Camilla will be Queen when Charles ascends to the throne, says Her Majesty

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Duchess of Cornwall should be given the title Queen Consort, Her Majesty has said on the eve of her Platinum Jubilee

Camilla will be Queen when Charles ascends to the throne, says Her Majesty
Duchess of Cornwall
The Queen has said she hopes the public will offer Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall the ‘same support that you have given me’ CREDIT: Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Duchess of Cornwall will be crowned Queen Camilla when Prince Charles ascends to the throne, the Queen has indicated as she used her Platinum Jubilee message to speak unequivocally of her succession.

In a written message to the country and Commonwealth, Her Majesty moved to resolve the key question that has been hovering over the Duchess of Cornwall since she married into the Royal family in 2005. 

The Queen expressed her “sincere wish” that her daughter-in-law should become “Queen Consort” when the Prince of Wales one day becomes King.

As she marks the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne on Sunday, she urged the public to support her eldest son and “his wife Camilla” in the same way they have shown their love and loyalty throughout her long reign.

“I remain eternally grateful for, and humbled by, the loyalty and affection that you continue to give me,” the Queen said, in a message released in time for Accession Day.

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“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.”

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The Queen said that it is here ‘sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service’ CREDIT: Danny Lawson/PA

Her words confirm that the current Duchess of Cornwall will one day be known to the public as Queen Camilla, and addressed as “Her Majesty”.

She will be crowned side-by-side with her husband, with the couple henceforth called the “King and Queen”.

The style follows that of the Queen’s parents and grandparents, with the Queen Consorts of the 20th century known as Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary and Queen Alexandra.

The Prince and Duchess were said to be “honoured and touched” by the Queen’s warm words.

The Prince will be paying his own public tribute to his mother on Sunday, in a statement of congratulation upon reaching her Platinum Jubilee.

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The Duchess of Cornwall, who is Royal Colonel of the 4th Battalion of The Rifles, observing a field training exercise in Wiltshire in 2008 CREDIT: Michael Dunlea/PA

The Queen’s request echoes a similar 2018 speech at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, in which she told the 53 leaders assembled of her “sincere wish” that the Prince would be named as her successor as the next head of Commonwealth.

Later that week, the heads of state confirmed that he would be.

It is the first time the Queen has made a personal plea to the public about the Duchess of Cornwall’s future title, signalling her steadfast support of the woman once so scorned by much of the public.

The Duchess has already opted not to use the Princess of Wales title out of respect for its previous holder, the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

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Royal aides indicated at the time of the Duchess’ marriage to Prince Charles that she would be known only as ‘Princess Consort’ when her husband one day became King CREDIT: Alastair Grant/PA

At the time of her marriage, aides had indicated she would be known only as “Princess Consort” when her husband one day became King, as a concession to public opinion.

In recent years, as public feeling towards the Duchess has become steadily warmer, that promise has been quietly shelved.

Many believed the question of her future title would not be resolved until the eventual death of the Queen, with the more cynical of royal-watchers predicting the palace would simply begin using the “Queen Consort” title in the hopes that the public would accept it.

The Queen has now intervened with her expressed wishes, securing the title of Queen Camilla.

The reference to her succession in the Platinum Jubilee message is particularly significant after Hey Majesty suffered a period of ill health necessitating her to perform only “light duties” at the age of 95.

Nevertheless, she used the address to reaffirm her personal commitment to a life “devoted to your service”.

In a moving message, around double the length of that issued for her Diamond Jubilee ten years ago, the Queen paid an emotional tribute to the late Duke of Edinburgh, as well as her beloved father and mother who performed the role of Queen Consort so faultlessly.

Queen Elizabeth, later known to the public as the Queen Mother, was the last person to take the role of Queen Consort, with Her Majesty reigning as Queen regnant in her own right with Prince Philip in the consort role.

On Sunday, the Queen marks the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne in 1952.

“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,” said the Queen.

“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.

“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.”

Describing the “extraordinary progress” she has seen in her reign, the Queen said she was “confident” that the future offered “similar opportunities” to future generations.

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The Duchess of Cornwall with the Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge at an event at the Eden Project during the G7 summit last year CREDIT: Oli Scarff/PA

In an unusually personal declaration, she noted: “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.”

‘She’s future proofing an instruction she’s served for seventy years’

Peter Hunt, former BBC royal correspondent, 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 seventy years. And for Camilla, the journey from being the third person in a marriage to queen-in-waiting, is complete.”

Last month, the Telegraph reported that the Duchess of Cornwall was on track to be accepted as “Queen” after she received her highest public approval rating in a decade.

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The Duchess of Cornwall enjoying an ice cream with Dame Judi Dench during a visit to the Isle of Wight in 2018 CREDIT: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince Charles has long been known to wish his wife to be known as Queen, telling a US television interviewer in 2010: “We’ll see, won’t we? That could be.”

Eleven years ago when the Duchess of Cornwall visited a children’s centre in Wiltshire, she was asked by an eight-year-old: “Are you going to be queen one day?” Looking a little shocked, she replied: “You never know.”

Today marks the beginning of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. She will spend the day privately, in remembrance of her father.

Later this year, the UK and Commonwealth will put on spectacular celebrations culminating in a bank holiday weekend from June 2nd to 5th, with a concert, street parties and pageant. 

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