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July 17, 2001
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It was his consort’s 54th birthday, so what better way for Prince Charles to show his love for Camilla Parker Bowles than a trip to the opera? The heir to the throne – perhaps following the example of David and Victoria Beckham, who celebrated their second wedding anniversary at the Royal Opera House to see the Kirov Ballet in action – paid for two £145 seats to see the Russian ballet company’s version of Verdi’s Otello.

Elegantly dressed in a pearl-coloured lace dress, a triple strand of pearls at her neck and a baby pink pashmina draped around her shoulders, Camilla alighted from the car with her companion, demonstrating why he is frequently named as one of Britain’s best-dressed men, in a midnight blue suit, shirt in a paler hue and pearl-grey silk tie.

But while Posh and Becks had opted to sit in the best box in the house, situated in the grand tier, Charles and Camilla sat in the tier’s front row. For anyone wondering why the Prince didn't choose seats in the Royal Box for the special evening, a Royal Opera House insider made the whole thing very clear: “The Royal Box is rather to one side and actually hasn’t got the best of views.”

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Photo: ©
The couple rolled up to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden to see the Kirov Ballet's version of Verdi's Otello
Photo: ©
A baby pink pashmina and the ever-present pearls accessorised Camilla's chic lace dress