Queen Consort: What does Camilla's new title mean?

·Freelance news writer, Yahoo UK
·3 min read
PAR, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 06: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during her visit to the Antiques Roadshow at The Eden Project on September 06, 2022 in Par, England. (Photo by Hugh Hastings - WPAPool/Getty)
Camilla, the Queen Consort, pictured in Par, Cornwall, on Tuesday, two days before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's death. (Getty Images)

Camilla, formerly the Duchess of Cornwall, is now officially known as the Queen Consort following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96 on Thursday.

Her Majesty’s son, Charles, automatically succeeded his mother as the nation’s monarch upon her passing, meaning the new King’s wife, Camilla, became Her Majesty The Queen Consort.

She is already listed as such on the official website of the Royal Family.

Here, Yahoo News UK explains what the term means and what Camilla’s role will be.

What does Queen Consort mean?

It means she is the wife of the King.

The wife of a King automatically becomes a Queen Consort and only a change in legislation can prevent this from happening.

Watch: From Prince Charles to King Charles III - Charles's New Role

Given the past, and well-documented, controversies surrounding Camilla and Charles’s relationship, there had been years of debate over whether she would actually use the title.

Royal aides had insisted Camilla did not want to be a Queen and that she “intended” to be known as the Princess Consort when Charles acceded to the throne. This would have been unprecedented.

However, the word “intended” left this open to change in the future.

TOPSHOT - Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, formerly Camilla Parker Bowles, leave the Guildhall in Windsor, England, where they were married in a private ceremony 09 April 2005. Prince Charles and his longtime sweetheart Camilla Parker Bowles married today after two months of muddled preparations and a lifetime of waiting. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Charles and Camilla married in 2005. (AFP via Getty Images)
The Queen Consort and King Charles III arriving at Buckingham Palace on Friday. (PA)
The Queen Consort and King Charles III arriving at Buckingham Palace on Friday. (PA)

Nonetheless, the government and other experts said that unless there was a change in the law, Camilla would still legally become Queen Consort when Charles became King, no matter what she chose to call herself.

In any case, Queen Elizabeth, on the eve of her Platinum Jubilee in February this year, endorsed Camilla to be known as Queen Consort when the time came.

She said it was her “sincere wish” that Camilla would take the title and called on the public to back both her daughter-in-law and Charles when he became King.

TOPSHOT - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) stands with Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (L) and Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales to watch a special flypast from Buckingham Palace balcony following the Queen's Birthday Parade, the Trooping the Colour, as part of Queen Elizabeth II's platinum jubilee celebrations, in London on June 2, 2022. - Huge crowds converged on central London in bright sunshine on Thursday for the start of four days of public events to mark Queen Elizabeth II's historic Platinum Jubilee, in what could be the last major public event of her long reign. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
Camilla, Charles and Queen Elizabeth on the Buckingham Palace balcony during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June. (AFP via Getty Images)

Camilla later said she felt “very honoured and very touched” by the public seal of approval.

She will be crowned at Charles’s side at his coronation, just as the last Queen Consort, the Queen Mother, was.

She is expected to wear the Queen Mother’s 1937 coronation crown.

What will Camilla's role be?

As set out on the Royal Family website: "Her Majesty The Queen Consort (formerly HRH The Duchess of Cornwall) supports her husband, formerly The Prince of Wales, now His Majesty The King, in carrying out his work and duties.

"She also undertakes public engagements on behalf of the charities that she supports."

In recent years, Camilla had gradually taken on a more prominent position within the Royal Family, including riding next to the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee carriage procession.

Read more: Queen's death: What the new royal line of succession looks like now

She also began to attend the State Opening of Parliament.

She was made a Privy Counsellor in 2016 ahead of the Queen’s official 90th birthday, meaning she will be beside Charles when he is formally proclaimed monarch at the Accession Council.

Through charity work championing literacy, and highlighting the problem of domestic abuse and sexual violence, Camilla has carved out her own royal role.