Married to King Charles III since 2005, the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles, now earns the title of British Queen Consort. This comes after the death of Elizabeth II, which brought Charles to the British throne.
The title of queen consort is given to the wife of the current king. The concept is different from the title of queen – in the case of Elizabeth II –, intended for those who are already born into the royal family and are in the line of succession.
A queen consort has, in theory, the same social position and status as a spouse. Historically, however, it does not have the same political powers.
Queen Elizabeth II was already preparing this transition. In a message to the nation in February of this year, the monarch said she wanted Camilla to be called queen consort when Charles became king.
“It is my sincere wish that when the time comes, Camilla will be known as queen consort while continuing her own loyal service,” the British monarch, 95, said on the eve of the 70th anniversary of her reign.
Camilla was regarded as Prince Charles’ lover during his marriage to Princess Diana – and, therefore, was not liked by the public. But years later, she has seen her approval rating rise thanks to her numerous engagements with the royal family.
Camilla married Charles in 2005, nearly eight years after Diana’s death. She was considered by many to be pivotal to the crisis in Charles’ marriage to Diana, who split in August 1996.
At the time, Diana attributed the divorce to Charles’ refusal to end his affair with Camilla. Charles said he remained faithful to the marriage “until it fell apart”. In an official statement, Buckingham Palace announced that the divorce was entirely amicable.
A year later, on August 31, 1997, Diana died in a car accident in Paris, France, while fleeing paparazzi.