Why Camilla's Title On The Invitations For King Charles' Coronation Is Raising Eyebrows

Was it a power move?
Camilla, Queen Consort has just been officially referred to as Queen Camilla
POOL via Reuters
Camilla, Queen Consort has just been officially referred to as Queen Camilla

Camilla, the Queen Consort, was just formally called Queen Camilla for the first time ever on King Charles’ coronation invitations this week.

The ornate invitation for the huge event, set to take place on May 6, begins by calling it the coronation “of their Majesties, King Charles III and Queen Camilla.”

Titles are of the utmost importance within the Royal Family, an institution steeped in tradition and hierarchy.

So, while this might appear to be a only minor change to Camilla’s role, it’s actually quite significant.

So, why is it a big deal?

It all comes down to Charles’ history – Camilla is the monarch’s second wife.

He divorced his first, Diana, Princess of Wales, back in 1996 after years of highly publicised fallouts and alleged affairs (including between Charles and Camilla).

Known as the People’s Princess, Diana is still seen as a cultural icon to this day and has an ongoing loyal fanbase, more than 25 years on from her death.

Charles waited until 2005 to marry Camilla Parker-Bowles (who was divorced herself) and declared that, out of respect for his late ex-wife, she would only take on one of his lesser titles. That made Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall, so as not to overshadow Diana’s memory or imply she would replace her.

But as Charles had not yet ascended the throne during his marriage to Diana, it wasn’t clear if he would let his next wife take on the Queen title.

But Palace officials were in a different predicament once Charles and Camilla, both previously divorced, when deciding upon her future role in the Royal Family.

Traditionally, the wife of the ruling monarch gets to take the title of Queen, but divorced monarch and subsequent head of the Church of England has not sat on the throne for centuries.

So, there was plenty of contention around what title Camilla would get when her husband one day inherited the throne.

Was Camilla supposed to be Princess Consort?

Before the late Queen Elizabeth’s death, the widespread belief was that Camilla would become the HRH Princess Consort – as the pair announced at the time of their wedding.

This would follow the pattern the Queen developed for her own husband, Prince Philip, who was her Prince Consort ( he couldn’t be king because that’s a rank higher than queen).

What did the late Queen Elizabeth want?

Then, the Queen Elizabeth claimed in February 2022 it was her “sincere wish” for Camilla to become Queen Consort when Charles eventually became King.

What is a Queen Consort?

The royal website explains: “Unless decided otherwise, a Queen Consort is crowned with the King, in a similar but simple ceremony. If the new Sovereign is a Queen, her Consort is not crowned or anointed at the coronation ceremony.”

A Consort does not have any formal positions related to the government, unlike their spouse, the constitutional monarch, who inherited the throne.

So, the dropping of the word “consort” is being perceived as a power move by Twitter.

Was it a power move?

Well, it’s not clear – but it doesn’t make a difference to Camilla’s official roles, and on the royal website she is still officially referred to as the Queen Consort.

And, as Emily Nash of HELLO! magazine told Good Morning Britain, no other queen consort has retained the title of queen consort in UK history – they have all dropped it and just used Queen as a prefix to their name.