Almost half of the British public who took part in a recent poll think that the Duchess of Cornwall should use the title of Queen Consort when her husband, the Prince of Wales, ascends the throne. The findings from You Gov have been released just days before the royal couple mark their tenth wedding anniversary.
When asked whether Camilla should be Queen when her husband is king, 49% of respondents said yes. The poll found that 35% believe she should take a lesser title out of respect for the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and 16% said they didn’t know.
It’s the second time in less than a year that the organisation has found around 50% support for the idea of the Duchess using the traditional title – in June 2014, 53% said yes to the idea, with 32% opposing it.
It marks a big turnaround in public opinion as when You Gov asked the same question in February 2005, just after the announcement of the royal couple’s engagement, support for Camilla being queen was just 7%. The official confirmation that the Prince of Wales was to marry for the second time was accompanied by an announcement that his new wife would not be known as the Princess of Wales, but as the Duchess of Cornwall instead, and that when he became monarch she would use the title of Her Royal Highness The Princess Consort rather than Queen Consort. That remains the official position on the issue.
At the time there was some comment that the announcement was a way to placate those who were opposed to the marriage, and in the past decade there has been heated debates as to whether Camilla has a choice in how she will be known once her husband is King, with some arguing that she will automatically become Queen as the wife of a King.
Royal Central’s investigations into the issue last year found that the wife of a monarch does not have to be known as Queen Consort, and when contacted by this website at the time the Cabinet Office said: ‘There is no requirement for the wife of the King to use the title ‘Queen Consort’…Titles are usually conferred by the Monarch via letters patent.’
The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles married in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall on April 9th 2005 following by a blessing at St George’s Chapel the same day. Their wedding had been postponed by a day to allow Prince Charles to travel to Rome to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II who died on April 2nd that year.
The couple will celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary later this week in private – they will be at Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate where they honeymooned a decade ago. As they mark this milestone in their marriage, they do so in the knowledge that support for Camilla being called Queen is taking hold as the years go by.