Queen Camilla Kate Middleton

King Charles’ wife, Queen Camilla, says Kate Middleton is thrilled. Image via Twitter @RoyalFamily

Queen Camilla: Difference between Queen and Queen Consort

Following King Charles’ coronation, his second wife Camilla has been given the title Queen from previously being called Queen Consort.

Queen Camilla Kate Middleton

King Charles’ wife, Queen Camilla, says Kate Middleton is thrilled. Image via Twitter @RoyalFamily

Is it Queen Camilla? Technically, yes! Camilla was the 29th Queen Consort to be crowned at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6 May.

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On Saturday 6 May, the coronation of King Charles was held at at Westminster Abbey. His wife, Camilla was crowned Queen with Queen Mary’s Crown. This marked the first time in recent history that a new crown wasn’t made specifically for this occasion — according to BBC. According to the palace, Camilla chose to wear Queen Mary’s crown “in the interests of sustainability and efficiency”, but she made some minor changes and additions.

The intention of Queen Mary paying for the crown in 1911 was so it could serve as the permanent crown of future consorts. Camilla was previously referred to as Queen Consort but now her title is Queen. This was a title destined for King Charles’ first wife Princess Diana, who tragically died in a car crash on 31 August 1997. When the then-Prince Charles married Camilla in 2005, it was announced that she would be titled Princess Consort when Charles became King.

Before her death in September 2022, Queen Elizabeth II announced that Camilla will be taking on the Queen Consort title when Charles became King.

“When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when the time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service,” read the statement.

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However, Charles’ wife was titled “Queen Camilla” in the coronation invitations sent out to VIPS. BBC reports that a source claimed that the coronation was the right time to start the transition of titles.

“It made sense to refer to Her Majesty as the Queen Consort in the early months of His Majesty’s reign, to distinguish from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” said the source to the publication.

““The coronation is an appropriate time to start using ‘Queen Camilla’ in an official capacity. All former Queen Consorts have been known as ‘Queen’ plus their first name,” the source continued.

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So, what is the difference between a Queen and Queen consort? Well, a queen consort is the female partner, spouse or companion to the King according to ABC News.

The consort is not a formal role but it is symbolic of the support the person gives the monarch. While the Queen is a ruler in their own right, like Queen Elizabeth II was. Before Queen Elizabeth II, the last Queen regnant was Queen Victoria. Her husband Prince Albert was a Prince Consort.

King Charles and Camilla married in a civil ceremony at Guildhall in Windsor on 9 April 2005. Camilla was previously married to army officer Andrew Parker Bowles but the pair divorced in 1995. King Charles was married to Princess Diana – the mother of his two sons Prince William and Prince Harry.

Princess Diana and King Charles announced their separation in 1992 but got formally  divorced in 1996. About a year later Princess Diana died in a car crash on 31 August 1997. Camilla was believed to have been King Charles mistress before they tied the knot.

King Charles’ wife Camilla becomes Queen Consort. Image via APF.

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