A Rocky Royal Vacation

Prince Charles and his sons William and Harry are setting sail together on a Mediterranean cruise. But their royal vacation got off to a rocky start Thursday when the British press found out the happy scenes of the departing princes and their guests camouflaged another getaway, held in secret, from a British air force base.

Camilla Parker-Bowles, Prince Charles' long-time mistress, had been invited to join the party but not the publicity, reports CBS News Correspondent Richard Roth. It has turned the 10-day holiday into a royal family affair.

"It is very significant because it's the first holiday that the Prince of Wales has ever taken Camilla away with his children," says Jane Kerr, the royal correspondent for Britain's Mirror newspaper.

The queen was reportedly not amused. Some reports say Prince Charles did not even warn his mother, knowing she is worried that Camilla's role in his life has implications for the British crown.

What haunts Buckingham Palace is the memory of another Mediterranean cruise almost 70 years ago, another Prince of Wales, and another divorced woman.

Prince Edward's public holiday with his American lover Wallis Simpson is a reminder of how royal romance can become a scandal big enough to rock the throne; Edward eventually gave up the crown for Simpson's love.

The rules are different now, of course; the public is not so easily shocked. Additionally, this summer's vacation will be absolutely private, according to palace officials.

Popular

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

Download

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

Download