Why Camilla's royal title will be 'Queen Consort' instead of just 'Queen'

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Why Camilla's royal title will be 'Queen Consort' instead of just 'Queen'
There's a reason Camilla Parker Bowles will be "Queen Consort" instead of "Queen."Chris Jackson / Staff / Getty Images
  • Queen Elizabeth announced what she wants Camilla Parker Bowles' title to be when Charles is King.
  • The Duchess of Cornwall will become "Queen Consort" — not just "Queen."
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Queen Elizabeth II said she wants Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, to be known as "Queen Consort" when Prince Charles becomes King.

The Queen made the announcement on the eve of her Platinum Jubilee, which marks 70 years since she ascended to the throne, in a message to the public that was shared on social media on Saturday.

"When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when the time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service," the Queen wrote.

The monarch specified that Camilla will be given the title of "Queen Consort," not just "Queen," in her statement.

"Queen" typically refers to the reigning monarch, while "Queen Consort" is the official title for the wife or companion of a monarch, as Insider previously reported. Since Camilla will be married to the King rather than becoming the head of the monarchy herself, she will be "Queen Consort."

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Why Camilla's royal title will be 'Queen Consort' instead of just 'Queen'
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duchess of Cornwall.JOE GIDDENS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images, Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Similarly, the husband of a queen is not typically given the title of "King."

As Insider previously reported, Prince Philip was never given the title "King" despite marrying the Queen, though it was unclear if it was because he would have outranked his wife if he was made King or because of his Danish and Greek nationality.

Although she will technically be "Queen Consort," Kinsey Schofield, the founder of the royal blog To Di For Daily, told Insider that Camilla's new title will likely be shortened to "Queen" in practice, as the public isn't aware of the subtle difference between the two.

"The royal class system does not exist in the way that it used to, so its significance is much less," Schofield said of the difference between the two titles. "The royals we watch and admire today don't necessarily marry for politics or to 'secure' power anymore. Queen Consort, Queen Regent, Queen Regnant. Ask a person on the street to tell you the difference and they likely can't … and don't care."

Indeed, Queen Elizabeth's mother was technically a "Queen Consort," but she was known as "Queen" until she became "Queen Mother" following Elizabeth's ascension to the throne, as People reported.

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The Queen's announcement marks a shift in the monarchy's approach to Camilla's title

The palace announced in 2005 that she would become "Princess Consort" following Charles' ascension to the throne, as Insider previously reported.

Schofield and royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams both told Insider's Mikhaila Friel the Queen's recent announcement was likely intended to bolster support for Camilla, as they say Princess Diana fans could feel "hostile" towards the idea of Camilla becoming queen.

Why Camilla's royal title will be 'Queen Consort' instead of just 'Queen'
Camilla could be crowned Queen Consort after Charles is crowned King.Chris Jackson / Getty Images

"I fear there would have been a real and ugly debate had the Queen not addressed this," Schofield told Insider. "They are cutting the debate off before it even begins, which is a brilliant strategy."

Schofield went on to say that Camilla's future title might help the public understand what her role alongside Charles will be — and that she isn't in the royal line of succession.

"With a heightened hostility towards Camilla becoming Queen Consort, we are seeing more conversations about defining the Queen Consort role to differentiate between Queen Elizabeth's reign and responsibilities and what Camilla's position will look like," she said.

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"It's important to note that the Duchess of Cornwall is solely dependent on Prince Charles for her position," Schofield went on to say. "When Prince or King Charles dies, Prince William immediately becomes King."

When the time comes, Camilla could be officially crowned Queen Consort in a ceremony following Charles' elaborate coronation, according to the royal website.

"Unless decided otherwise, a Queen consort is crowned with the King, in a similar but simpler ceremony," the royal website says. "If the new Sovereign is a Queen, her consort is not crowned or anointed at the coronation ceremony."

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