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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Yaffe

Winnie, Lizzy, and Camilla

Elizabeth Bennet – vivacious, witty, charming and good-hearted – has many fans. Add to the list Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, wife of Britain’s Prince Charles and likely next queen of England.

Last week, as she helped inaugurate the new offices of First News, a UK children’s newspaper, Camilla was asked what literary character she would most like to be. Her first answer was Winnie the Pooh (apparently, she has a thing for honey), but her second was Lizzy Bennet.

“The only question is whether Prince Charles would be her Darcy,” added the Daily Mail reporter assigned to this ground-breaking royal story.

This is a tough one. Let us enumerate Charles’ Darcy-like qualities. Mega-millions? Check. Fabulous mansion(s), complete with well-stocked family library and impressive portrait gallery? Check. Posh background and top-notch education? Check. Irresistible sexual magnetism? Umm. . .

I must confess that what first drew my attention to this story was the Daily Mail’s rather misleading headline, “I’d love to be a Jane Austen heroine, admits Camilla.” To me, a woman who has infinite amounts of money, privilege and leisure time, and is married to a man with same, is already living the life of the most cosseted Austen heroine imaginable – Emma Woodhouse on steroids. What’s left to wish for? Just that irresistible sexual magnetism, I guess.

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