Camilla ‘to be called Queen instead of Queen Consort after coronation’

Sources cite view among Palace officials that Queen Consort title is ‘cumbersome’

Kate Ng
Tuesday 28 February 2023 06:57 GMT
Camilla ‘very honoured and very touched’ by future Queen Consort title

Camilla, Queen Consort, will be officially known as “Queen” after her and King Charles III’s coronation this spring, it has been reported.

The coronation is set to take place on 6 May at Westminster Abbey and will see the King crowned alongside his wife.

Before her death last September, the late Queen Elizabeth II announced that it was her “sincere wish” that Camilla will be known as Queen Consort “as she continues her own loyal service”.

But a report quoting “insiders” at Buckingham Palace has suggested that the royal may shed the “cumbersome” title of Queen Consort for the “simpler” title of Queen.

A source was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: “There’s a view in the palace that Queen Consort is cumbersome and it might be simpler for Camilla to be known just as the Queen when the time is right.”

“The Reading Room was a sign of that. Her Majesty is the Queen after all,” they added, referring to the renaming of Camilla’s charity. It was previously called the Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room but last week was launched as the Queen’s Reading Room, without the word “Consort”.

The source added: “Prince Philip was Prince Consort officially but he wasn’t known as Prince Consort. The Queen would of course still be Queen Consort so the Palace, of course, wouldn’t stop anyone calling Her Majesty that if they so chose.”

It was reported that officials at Buckingham Palace are looking to the past for an example, including the titles used for the King’s grandfather’s wife.

King George VI’s wife, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, was Queen Consort but became known as Queen Elizabeth when her husband was crowned and later became Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother after his death.

The Queen Consort, joined by King Charles III, hosts a reception at Clarence House on the anniversary of the Reading Room
The Queen Consort, joined by King Charles III, hosts a reception at Clarence House on the anniversary of the Reading Room (Reuters)

In February 2005, when Charles and Camilla became engaged, Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “It is intended that Mrs Parker-Bowles should use the title HRH The Princess Consort when The Prince of Wales accedes to the throne.”

The King’s marriage to Camilla came nearly eight years after the death of his first wife, Diana, Princess of Wales. Charles and Diana had been married for 15 years, from 1981 to 1996, and they share Princes William and Harry together.

The shift from Princess Consort to Queen Consort came after the late Queen issued a statement on the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne last June.

She said: “I would like to express my thanks to you all for your support. I remain eternally grateful for, and humbled by, the loyalty and affection that you continue to give me.

“And when, in 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.”

The coronation will be marked by a series of programming that will take place across a bank holiday weekend. The bank holiday will fall on Monday 8 May.

After the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, the King and Queen Consort will return to the palace in the “coronation procession” and will be joined by other members of the royal family. They will appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. It has not been confirmed which royals will make an appearance.

It has been reported that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will receive an invitation to the coronation but it is not known if they will accept. Some sources have said that Harry wants to get an apology from the King and his brother, the Prince of Wales, before he considers attending the ceremony.

The Independent contacted Buckingham Palace for comment.

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