Prince Charles has praised the way his "brilliant" wife Camilla tackled the "real challenge" of defining a public role for herself during their marriage, which will reach its 10 year milestone next month.
The heir to the throne rarely speaks about his relationship with Camilla publicly, but when questioned during a television documentary he also agreed with the suggestion the Duchess' personality had powerful "charm and charisma."
Since marrying the prince in 2005, Camilla transformed herself from a middle-aged mother who lived much of her life out of the spotlight, to taking on a range of charitable patronages and learning about the rigours of royal engagements and tours.
When questioned by CNN anchor and London correspondent Max Foster, presenter of the documentary 'CNN Spotlight: Charles and Camilla, on whether Camilla had found it challenging, the Prince of Wales replied: "You can imagine it is a real, real challenge.
Speaking at his home on the Queen's Balmoral estate, he added: "But she's, I think, been brilliant in the way she's tackled these things."
In the early 1970s, Prince Charles met Camilla Shand on a Windsor polo field, and he is said to have "lost his heart" to her almost at once and they embarked on an affair.
But when the prince joined the Navy the couple spent long periods apart and the royal missed his chance and was heartbroken when Camilla married cavalry officer Andrew Parker Bowles.
Charles went on to marry Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 but within a few years all was not well with the marriage.
The prince was having an affair with his former mistress Camilla and Diana had turned to cavalry officer James Hewitt.
In the 1990s, Camilla's eventual emergence as Charles's long-term partner was part of a carefully planned PR campaign masterminded by the heir to the throne's spin doctor Mark Bolland.
Their first public appearance together was outside the Ritz hotel in London in 1999, dubbed Operation Ritz, where the mass of waiting photographers had been tipped off.
The culmination of the romance was a marriage between the long-time lovers who married in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall on April 9 2005.