Is Camilla the Queen or Queen Consort? What’s the difference? New title explained
Last year, the late Queen Elizabeth II expressed her “sincere wish” that Camilla would adopt the title Queen Consort when Charles is crowned, but what is a Queen Consort exactly?
Following Queen Elizabeth II’s death at Balmoral Castle last September at age 96, her eldest son has been decreed the head of state as King Charles III, marking the end of the Elizabethan era. This meant that Camilla (Duchess of Cornwall), as the King’s wife of 18 years, would be crowned Queen Consort.
The late Queen hoped that Camilla would assume the title and that the public would support it. She said: "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.
“It is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service."
What is a Queen Consort?
According to the Royal Family website, the Queen Consort is the title of the woman who is the wife of the reigning king. Therefore, Camilla (formerly the ‘Duchess of Cornwall’) should be the Queen Consort as she is the wife of the former Prince of Wales, soon-to-be crowned King Charles III.
Unlike a reigning Queen or King who has official government-related duties, a Queen Consort does not. Their role is to offer moral support to their monarch and attend public engagements or charity events.
As King Charles III’s wife, Queen Consort Camilla will also become a Counsellor of State. According to the Royal Family website, these are senior members of the Royal Family who carry out duties or other royal functions on his Majesty’s behalf if he is unavailable.
What is the difference between the Queen and the Queen Consort?
The Queen (or officially the ‘Queen Regnant’) refers to a woman who has ascended to the throne by way of sovereign powers and a familial line of succession. This applies to Queen Elizabeth II as she rose to power after her father (King George VI) died in 1952.
The Queen Consort is simply the reigning king’s wife, their role is defined by marriage and is more symbolic as they offer the monarch support, unlike the Queen who is officially the UK’s ruler.
Will Camilla be Queen?
Last September, the royal family confirmed that the title of Queen Consort would be used for Camilla following Queen Elizabeth II’s death. However, on the invitations for the coronation of King Charles III, Sky News reported that she is referred to as “Queen Camilla” and these were sent to over 2,000 people.
Since being crowned along with her husband, she has been officially known as Queen Camilla. The title does not represent any significant difference, however. As written by AP News: “Queen consorts do not formally share the sovereign’s powers, and dropping the “consort” part of the title does not change that.”
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