Queen wants Camilla to assume title of ‘queen consort’ when Prince Charles becomes king

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, left, talks to members of the West Norfolk Befriending Society during a reception to celebrate the start of the Platinum Jubilee, at Sandringham House, her Norfolk residence, in Sandringham, England, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022.Joe Giddens/The Associated Press

Queen Elizabeth has announced that she would like Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, to be called “queen consort” when Prince Charles becomes king.

In a message released Saturday on the eve of the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne, the Queen reflected on her decades of service, and on her husband, Prince Philip, who died last April.

“I was blessed that in Prince Philip I had a partner willing to carry out the role of consort and unselfishly make the sacrifices that go with it. It is a role I saw my own mother perform during my father’s reign,” the statement said. “And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”

Your Queen questions answered, on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee

Ever since Charles and Camilla married in 2005, there has been speculation about what the duchess’s title would be after the Queen died. Traditionally, the wife of a reigning king is known as queen consort. However, for years public opinion ran against Camilla, and it had been widely assumed that she would be referred to as the “princess consort.” The duchess has not taken the title “Princess of Wales” out of respect for Princess Diana, Charles’s first wife, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

The Queen’s intervention will end the speculation. When Camilla takes the title she will be addressed as “Her Majesty.”

Royal historian Jane Ridley said last week, during a press briefing on the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, that the public perception of Camilla has changed in recent years. “If you look at the popularity, Camilla has worked incredibly hard, going to functions and helping people, and I think her rating has been picking up,” Dr. Ridley said. “It looks as though ‘Queen Camilla’ will happen.”

Former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt told the Press Association on Saturday that the Queen “was ensuring the transition, when it comes, to her son as king is as seamless and trouble-free as possible.’’ He added that she was “future-proofing an institution she’s served for 70 years. And for Camilla, the journey from being the third person in a marriage to queen-in-waiting is complete.”

The Queen, 95, will spend Sunday at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk. Despite a health scare last year that curtailed many of her public appearances, she hosted a reception at Sandringham on Saturday for members of the local community and various charity organizations.

“After meeting the assembled guests, The Queen cut a cake specially prepared for the occasion by a local resident, featuring The Platinum Jubilee emblem,” Buckingham Palace said in a press release.

Princess Elizabeth acceded to the throne in the early hours of Feb. 6, 1952, when her father, King George VI, took his last breath at Sandringham.

“It is a day that, even after 70 years, I still remember as much for the death of my father, King George VI, as for the start of my reign,” the Queen said in her statement Saturday. “As I look ahead with a sense of hope and optimism to the year of my Platinum Jubilee, I am reminded of how much we can be thankful for. These last seven decades have seen extraordinary progress socially, technologically and culturally that have benefitted us all; and I am confident that the future will offer similar opportunities to us and especially to the younger generations in the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth.”

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