QUEEN OF THE BALL; Gorgeous Camilla Is Charles' Birthday Girl

Article excerpt

A BEAMING Camilla Parker-Bowles swept into Prince Charles's 50th birthday party last night looking and acting like a queen - and Charles treated her like one.

Glamorous Camilla, 51, showed off a sensational new layered bouffant- style hair-do with a fringe as she smiled for pictures at the gates of the Prince's country home Highgrove, Glos.

And her low-cut emerald green satin dress with matching shawl - together with a diamond and sapphire necklace and earrings - was stunning. The jewellery was a Shand family heirloom.

Her make-up, blue green eye shadow and cerise lipstick, also appeared to have been professionally applied.

The woman who Charles gave up his marriage for looked absolutely fabulous - a million miles from her former frumpy image.

Applause

An insider said: "Charles was obviously bursting with pride and walked with her into the party."

Camilla arrived about an hour before their 250 guests, who included foreign royalty, showbiz stars and politicians.

She greeted them with Charles as the VIP guests arrived for the party.

Later, the Prince held Camilla tightly as they boogied to the disco at the glittering bash - watched by Princes William and Harry.

And the guests - stars such as Rowan Atkinson and Emma Thompson among them - showed their approval for his unprecedented show of affection with a ripple of applause as they danced.

A royal insider said: "If either was nervous they didn't show it. They looked blissfully happy. They were among friends and it seemed perfectly natural to everyone."

Camilla had spent the day putting the finishing touches to the glittering bash which she had been planning for months as their official "coming out" party. But in the mid-afternoon, she slipped out through a side entrance and returned to her home nearby to dress for the night of her life.

Just 48 hours after making history by appearing at the same official engagement as Charles - a gala at Hampton Court Palace - Camilla was preparing to take another major step into public life.

At 6.15pm she swept back through the gates of Highgrove sitting in the back of a modest maroon estate car.

But as the chauffeur-driven vehicle deliberately slowed down to allow photographers to take her picture, it was clear Camilla was determined to out-shine all her glamorous guests.

And her radiant smile spoke volumes about her feelings. She held her head up high and beamed at the cameras - no longer trying to hide her significance in the Prince's life. …