful — this time around. It's hardly a romantic gesture to take your new wife to one of your own homes! Camilla loves the sun and she wanted to go somewhere nice and hot. While outdoorsy Camilla loves the countryside, the idea of honeymooning in Scotland made her wince."
Camilla began to protest but thought better of it. But she told some close friends that she hated Birkhall and everything it stands for, says the royal insider: "The memories of Diana, who also could not stand the old house, haunt her every time she steps inside. And Camilla cringes whenever anyone talks about Diana and Charles spending time there."
Camilla tried one last ditch attempt to convince Charles to change his mind: She told him she feared they would be subjected to the mockery of the local townspeople. But he was adamant that local busybodies would ruin any holiday — on a beach or abroad.
"At least at Birkhall you can hide away," he told her, says the palace insider. "In the end Camilla was so relieved to finally be Charles' wife she decided she would do nothing that might upset him."