Royal News | London Metro

 

Elizabeth II has mentioned in her Platinum Jubilee that it is her ‘sincere wish’ that Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall will become Queen Consort at the time that Charles becomes king.

Her Majesty said:

 

‘I would like to express my thanks to you all for your support. I remain eternally grateful for, and humbled by, the loyalty and affection that you continue to give me…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.’

 

 

Whilst it has been suggested that Charles would not become King, and that therefore, Camilla would not become Queen, this statement has taken many by surprise – but just what does Queen Consort mean?

 

What is a Queen Consort?

 

The latter part of the title ‘consort’ means that the person is the spouse of the person who reigns.

Consorts of monarchs in the UK do not in themselves, have any ruling authority, their main function is to support and accompany the Monarch, but with the added role of an active participation in public engagements.

 

Who have previously been Queen Consorts?

 

For those of us who have lived more than a couple of decades, we may remember the Queen Mother, who served as a Queen Consort during the reign of Elizabeth’s father George VI. A Queen Consort from earlier times would include her grandmother, George V’s wife Queen Mary.

When it comes to the role of consort though, the title of longest serving goes to Prince Philip, who served as consort after the Queen ascended to the throne in 1952, his role only ending with his death on April 9 2021.

However, when it comes to an actual Queen Consort, the longest serving in that role goes to Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who became consort to George III from 1761 after their wedding, until the union of the two kingdoms in 1801.

Following this, she remained Queen of the UK until her passing in 1818, her husband following a couple of years later.

 

Why Philip wasn’t a King Consort…

 

When a King has a wife, she is known as a Queen Consort. However, when a Queen has a husband, he is not known as a King Consort, but rather a Prince Consort. Why?

Since the role of a Queen is thought to be a lower rank than a King, a secondary role, such as consort, cannot apply to a title of King…since that role is supposedly superior to a Queen.

Therefore, Prince Philip became Prince Consort to Elizabeth rather than King Consort. This meant that his title did not have a higher rank than hers. But there is one other difference between the role of Queen Consort and Prince Consort.

When a King is crowned, his wife is also crowned(in a smaller affair) at the same time as the King. The Prince Consort, however, is not crowned at the same time.

In the case of Camilla, this new announcement by Queen Elizabeth is a welcome confirmation that she would become Queen, something that has been disputed in the past.

 

What was Camilla’s original intended title?

 

Although Camilla would have been Queen by technicality, when Charles ascended to the throne, Buckingham Palace said that she would have been given a different title, Princess Consort. The official website saying:

 

 

‘As was explained at the time of their wedding in April 2005, it is intended that The Duchess will be known as HRH The Princess Consort when The Prince of Wales Accedes to The Throne,’ 

 

 

This clarification was later deleted..possibly in advance of this upgrade in title which as now come. Charles himself hinted at this change, when asked if Camilla would become Queen, saying:

 

‘We’ll see, won’t we?’

 

Following the Queen’s announcement, which would have been painstakingly and carefully worded, Charles and Camilla have released their own statement, saying:

 

 

(we are)‘touched and honoured by Her Majesty’s words….As we have sought together to serve and support Her Majesty and the people of our communities, my darling wife has been my own steadfast support throughout….The year of this unprecedented Platinum Jubilee brings an opportunity for us all to come together in celebrating the service of The Queen, by whose example we will continue to be led in the years to come.’

 

With the Queen in the twilight of her life, Charles and Camilla’s statement says ‘whose example we will continue to be led in the years to come’, rather than ‘whose example we will be following in the years to come’ could be perceived as a nod to the fact that Charles’ coronation could be in the not too distant future…at which time Camilla’s will too.

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Londonlad
Author: Londonlad

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