Gearing up for the big day. Queen Camilla will be officially crowned alongside her husband, King Charles III, in just a few days, and one royal expert thinks she could be feeling anxious before the event.
“I think certainly for anyone, the coronation is bound to be an overwhelming experience,” the Do Let’s Have Another Drink author exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, May 2. “It’s a huge ceremony. … I would say she’s probably nervous, but I don’t think there’ll be any surprises for her on the day.”
The former Duchess of Cornwall, 75, and her husband, 74, became queen consort and king, respectively, immediately after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, but their official coronation takes place on Saturday, May 6.
While Charles has known since birth that he would eventually become king of the United Kingdom, Camilla’s future with the monarchy only became clear in the last few years. Before her wedding to the former Prince of Wales in 2005, Camilla was married to Andrew Parker Bowles from 1973 to 1995. The former couple share son Tom, 48, and daughter Laura, 45.
Once Camilla and Charles married, it wasn’t immediately clear whether she would receive the title of “queen” following Elizabeth’s death. That matter was only settled in February 2022 when the late monarch announced that her daughter-in-law would become queen consort after Charles ascended the throne.
“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,” Elizabeth said in a statement at the time as she celebrated her Platinum Jubilee marking 70 years as the British monarch. “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.”
According to Russell, that uncertainty could make the upcoming ceremony even more nerve-racking. “We know even royals who had grown up expecting one day that they would have a coronation — I’m thinking in particular of Elizabeth and her grandfather, George V — all find it quite overwhelming,” the Ship of Dreams author told Us. “They find it humbling but terrifying at the same time.”
While the coronation is a major historical event, there will still be a few sentimental touches grounding it. Camilla is expected to wear several items of clothing in tribute to Elizabeth, including a crown. Earlier this year, Buckingham Palace revealed that Camilla will wear the Queen Mary’s Crown, which is being updated with several stones that belonged to the former monarch.
“The choice of Queen Mary’s crown by her majesty is the first time in recent history that an existing crown will be used for the coronation of a consort instead of a new commission being made, in the interests of sustainability and efficiency,” the palace said in a February statement, noting that Camilla has modified the headpiece to incorporate diamonds from the late queen’s personal collection.
Royal watchers are of course very interested in the jewels, but Russell noted that the crowning isn’t necessarily the most important moment in the coronation. “A really important part is what’s called acclamation,” the author explained to Us. “It’s showing the king to the people and hearing the people respond and saying that this is their king.”
Russell went on to explain that the actual church service is rooted in Christian tradition, but Charles has made a few changes to modernize the ceremony. “There will be an incorporation of the different languages of the United Kingdom for the first time,” the Emperors author told Us. “It used to be [that] it was only ever in English. There would be bits of it that were in Latin, but we are seeing for the first time a special hymn has been compose that will begin in English [then] have a verse in Welsh, a verse in Irish for Northern Ireland and a verse in Gaelic for Scotland.”
For the king’s anointing, the Archbishop of Canterbury will use a screen specially commissioned for the event. “Each leaf has the name of a different part of the Commonwealth on it,” Russell explained. “There’s much more of an attempt to make this less Anglocentric. I think in general, the inclusion of so many different voices in the coronation will make it feel more modern.”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi