In a speech marking her Accession Day, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II expressed her “sincere wish” for the Duchess of Cornwall to be known as “Queen Consort” when Prince Charles becomes king.
The Prince of Wales, 73, married Camilla, 74, in a private civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall in 2005. At the time, the couple announced that she would be given the lesser title “Princess Consort” due to sensitivities surrounding the title of Queen, which was intended for Charles’s late first wife, Diana.
The 95-year-old monarch’s surprise announcement occurred in her speech for her Platinum Jubilee.
After thanking the public for their support and loyalty, the Queen said: “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.”
Although Queen Elizabeth II is the only person who can define royal titles, she was expected to consult her direct heirs, Charles and William, before making such a significant announcement. The Queen’s message also reflects that sentiment towards the Duchess of Cornwall has softened and she is now seen as a central figure in the royal family.
After the monarch’s emotional intervention, the Prince of Wales praised the “steadfast support” his wife had given him over the years.
In a message to celebrate his mother’s 70th year on the throne, Charles said: “On this historic day, my wife and I join you all in congratulating Her Majesty The Queen on the remarkable achievement of serving this nation, the realms and Commonwealth for seventy years.”
“The Queen’s devotion to the welfare of all her people inspires still greater admiration with each passing year. We are deeply conscious of the honor represented by my mother’s wish,” he added.
Later on Saturday, a spokesman for the Royal Family Institution said the Prince of Wales and Camilla were “touched and honored” by the Queen’s words.