The Duchess Of Cornwall recently paid a visit to St Mary’s School in South London. During a conversation with one pupil she was reportedly asked: “Are you going to be the Queen?” To which the Duchess reportedly replied, “you never know”!
From the time of the Duchess’s marriage to the Prince Of Wales in 2005 until recent speculation about the future British Consort’s title, it was believed and was indeed confirmed by Clarence House that the Duchess Of Cornwall would assume the title of Princess Consort instead of the usual title of Queen Consort, an idea proposed by New Labour.
The idea was to originally hush down critics of the Duchess by underplaying her position in the Monarchy, especially to attempt to win the conviction of the Diana fans who believed the Duchess was responsible for the breakdown in the marriage of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess Of Wales.
Indeed, on a Q&As section on the Prince Of Wales’s website, it does clearly cite that it is still intended that the Duchess assume the title of Princess Consort on Charles’s accession to the throne. In practice, this would mean very little other than a different title and reference. If this goes ahead, it would make her: Her Royal Highness Princess Camilla, Princess Consort – and instead of people addressing her as ‘Your Majesty’ it would be ‘Your Royal Highness’.
Many Royal commentators and Monarchists have long pushed for the Duchess to be known as Queen when Charles accedes, especially now criticism and unnecessarily harsh feeling towards Camilla has died down.
An opinion poll taken at the time of Camilla and Prince Charles’s marriage in 2005 showed 73% of Britons rejected the idea of her ever becoming queen. Now, it is regarded that less than 40% reject the idea, a clear and vast improvement on the 2005 survey. If she went ahead following tradition, she’d become Her Majesty Queen Camilla, Queen Consort.
So, whether The Duchess Of Cornwall follows past precedent or just tries to stave off harsh criticism remains to be seen, but we, as we’re sure many Royal commentators will, will be looking forward to seeing a Queen Camilla.
Camilla has said “You never know” to a kid a few years ago when asked the same question. To me it seems like she just didn’t want to give a definite answer and didn’t feel like explaining what a “Princess Consort” was to the kids.