Queen announces she wants Camilla to be Queen Consort when Charles becomes king

Camilla had chosen the lesser Princess Consort title in 2005 due to public animosity towards her

Lamiat Sabin
Sunday 06 February 2022 08:13
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<p>Queen Elizabeth II and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall</p>

Queen Elizabeth II and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

The Queen hopes the Duchess of Cornwall will be known as Queen Consort when Prince Charles takes the throne.

She used her Platinum Jubilee message – celebrating her 70th year as the monarch – to set out her hopes for her daughter-in-law, once a royal mistress, to be called Queen.

It is a huge U-turn after Camilla took the lesser title Princess Consort when she married Charles 17 years ago.

Camilla would technically have been Queen when Charles acceded to the throne, and only legislation would have prevented it from happening.

But royal officials insisted, when she married Charles in 2005, that Camilla did not want to be queen and that she “intended” to be known instead as Princess Consort – the first in British history. Prince Charles and the duchess were both divorcees when they tied the knot in a civil marriage.

It was perceived that there was too much public animosity towards Camilla following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.

However, any mention of “Princess Consort” was removed from Prince Charles’s website during a revamp in 2018.

The Queen, who at 95-years-old has spent the majority of her life as head of the royal family, has also shared her succession support for her eldest son as monarch.

She said in the written message: “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 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.”

Charles and Camilla were “touched and honoured” by the Queen’s gesture, Clarence House said.

The prince will make his own public declaration on Sunday celebrating his mother’s Jubilee, a spokesperson for the couple added.

The Queen, who acceded to the throne on 6 February 1952 on the death of her father George VI, also renewed her lifelong pledge of duty ahead of her 96th birthday this year.

“As we mark this anniversary, it gives me pleasure to renew to you the pledge I gave in 1947 that my life will always be devoted to your service,” she said.

She also paid tribute to the late Duke of Edinburgh – who died in April 2021 aged 99.

The Queen wrote: “I am fortunate to have had the steadfast and loving support of my family. 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.”

Former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said: “This is the most extraordinary message. The Queen is ensuring the transition, when it comes, to her son as king is as seamless and trouble free as possible.

“She’s 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.”

On the eve of her Platinum Jubilee, the Queen – wearing brooches given to her as part of a set for her wedding in 1947 – cut a Jubilee cake and met members of the local Women’s Institute at a celebratory reception at Sandringham House.

She spoke with former cookery school student Angela Wood who helped to perfect the famous coronation chicken dish served to guests after her 1953 Coronation ceremony.

Yvonne Browne, vice president and chairman of the Sandringham WI, described the Queen as being on “sparkling” form.

In her message, the Queen also reflected on the sad anniversary of the death of her father.

“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,” she said.

The Queen, who signed the message “Your servant Elizabeth R”, pledged to continue to “serve you with all my heart”.

She said she intends to “look ahead with a sense of hope and optimism” but acknowledged the “difficult times” faced by the nation during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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