What Is Camilla Parker Bowles’ Role Once She’s Queen Consort?

Camilla Parker Bowles has a very complicated relationship with the royal family as well as with the public and press. Her longtime affair with Prince Charles, which ultimately resulted in a 2005 marriage, created a negative image in the press, and it’s been very difficult for her to recover from that.

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

Still, like her or not, when Prince Charles eventually becomes king, Camilla Parker Bowles will officially become queen consort. Many royal watchers still aren’t quite sure what to make of Parker Bowles, or whether she’ll make a good partner for a king.

What does the public think of Camilla Parker Bowles?

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles first met in 1971, when both were still young and single. They bonded immediately over their shared interests in outdoor sports like horseback riding and started dating immediately. Still, Prince Charles was called away by his duty to the Royal Navy and was gone for nearly a year, fracturing their still-new relationship. Camilla Parker Bowles married her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, and Prince Charles went on to marry Princess Diana.

Their marriages didn’t end their affair – and for years, Prince Charles and Parker Bowles carried on with their relationship in relative secrecy. When their affair became public knowledge, and Princess Diana and Prince Charles went through a bitter divorce, the public’s dislike of Parker Bowles grew intense. She was seen as the reason for the dissolution of the royal marriage and even after Princess Diana’s untimely passing, Prince Charles and Parker Bowles tried not to appear in public together. 

In 2005, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles finally made their relationship official by tying the knot in a civil ceremony. Prince Charles’ sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, were in attendance, as well as Camilla Parker Bowles’ two children from her first marriage. Even though the couple has now been married for fifteen years, the public still doesn’t have a favorable view of Parker Bowles – although they might not hate her outright, like ten or fifteen years ago.

What will Parker Bowles do as queen consort?

As the wife of Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles is a working member of the royal family and has to fulfill certain obligations. She is at Prince Charles’ side at all major royal family functions and supports a number of charities, including organizations for the empowerment of women, survivors of sexual assault, and the arts. 

When Prince Charles does ultimately become king, his responsibilities will increase tenfold, as will his wife’s. She will be called upon to work tirelessly for the good of the people of Britain, and take on even more in terms of charitable work. She will also likely have to travel a great deal more and have her schedule meticulously planned out – with not much room for downtime.

Would Camilla Parker Bowles make a good queen consort?

Although public opinion is still divided on Camilla Parker Bowles, a recent survey listed her as the 10th most popular royal – well behind people like Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, but still more popular than lesser-known royals like Princess Eugenie. This could be a sign that people are starting to slowly warm up to Parker Bowles.

In any case, becoming queen consort is a difficult task that will place her squarely in the spotlight. Although comparisons to Princess Diana are inevitable, it seems likely that Parker Bowles will be a good queen consort. After all, she has had many years of experience as a working royal, traveling and working with Prince Charles, in order to prepare her for the next big phase in her life.