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Prince Charles is effectively King Charles III after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. While he is now known as the King of the United Kingdom, a formal ceremony and coronation of his new title will likely take months to arrange. Meanwhile, his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, is now known as Queen Consort, a title bestowed on her earlier this year and made effective upon Queen Elizabeth’s death. However, how much power will Camilla Parker Bowles have in her new role?

amilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrives at The State Opening of Parliament on May 18, 2016 in London, England.
Camilla Parker Bowles | Eddie Mulholland – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles married in 2005

On April 9, 2005, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were married in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall. Their marriage was subsequently blessed at St. George’s Chapel. Charles and Camilla’s union was the culmination of a love affair that spanned four decades. However, it was not without its scandal.

The couple met in the summer of 1970 at a polo match when Camilla was just 24 and Charles 22. Although they were attracted to each other, the couple drifted, and in 1973, Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles, the father of her two children, Laura and Tom. Camilla and Andrew divorced in 1995.

Charles wed Diana Spencer in July 1980, and the couple welcomed two sons, Princes William and Harry. However, the lingering romance between Charles and Camilla tainted the marriage of the prince and princess of Wales, leading to scandal and heartache within their union. Charles and Diana divorced in 1996.

After Princess Diana’s tragic death in 1997, Charles’ plans to introduce Camilla to the public were slowly put on hold. In January 1999, the two were photographed together in public, leaving a birthday party for Camilla’s sister, Annabel Elliot, at the Ritz Hotel in London. They married eight years later.

How much power will Camilla Parker Bowles have as Queen Consort when Charles becomes king?

According to Express, Camilla’s title, Queen Consort, will not change her status within the royal family. It is a role that rests entirely on her marriage to the king. This means she will not take the throne if Charles dies before her.

A consort does not share the monarch’s political or military powers unless they are required to act as regent. In any event, Camilla’s change of power could only happen if King Charles III were incapacitated for an extended period. Nor will her new title allow her to rank higher or on par with her husband.

A queen, the title held by Elizabeth II for 70 years, is a monarch with the same rank as a king, who reigns over her kingdom and has sovereign, military, and political powers. 

The British royal family website notes that a queen consort “is crowned with the king, in a similar but simpler ceremony.” Therefore, Parker Bowles will likely confirm her title during Charles’ formal coronation.

What would happen if King Charles III died before Camilla?

Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles arrive at Buckingham Palace to attend a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II for Members of the Diplomatic Corps on December 2, 2014 in London, England.
Camilla Parker Bowles and King Charles III | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II Dead; British Monarch Dies at 96

If King Charles III were to die ahead of his wife, Camilla’s title would change again. Effectively, she becomes Queen Dowager. A Queen Dowager is a woman whose husband, the king, has died.

However, Camilla would still have the title and importance of her former queen consort position, reported Cosmopolitan.