Is Camilla Parker Bowles the Princess of Wales?

When Prince Charles married his first wife, Lady Diana Spencer, in 1981, she became Her Royal Highness Princess of Wales. After the two divorced in 1996, she had to give up her HRH title but retained her princess title and continued to be referred to by the public as such.

Following Diana’s death, Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles went public with their relationship and tied the knot on April 9, 2005. But many have wondered since that day if she inherited the Princess of Wales title and if so why doesn’t she ever use it. Here are the answers to those questions plus if Camilla will actually become queen one day.

Camilla Parker Bowles
Camilla Parker Bowles | Chris Jackson-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Is she the Princess of Wales?

Camilla is indeed the Princess of Wales and that became official the day she and the Prince of Wales said “I do.” However, she does not use that title because of how people still associate it with Princess Diana. Instead, Camilla goes by the feminine version of Prince Charles’ dukedom, which is the Duchess of Cornwall.

When she married Charles “Camilla was not popular or well liked, [though] this has changed a lot since the marriage as Camilla has taken on a lot of patronages and Charles is a lot happier,” explained Marlene Koenig, royal expert and author of the blog Royal Musings. “Still, [there was] a lot of tension and anger among a certain element of the population–so it was decided that Camilla would be styled as the Duchess of Cornwall, even though, of course, she is the Princess of Wales.”

What are Camilla’s other titles?

In addition to HRH Princess of Wales and HRH Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla gained a couple of other titles when she married the future king of England.

When visiting Scotland she goes by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay and whenever she’s in Cheshire, England, she goes by the Countess of Chester.

Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles
Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles | Indigo/Getty Images

Will she become queen?

When the pair got hitched, Camilla said then that she would go by princess consort rather than queen consort once her husband is crowned. But times have changed and Clarence House recently removed a statement from its website stating that she would be princess consort when the time comes.

Royal experts agree that Charles wants to make her Queen Camilla and most likely will.

“The official line is that when Charles becomes king, Camilla will become princess consort. I personally think that is nonsense,” said Charlie Proctor, editor-in-chief of Royal Central. “When Charles takes to the throne, Camilla will become queen consort. The monarchy is not a popularity contest, and you can’t change titles in fear of certain people still having chips on their shoulders.”

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams agrees adding that “When Charles becomes king he is widely expected to make Camilla queen consort, as every king has always had one. This is not popular in the polls but is now thought pretty certain to happen.”

Read more: Why Camilla Parker Bowles’ Parents Didn’t Want Her to Marry Prince Charles

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