Royally big shoes to fill. Duchess Camilla has spoken candidly about her future duties as Queen Consort after the late Queen Elizabeth II officially announced the palace’s plans for her title.
The monarch declared in a February 2022 statement that she hoped Camilla would reign alongside Prince Charles — now King Charles III — once he takes 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 noted while marking 70 years of service to the Commonwealth. “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.”
Charles and his spouse celebrated the honor soon after. “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 couple gushed in a joint statement. “The Queen’s devotion to the welfare of all her people inspires still greater admiration with each passing year.”
At the time, the twosome reassured the public that they were “deeply conscious of the honor” bestowed by the queen. “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,” they concluded.
When the queen died at age 96 in September 2022, Charles immediately became King Charles III and Camilla became the Queen Consort. Buckingham Palace confirmed the title changes in the first official statement announcing Elizabeth’s death.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the statement read. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Charles and Camilla tied the knot in 2005, nearly 10 years after his divorce from the late Princess Diana was finalized in 1996. Following Elizabeth’s February 2022 announcement, royal author Christopher Andersen predicted that the news came as a shock to Charles’ sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.
“I can tell you right now that the boys were completely blindsided by this,” the Brothers and Wives writer exclusively told Us Weekly at the time, claiming that the decision could be “driving a wedge” between members of the royal family.
Buckingham Palace had not previously addressed Camilla’s future role within the monarchy at length. However, when she and Charles got engaged, the palace suggested Camilla “should use” the titles of HRH The Princess Consort, similar to the late Prince Philip, who was known as Elizabeth’s consort before his April 2021 death.
The royal matriarch, for her part, was initially “skeptical” about how her daughter-in-law would represent the family. “Through her dedication and loyalty to The Firm, she has more than proved to her that she has what it takes,” a source exclusively told Us in February 2022. “Camilla has definitely grown on Elizabeth II, more so than ever during the [coronavirus] pandemic. She really upped her game and willingly took a hands-on approach with additional duties.”
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