When Queen Elizabeth passes away, her eldest son, Prince Charles, will inherit the throne as the new King of England. But will his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, then assume the Queen of England title? The situation is a bit complicated, to say the least.
When Camilla, 71, married Charles, 69, in a small, civil ceremony in April 2005, Clarence House revealed that she would be taking the Duchess of Cornwall name — the female version of one of Charles' lesser-used titles — and would become "Her Royal Highness, the Princess Consort" when her husband eventually takes the throne. However, royal insiders are now speculating that the palace might allow Camilla to be Queen after all.
For starters, a palace insider recently told People that Camilla's personality and relationship with husband Charles would help make her a great Queen. "She’s got a good philosophy about life: There are things you can change, other things you can’t change... Don’t get too hung up about it," Queen Elizabeth's former private secretary Charles Anson told the magazine.
Anson shared that Camilla "kind of jollies" Charles and "doesn’t let him get too overburdened by the woes of the world" before adding, "And I think she’ll be a great Consort as Queen."
During a previous interview with The Daily Star newspaper, another source revealed that while Camilla is still a bit hesitant to become Queen, Prince Charles is adamant that his wife receives the Queen Consort title when he becomes King.
"Camilla still does not want to be Queen but Prince Charles will pull out all the stops to get her to be Queen Consort. The official stance is that Camilla will be Princess Consort when the Queen dies, but Charles is vying for her to be Queen, and who can blame him? The Duchess of Cornwall is one of the most active members of the royal family, officially representing the Queen on countless occasions across the world," the insider said.
"Once Charles becomes King, Camilla will become Queen Consort. Of course, Charles will have absolute discretion to give Camilla the title of Princess Consort, but that would be a devastating thing and would set a dangerous precedent. To not allow Camilla to become Queen would be the ultimate snub to all of the tireless work she has done," Charlie Proctor, the editor-in-chief of Royal Central, told the outlet.
Last year, Sally Bedell Smith — author of Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life — similarly told the Express, "Most of the constitutional experts agree that by common law and tradition [Camilla] is entitled to be Queen."
In another interview, Bedell Smith told People that the palace was initially hesitant to groom Camilla as Britain’s next Queen since her public image had been tainted by her highly publicized affair with Prince Charles. Camilla had been involved with the Prince years before he divorced his wife, the beloved late Princess Diana, in August 1996.
"It was obviously fudged when they got married. Diana was so uppermost in many peoples’ minds. So [the palace] concocted the notion of a Princess Consort which is made up. They obviously have worked very hard to have her accepted and she has been accepted," she explained. "If she were anything less than Queen Consort it would imply inferiority on her part."
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