Queen Camilla’s son Tom Parker Bowles seems to be the new ray of hope in royal heaven. Why the restaurant critic and cookbook author is so popular.
In recent years, Queen Camilla’s children, 75, have not featured prominently in the public eye, with Laura Lopes, 45, and Tom Parker Bowles, 48, living rather under the radar. But that could change now, on May 6, 2023 to be precise – the coronation day of Camilla and King Charles, 74.
Queen Camilla’s grandchildren are stepping into the spotlight
Due to the family feud, Charles’ youngest son Prince Harry, 38 – should he come to London – should not play a major role in the ceremony. Instead, Tom Parker Bowles’ son and his sister Laura’s twin boys are reported to have a formal role at the coronation, likely as bellboys, journalist Andrew Billen revealed in an essay for The Times. “The Sussexes will now have to watch as Camilla’s family steals the spotlight, the hearts of the nation and millions if not billions of clicks and likes,” he said.
Tom Parker Bowles, who is known as a sympathetic restaurant critic and cookbook author, could now ensure harmony after Harry and Duchess Meghan, 41, stirred up the royal family. “I don’t see him often, but I saw him two or three weeks ago,” Paul Levy, former food editor of The Observer, told The Times. “I think he’s a really good guy and oddly he’s respectful. I mean he’s good to the elders.” A trait King Charles will definitely like after all the drama.
Tom Parkes Bowles turbulent past
But above all, it is Tom’s past that moves people so much. Camilla’s son went to Eton but was threatened with going to the local comprehensive school if he didn’t pull himself together and work. The family subsisted on ready meals from Sainsbury’s during this period and Camilla’s favorite dish, recorded in Tom’s recipe book ‘Let’s Eat’ – fried chicken with a unique trick: “My mum insists that lifting the dangling piece over cut off the cave and put it on top of the bird.”
When Tom Parker Bowles was 18, Princess Diana, † 36, called his mother her husband’s mistress, at 19 he had to read Charles’ tampon fantasy. At the age of 24, the press was also after him. At Cannes, he admitted to snorting cocaine. It had nothing to do with the pressure of his situation, he says, but “I just loved raving.” “He’s not entirely innocent. I think he’s seen the worst that the press, the media and public opinion can do to a person and thinks he can handle anything,” explains Giles Coren, who is at least twice a month having lunch with Parker Bowles, opposite Andrew Billen, emphasizing:
One gets the impression of indiscretion, but that’s because when he talks about his family, he’s talking about the king. So it sounds a bit indiscreet, but it’s not. He keeps a secret better than anyone. He is incredibly respectful of his stepfather, whom he only refers to as his stepfather, and of course the Queen, but he tells funny stories about them and does their voices.
After separating from his wife, his great love died
In 2018, Tom amicably separated from his wife Sara after 13 years of marriage. In the spring of 2021, his new partner, Alice Procope, a journalist turned psychotherapist, died of cancer at the age of just 42. A heavy blow of fate. “She was lovely and he was so happy with her,” Coren says, “and her death came after all the things he went through uncomplainingly as a child. It was an incredible blow. He had clearly met the love of his life , and then she got cancer […].”
After losing his girlfriend, Tom entered therapy, which he says has helped him a lot, and he remains on good terms with his ex-wife. “They’re still friends, still close friends. They were young married. They were both chic, fun partygoers, smart and sexy and funny and sassy and all that. I think that can lead to great, exciting marriages, and then “You have kids and things get a bit grayer but they’re still good friends. He still stays with them for Christmas. I don’t think he’s ever gone to Balmoral,” said Giles Coren. He feels that Parker Bowles’ childhood alone would have been enough to make someone else “bitter and twisted, which is obviously one of the things Harry needs to be.” But it wasn’t like that.
“If you mess up, you have to face the consequences”
Tom Parker Bowles is not bitter or resentful of the press, although he has every reason to be, with one exception: he is a journalist himself, and journalists are his friends. He even made it clear to The Times editor Andrew Billen that he didn’t blame the News of the World newspaper for exposing his drug use. “This thing was entirely my fault,” says Tom. “I wasn’t whining and moaning about the invasion of my privacy. You know your position and if you mess up you have to face the consequences and that’s about it.” Words that could also make Prince Harry think.
Sources used: thetimes.co.uk