She has completed an extraordinary transformation from royal mistress to queen consort to King Charles III – and now Camilla will finally be known as Her Majesty the Queen.
Buckingham Palace announced last night – alongside a new official portrait of the royal couple – that after the coronation, the monarch’s wife will be known as Queen Camilla.
There was a time when honoring Camilla, 75, with the ultimate royal title would have been highly controversial.
But Camilla’s public image has been transformed after she was initially cast as the “third” person in the marriage of Diana, Princess of Wales and Charles, before becoming a campaigning member of the monarchy willing to serve the nation.
It took time for the nation to warm up to the future queen after Diana’s death in 1997 and when Camilla married Charles in 2005, the subject of her future title was a point of contention.
Appropriately dressed in royal blue, the King and Queen consort pose for a new official portrait
At the time, Palace executives said she would be known only as “Princess Consort” — until Queen Elizabeth II ended years of uncertainty over the matter by assuring Camilla’s future status in a landmark Platinum Jubilee statement.
In her surprise announcement in February 2022, Her Majesty’s late stated that it was her “heartfelt wish” that her daughter-in-law would be fully recognized when Charles became king.
And the first indication that the king’s long-held dream of having his wife crowned queen by his side would finally materialize came in the wording of the coronation invitation itself: “The Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla.” ‘
Officials released an image last night of the elaborately illustrated invitation that will be sent later this month to 2,000 guests who secured a coveted spot at Westminster Abbey on May 6.
When asked about the title – when the accompanying press release itself still referred to Camilla as the Queen Consort – a senior royal aide confirmed: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“Queen Camilla is the proper title to knock off King Charles at the invitation. The coronation is an opportune time to start using “Queen Camilla” in an official capacity. All former Queen Consorts are known as Queen plus their first name.’
It is understood that Buckingham Palace will update its website next month to reflect the change.
The move marks Camilla’s incredible journey over five decades, from romantic engagement to mistress and eventually wife to the king – and will conclude with her formal coronation as queen alongside the new monarch.
Diana and Camilla at Ludlow Races in 1980
Charles talks to Camilla during a polo match in 1972
It’s a stark contrast to how Camilla was viewed in the early years of her and Charles’ relationship – with even the late Queen initially “wanting nothing to do with her.”
Just 12 months after the crash in Paris that killed Princess Diana, Charles went to his mother, seeking approval and support for his relationship with Camilla and then Mrs. Parker Bowles.
It was not a happy meeting. As a high-ranking royal confidante told The Daily Mail, “The Queen told her son she never wanted to talk about that wicked woman and have nothing to do with her.”
However, the late monarch eventually personally supported “Queen Camilla” and accepted Charles’s former mistress as a respected member of the “Firm.”
Meanwhile, The Daily Mail was the first to reveal in December that the Palace planned to remove the word Consort from Camilla’s “organic” title this year.
This was confirmed by The Mail on Sunday in February, when it reported that she would be named queen after the coronation.
Charles and Camilla at the Service of Prayer and Consecration Blessing their Marriage at Windsor Castle on April 9, 2005
Charles and Camilla leave The Ritz hotel in London after attending a 50th birthday party for Camilla’s sister on their first official outing together in 1999
The change, once unimaginable, seals a remarkable transformation for Camilla in the nation’s affections.
When she married the then Prince of Wales in 2005 in a civil ceremony — which Queen Elizabeth declined to attend — it was announced that Camilla was “intending” to be known as Princess Consort when her husband ascended the throne.
The use of the word “intended” was intended to give royal aides room for maneuver, but at the time many still blamed her for the failure of Charles’s marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales.
Since then, however, Camilla, 75, has won over many with her warmth, sense of humour, lack of complaining and work for the victims of domestic violence, as well as the promotion of literacy.
A royal insider said last night: ‘His Majesty has always seen it as a matter of honour. He is king, so it follows that his wife must be queen. It’s kind of like telling someone they can’t be known as Mrs. So-and-so.
“It is entirely up to them whether they choose to be called that, but it is still fundamentally their right to do so.”
King Charles’s official coronation invitation, first seen here, is a riot of flora and fauna around an ancient folkloric symbol, the Green Man
In February 2022, a poll for the Mail of more than 1,000 adults, conducted by pollsters JL Partners, found Britons enthusiastically supporting ‘Queen Camilla’ – by a margin of two to one.
The survey found that 55 percent of people support the move, nearly double the 28 percent who opposed it. However, the public still believes that Princess Diana would have made the better queen.
It showed that people feel their view of Camilla has become more positive over the past decade and since Diana’s death in 1997.
A clear majority of all age groups supported Camilla winning the title, with about half saying they have a great deal or fair amount of respect for her.
More than thought that Camilla would make a good queen, and that Charles and Camilla would be an asset to Britain as monarchs.
But there was an age gap, with the younger generation of 18-44 year olds barely believing that Camilla would not make a good queen and that she and Charles would not be an asset to Britain during their reign.
And despite Camilla winning the public’s affection, they remain united in the belief that Princess Diana would have made a better queen, with 58 percent saying so, compared to just 16 percent choosing Camilla.
‘[Camilla’s] warm, she’s fun, she’s friendly,” someone who has calibrated Camilla’s progress over the years tells The Daily Mail.
“She has struck a balance between maintaining regal independence and being able to compete at the same time. She can take a joke and the people she meets are very warm to her now.’
How Queen Camilla captured the hearts of the nation
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