Will Camilla Parker Bowles Be Queen Mother When Prince William Becomes King?

The royal family is very particular about, well, everything — especially when it comes to succession. Typically, when a king passes away, his successor becomes monarch and his wife becomes Queen Mother. But, as Prince William’s stepmother, Camilla Parker Bowles’s future position in the royal family is a bit of a gray area.

Will Camilla be Queen Mother when Prince William ascends the throne? Find out, ahead.

Camilla Parker Bowles
Camilla Parker Bowles | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

What does Queen Mother mean?

In the royal family, the title of Queen Mother belongs to the mother of the reigning monarch. If Princess Diana were alive to witness her son, Prince William succeed the throne, it’s unclear whether or not the royal family would still honor that title, given she and Prince Charles divorced and Camilla Parker Bowles was his Queen or Princess Consort. However, given the fact that Prince William likely would have the final say — after all, he would be monarch — he could have officially made the late-princess Queen Mother.

While the title of Queen Mother technically refers to the reigning monarch’s mother, some reports suggest that Queen Mother could also simply refer to a former Queen or Princess Consort (the king’s wife) to distinguish them from the current Queen or Princess Consort.

Will Camilla be Queen Mother?

Camilla Parker Bowles
Camilla Parker Bowles | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

As Prince William’s stepmother, many want to know: Will Camilla be Queen Mother when Prince Charles dies and Prince William becomes king? Based on the royal family rulebook, the answer is likely no. Since Camilla Parker Bowles is not Prince William’s mother, she probably won’t receive such status.

However, it’s a bit unclear whether or not an exception might be made. After all, Camilla Parker Bowles is legally Prince William’s stepmother, which could carry enough weight in the monarchy to assume the role of Queen Mother. For tradition’s sake — and since his own mother is not alive — Prince William might choose to grant his stepmother the title of Queen Mother.

If Queen Mother additionally means the widowed Queen or Princess Consort, Camilla Parker Bowles could have the right to Queen Mother as Prince Charles’s wife.

What does the Queen Mother do?

Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Philip
Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Philip | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

With all this fuss about whether or not Camilla Parker Bowles, surely being the Queen Mother is a big deal, right? Not exactly. Apparently, Queen Mother in the British royal family is simply a courtesy title that exists to differentiate a widowed Queen or Princess Consort from a current Queen or Princess Consort.

That said, if Camilla Parker Bowles becomes Queen Mother, it doesn’t necessarily mean she gets a hall pass from royal life. Like many other members of the royal family, she will likely continue to attend events and engagements on behalf of the monarch until her retirement. And she will hold the title of Queen Mother until her death.

Is there a King Father title?

In the royal family, there are no distinct titles for the father of a reigning monarch. If the monarch’s father was a consort — like Prince Philip — and outlived his wife, he would likely go by “the king or queen’s father,” and might also continue to hold other royal titles. If Prince Philip lives to see his son succeed the throne, he would continue to use his royal title, Duke of Edinburgh or go by “the king’s father” in a more casual sense.

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