England captain’s ‘Welsh’ girlfriend Camilla Kerslake on her divided rugby …

With a Swansea mam and love of Wales, you wouldn’t expect songstress Camilla Kerslake to have divided Six Nations loyalties – but then her fella is the England rugby captain.

The dazzling classical singer, who has previously led the anthems at rugby international, dates flanker Chris Robshaw, the man expected to skipper his nation against Wales on Saturday.

Classical singer Camilla Kerslake, girlfriend of England captain Chris Robshaw

And the 24-year-old told WalesOnline the relationship just adds to already torn loyalties on match days given her diverse family background.

Camilla, whose dad come from New Zealand, said: “It makes watching international matches the most difficult thing ever! My dad’s a Kiwi, my mum is Welsh and then there’s my boyfriend Chris. I have no idea who to support.

“My uncle Phil Kerslake, was horrified that I was going out with Chris, I told him, Sam Warburton was taken!

“He lives in New Zealand and supports them and Wales, when they play anyone else. But when they play each other he doesn’t know what to do.”

Despite being born in London the crossover singer, who hit number four in the classical charts with her debut album, has been steeped in Welsh culture since birth and has a love of Welsh cakes and the national flag, costume and rugby side to prove it.

The Classical Brit-nominated singer rose to fame after her determined pursuit of Take That’s Gary Barlow, who eventually signed her to his record label in 2008 after she took him a demo CD every day for weeks.

Singing the Welsh national anthem has still eluded the elegant singer, though she adds she would love to perform at this year’s tournament.

It was only last year that she sang God Save the Queen before England’s match with Fiji and, in December, she performed the New Zealand national anthem before England’s much-trumpeted win over the All Blacks.

“They pulled me in at the very last minute to sing that day – I don’t think Chris’ family were very happy,” she said. “But Chris is a great boyfriend and understands the pressure of having a public job.”

The family moved to New Zealand when Camilla was just one but returned to England nine years later.

Camilla reveals: “My mother’s family are proper Swansea Jacks, from Townhill.

“When I was little, and lived in New Zealand, I was surrounded by Welsh people and I had such a bizarre accent.

“I would always go to school on St David’s Day dressed up in traditional Welsh dress. When I’m around Welsh people I always get Welshier.

“I have really good friends who live in Gelligaer, Merthyr Tydfil, who I met in university and would visit in the summer, and when I’d come back home, my mother could tell I’d been in Wales.”

Grandparents Sylvia and William moved from Swansea to Australia and then New Zealand, and Sylvia still lives in New Zealand with many members of the Kerslake family.

Chris Robshaw and girlfriend Camilla Kerslake arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012

“My nan is cool, and the most interesting thing about her is that she’s a fantastic singer. She would sing in the workingmen’s clubs around Swansea and her biggest rival at the time was Shirley Bassey in Cardiff.

“People would wonder which singer to go and see. My singing voice definitely comes from my Welsh family and definitely not the New Zealand side.

“My nan still lives in New Zealand, I think it’s because of the weather there. But I love Wales, it’s where I’d go in the summer.

“When Chris says we should go to Portugal as his family owns a villa there, I try and convince him to go to Porthcawl.

“I’d love to have a caravan at Trecco Bay. But I think he’d rather go where there’s some sun.”

It’s not all been plain sailing for the singing beauty, as mum Deborah was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and Camilla took a break to support her – a move which attracted criticism from some sections of the music industry.

“I had people saying I’d ruin my career. I’d be at hospital appointments with mum and have someone calling me to come a pick a dress out for a show. People were incredibly unforgiving.”

But despite the negativity surrounding her role as a dedicated daughter, Camilla – with the support of her family and boyfriend Chris – made sure Deborah came through the ordeal.

“She’s absolutely fine now, she’s like a new woman. She’s an inspiration and I just want other women to check themselves out and be healthy.”


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Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/rugbynation/2013/03/10/england-captain-s-welsh-girlfriend-camilla-kerslake-on-her-divided-rugby-loyalties-91466-32944246/