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Like It or Lump It: Brace Yourselves for Queen Camilla

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A decade ago, it would have seemed unthinkable, but after one of the most outstanding rehabilitation exercises that has ever been orchestrated, Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall is bang on course to become Queen Camilla.

When Prince Charles and Camilla got engaged in 2005, it was inconceivable that she would ever been taken on the title of 'Queen'.

Instead, Charles peddled the line that she would be his 'Princess Consort'. But let us be candid: this was only ever a sop to the British public.

If, ten years ago, people had thought that Camilla was going to be the Queen, there would have been rioting in the streets. If the matter had come up in 1997, after the Princess Diana, the public outrage would have been so visceral that today we probably wouldn't even have a monarchy.

But now that Camilla's public rehabilitation is all but complete, we might as well cut the cackle: when the Queen dies, there will be no abdication, there will be no Prince William leap-frogging onto the throne, and Prince Charles will become Charles III.

Further to that: Charles's wife is going to be right by his side - and she will not be his 'Princess Consort', she will be his equal. She will be The Queen.

For a few diehards, this title will very much stick in the craw. Camilla is, after all, the woman who seemingly stole Prince Charles away from his Diana. Who the hell is this schemer, this adulteress, to think that she can lord it over the rest of us and become Charles' Queen Consort of Great Britain, Ireland and her other Realms and Territories?

But that is how it is: in over a thousand years of British Monarchy, the King's wife - no matter how loathed - has automatically become the Queen. Do not think for a moment that this practice is going to stop when Charles takes the throne.

The title of 'Princess Consort' was merely a ruse to give the flinty-hearted British public enough time to warm to Camilla. It seems that they have now done just that.

There are still, of course, a minority of Brits who have never warmed to Camilla, and who will for ever be Princess Diana's champions. But though the majority of Brits may not have accepted Camilla into their hearts, they are at least slightly endeared to her.

For her part, Camilla has played an absolute blinder. Since she married Prince Charles in 2005, she's not set a foot out of line. She hasn't said a single word out of turn, or dropped a single Prince Philip-like clanger; she has thrown herself into her royal duties and her various charities; and, most important of all, Camilla has seemed loyal and supportive to both Harry and William, not to mention the latest Royal darling, the Duchess of Cambridge.

So: pish to all this babble about Prince Charles abdicating from the job that he's been groomed for since the day he was born; and double-pish to this cant that Camilla will one day just be his 'Princess Consort'.

Though these two debates have provided endless entertainment for the masses over the past decade, it is time to say things as they are: when Charles takes to the throne, Camilla will be the Queen, and when we meet Her Maj, we all of us will be expected to be bowing and scraping like the best of them.

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