Ideally, significant others change us for the better and enrich us, encouraging our growth as separate people and allowing us to deepen our lives through experiences and memories we create with them. They also support us actively by being there for us when we need them, and by standing back and stepping in when we ask. A royal expert and biographer says Duchess Camilla has been just that sort of partner for Prince Charles.
Penny Junor, who has written seven books on the Royal Family, including three on the Prince of Wales, says she's seen a profound difference in the future King's personality since he married the Duchess of Cornwall in 2005.
"I've seen a huge change in Charles over these past years," she told HELLO! UK earlier this year, according to the Daily Mail. "He used to be quite a morose character; he was very serious and didn't laugh a lot."
Penny went on to say Charles could sometimes be quite "sullen," but that is no longer the case and his wonderful sense of humour is now much more on display – thanks to his wife and long-time partner.
"Camilla snapped him out of that and she has completely transformed him," she continued. "He is a much happier man and has so much more confidence these days. It's wonderful to see."
This isn't the first time Camilla's huge support of Charles has been noticed by royal experts. In 2018, former Buckingham Palace spokesperson Dickie Arbiter told HELLO! UK that the 72-year-old has been wonderful for the Prince of Wales.
"She's a no-nonsense lady and believes that there are things you can change and there are things you can't, and those you can't, don't waste time trying," Dickie told the publication.
This past year marked 20 years since they made their royal debut as a couple. Charles and Camilla were photographed for the first time as a royal pair at the Ritz Hotel in London on Jan. 28, 1999. At the time, they were leaving the 50th birthday celebrations held there for Annabel Elliot, Camilla's sister.
The Duchess of Cornwall accompanied Charles on tour twice this year, travelling with him to the Caribbean and New Zealand. Her duties look to ramp up in 2020, too. She'll head to Auschwitz on a moving engagement for Holocaust Memorial Day on Jan. 27, while her husband will attend the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem four days before that.