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Camilla duchess of cornwall queen consort
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Why will Camilla become Queen after King Charles’s coronation?

The official invitations for the big day have been sent out – and they’ve revealed all

Huw Oliver
Amy Houghton
Written by
Huw Oliver
Amy Houghton

The long-awaited coronation of King Charles III is finally just a day away. It's a life-changing moment for Charley and of course, most eyes will be on him over the weekend. But we can't forget that it's a pretty big deal for his wife, Camilla too. 

Prior to the Queen's death, she was known as the Duchess of Cornwall, choosing not to use the Princess of Wales title previously used by Princess Diana. However, just like her husband’s, that title is set to change. Here’s everything you need to know. 

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Will Camilla Queen Consort be crowned Queen?

She will be given the title of Queen. As revealed by the official invitations, which were sent out to 2,000 guests today, Camilla will become Queen after the coronation, marking the transition from ‘Queen Consort’.

A royal source told the BBC that in the first few months of the new reign it made sense to use ‘Queen Consort’ so as to avoid confusion with the late Queen Elizabeth. During the coronation, on May 6, she will be crowned alongside the King and after that be referred to as Queen.

Why is Camilla being crowned queen?

It is an unexpected move given that Queen Elizabeth stated it was her 'sincere wish that, when the time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort.'

However, a senior royal aid told The Daily Mail that 'all former Queen consorts have been known as Queen plus their first name,' so the decision makes sense. 

What title does the wife or husband of the King or Queen take?

Since the throne can only be inherited, the spouse of a monarch can’t become a monarch themselves. The official title used to be Prince or Princess Consort, but the late Queen Elizabeth II said it was her ‘sincere wish’ that Camilla be known as Queen Consort upon Charles’s accession. Now that a few months have passed, she’s gone one better and will be known as Queen proper. Nice job.

What crown will Camilla wear?

She will wear a modified version of Queen Mary’s crown from her 1911 coronation. The headpiece will be set with a different diamond to its original. This marks another break from tradition as it will be the first time a Queen Consort crown has been recycled.

It’s hoped the switch-up should avoid the controversy associated with the Koh-i-Noor diamond that was originally set into the crown. Many object to the violent colonial background to Britain’s ownership of the Koh-i-Noor and there is much discussion over who should be the rightful owner.

The new crown is decorated by cuts of the Cullinan diamond, the largest ever discovered. However, this jewel is also tied to British colonialism and is arguably just as problematic. 


What’s the meaning of Queen Consort?

Queen Consort is the title given to the wife of the reigning monarch. She will be crowned and anointed like her husband but as she is not part of the royal bloodline, she is not a monarch and will not share his military or political powers. 

Will Camilla become Queen if King Charles dies?

No, the throne can only be inherited. If Camilla outlives her husband she will likely recieve a new title as Prince William begins his reign. 

Read more: everything we know about King Charles III’s coronation concert.

Plus: where to watch the King’s coronation on a big screen.

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