Camilla Parker Bowles Will Have a New Title When Prince Charles Dies
The public is finally beginning to accept Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall as Charles’ life partner for the long haul. It hasn’t been an easy transition, especially after how much the world loved Charles’ first wife, Princess Diana. But this is how it is now.
Prince Philip’s recent death is fresh in everyone’s minds. This royal family tragedy naturally led to U.K. residents thinking about what will happen when Queen Elizabeth dies and Charles becomes the king. What will Camilla’s title be? And then, when Charles himself dies, how will that title change for her?
Camilla Parker Bowles’ title is technically the Princess of Wales
Even though she would never call herself by the name, Camilla became the Princess of Wales when she married Prince Charles. But out of respect for Princess Diana, she chooses not to style her name that way and instead goes by the Duchess of Cornwall. She could also be called HRH Princess Charles if she wanted.
No one knows which title Camilla will choose once her husband ascends the throne. For a long time, royal followers believed she’d be called Princess Consort even though she was married to the king.
An official press release from Clarence House confirmed this rumor before Charles and Camilla’s wedding in 2005. However, this verbiage has been removed from the website, causing some to question if she’s now planning to be called Queen Consort instead.
Camilla’s formal title will change after Prince Charles dies
Assuming Camilla outlives Charles, she will be given a different title after his death. At that point Prince William will become the king and Camilla will have a new role as the former Princess Consort or Queen Consort.
Traditionally, the widowed spouse of the former king is called the “dowager queen.” Queen Elizabeth’s mother, whose name was also Elizabeth, called herself “The Queen Mother” to distinguish herself from her daughter. But technically she was a dowager queen after King George VI died.
If Camilla does keep her Princess Consort title as expected, then she would remain Princess Camilla unless Prince William (who would then be king) chose to bestow her with a different title. She could be called the Queen Mother just like his great grandmother Elizabeth.
No one expects Camilla Parker Bowles to be called queen
Royal titles can be confusing for commoners because they don’t always follow specific rules. There are traditions in place, but royal family members are constantly changing their minds about titles and technically, the reigning monarch has the final say on who gets what title.
These names are mostly formalities. Everyone knows Camilla is Charles’ wife regardless of whether she’s called queen or princess consort. But fans of Princess Diana appreciate Camilla’s willingness to sacrifice her right to be called Princess of Wales. And, they assume she’ll do the same with the title of queen.
A royal spokesperson confirmed that she’s still planning to go by princess, not queen.
“The intention is for the duchess to be known as princess consort when the prince accedes to the throne,” they said in a May 2020 statement, according to Reader’s Digest. “This was announced at the time of the marriage and there has been absolutely no change at all.”