King Charles and Queen Camilla are undoubtedly very much in love, with public appearances always seeing them laughing and joking together, but reports say the couple does not share a bed.
There’s no trouble in paradise, though. It’s customary for royal couples to sleep in different bedrooms. As depicted in Netflix series, The Crown, it is believed the late Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip did not sleep in the same bed, or even the same room, which originally raised the belief that royal couples don’t share a bed.
King Charles and Queen Camilla reportedly have three bedrooms; one each and one to share – and their decision to have separate bedrooms could have a positive impact on King Charles’ health.
The monarch is well-known to suffer from back pain, and even travels with a cushion to alleviate aches, and sleeping alone is believed to help ease back pain.
Sharing a bed can contribute to poor sleep posture, according to sleep expert Martin Seeley ofMattressNextDay. Sleeping in a position that puts strain on the neck or spine can lead to chronic pain and discomfort.
King Charles’ back pain
Prince Harry wrote about his father’s back pain in his memoir, Spare.
Speaking about time spent as a family at Balmoral, Harry wrote about roaming the castle and accidentally stumbling into his father’s bedroom.
“You might blunder in as he was doing his headstands. He performed them daily, in just a pair of boxers, propped against a door or hanging from a bar like a skilled acrobat.” Harry wrote, before explaining his father’s unusual ritual.
“Prescribed by his physio, these exercises were the only effective remedy for the constant pain in Pa’s neck and back.”
Explaining how King Charles hurt his back and back, the Duke of Sussex noted: “Old polo injuries, mostly.”
In a later passage in Spare, Harry wrote of a terrifying incident that saw King Charles wounded during a polo match.
“As a boy, I’d seen Pa take [a hard] fall, the horse giving way, the ground simultaneously smacking and swallowing him. I remembered thinking: ‘Why’s Pa snoring?’ And then someone yelling: ‘He’s swallowed his tongue!’
“A quick-thinking player jumped from his horse and saved Pa’s life,” Harry concluded.
King Charles’ injuries
Despite being a committed polo player, King Charles suffered several injuries playing the sport, one of which landed him in hospital for a week, following a three-hour operation.
The 1990 mishap saw the royal break his elbow, with nurse Gail Burbage, who treated the 42-year-old prince at the time sharing that he stayed in a normal side room on the ward, with a small bay occupied by his security team and personal assistants throughout his week-long stay.
“It was an honour to care for him. He was personable, chatty – the ideal patient. Of course, we had certain protocol we had to follow but he kept it all light-hearted and made it easy for us,” Gail shared of Charles’ time in hospital, adding they had to keep it a secret.
“I went to the ward next door to get a menu. We came up with a plan to order a meal for him using a made-up name so no-one would know it was for the Prince. He ate it off the plastic trays we used at the time. He said it was really well-balanced,” Gail revealed, before adding: “When he was able to start moving around, he would stop and speak to everyone – nurses, doctors, porters, cleaners – he wanted to know how we operated.”
It wasn’t all fun and games though, as the royal had to take some serious painkillers, using a PCAS pump, which administers pain relief.
Injuries aside, King Charles was a keen polo player in his youth – see the best photos below.