Why Camilla Will Be Known As ‘Queen,’ but Prince Philip Was Never King

  • Queen Elizabeth II said she wants Camilla to be “Queen Consort” when Prince Charles becomes King.
  • The statement comes after years of confusion over the Duchess of Cornwall’s future title.
  • Prince Philip likely wasn’t given the title of King because it could have outranked Queen Elizabeth.

Queen Elizabeth II announced on Saturday that she wants Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, to be named “Queen Consort” when Prince Charles ascends to the throne.

After hosting a reception at Sandringham Estate on the eve of Accession Day, the Queen, 95, released a statement reflecting on her 70-year reign.

“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,” she wrote.

Following the Queen’s announcement, Charles, 73 praised Camilla, 74, in his own statement on Sunday.

“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,” he wrote.


Richard Palmer, a royal correspondent at the Daily Express, said on Twitter that “Charles and Camilla have indicated they will follow her wishes.”

Camilla was going to become the ‘Princess Consort’

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall continue to laugh after a bubble bee took a liking to Prince Charles during their visit to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary on November 5, 2015 in Dunedin, New Zealand. The Royal couple are on a 12-day tour visiting seven regions in New Zealand and three states and one territory in Australia.

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Rob Jefferies/Getty Images

Confusion surrounding Camilla’s future title began in 2005 when she and Prince Charles announced their engagement. Several outlets reported that her title would be “Princess Consort” when Charles ascended to the throne. According to People, a press release from the day of the engagement addressed the issue, saying: “It is intended that Mrs Parker Bowles should use the title HRH The Princess Consort when The Prince of Wales accedes to The Throne.”

Camilla’s son, Tom Parker-Bowles, told Central Recorderday Times in May 2021 that he “honestly didn’t know” whether his mother would take the title of queen consort.

In the first poll taken after the Queen’s announcement, The Daily Mail asked more than 1,000 UK adults if they thought Camilla should be named queen. 55% said that Camilla should be named queen consort, compared to 28% of people who disagreed. 17% said they didn’t know.

Insider’s Mikhaila Friel reported that even though public support for Camilla appears to be increasing, the Queen made her endorsement to encourage support and reduce backlash from Princess Diana supporters.

While Camilla may become ‘Queen,’ the late Prince Philip was never in line to be King

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Philip standing together for a photo.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Charles; Queen Elizabeth II; and Prince Philip at a dinner at the Corinthia Palace Hotel in 2015.

Arthur Edwards/Getty Images

When Camilla officially receives the title of queen consort, she will be “crowned with the King, in a similar but simpler ceremony,” according to the official website of the royal family.

This will be a change from what happened to Queen Elizabeth II’s late husband, Prince Philip. The most likely reason Prince Philip was never crowned king is because that title may have outranked the Queen, according to a report by Insider’s Samantha Grindell and Mikhaila Friel.

Prince Philip was only the fifth consort to a reigning Queen in British royal history, according to the royal website. The last instance was in 1857 when Prince Albert was named prince consort by Queen Victoria 17 years after they wed in 1840.

Insider’s Annie Stallings previously reported that Prince Philip’s death didn’t affect the line of succession for the throne “because marriage to a queen does not determine a ranking in the line of succession.” 

“If the new Sovereign is a Queen, her consort is not crowned or anointed at the coronation ceremony,” the royal website says.

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