All hail Queen Camilla: How Charles’ confirmation his wife WILL be Queen cements her as an absolute ‘non-negotiable’ in his modern monarchy – and shows her detractors within the royal family that the coronation is as much about her as the King
- Read more: Their Majesties reveal their official Coronation portrait
King Charles has sent a message to his wife’s detractors – including Prince Harry – that she is firmly at the top of the pecking order after confirming her new title as Queen Camilla, royal experts said today.
Officials revealed the news last night when they shared an image of the Coronation invitation that will be sent out later this month, which read: ‘The Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla.’
Royal commentators said the title, which will take hold after the ceremony on May 6, marked the ‘end of a remarkable journey’ for Camilla, who was once depicted as the most hated woman in Britain in the wake of Princess Diana’s death in 1997.
It comes after the Duke of Sussex, 38, branded his stepmother ‘dangerous’ and a ‘villain’ during a publicity blitz for his bombshell memoir Spare earlier this year, accusing her of ‘trading information’ with the press in exchange for positive coverage of herself.
Royal author Phil Dampier told MailOnline: ‘It certainly sends out a message to Harry and everyone else that Camilla is firmly there at the top of the pecking order.’
King Charles has sent a message to his wife’s detractors – including Prince Harry – that she is firmly at the top of the pecking order after confirming her new title as Queen Camilla, royal experts said today
Fittingly dressed in royal blue, the King and Queen Consort pose for a new official portrait
READ MORE: Ultimate reward for Queen who played the long game: How ‘warm, fun and friendly’ Camilla won over the hearts of the nation despite once being a pariah who Elizabeth II ‘wanted nothing to do with’
Charles and Camilla at the Service of Prayer and Dedication blessing their marriage at Windsor Castle on April 9, 2005
He added: ‘The late Queen Elizabeth made it clear that she wanted Camilla to become Queen and that made it a lot easier for Charles.
‘After just a few months we are dropping the consort and just calling her Queen, which is how it should be, as every previous Queen has been known by that title.
‘So far Camilla hasn’t put a foot wrong but now she faces a gruelling series of overseas tours and major public events at an age when most of us are putting our feet up. It’s going to be quite a test but hopefully she is up to the task.’
Meanwhile, royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline today that Camilla’s new title marks ‘the end of a remarkable journey.’
He said: ‘Since she married Charles, then Prince of Wales, in 2005, she has worked tirelessly to support him and carry out her duties in an exemplary way.
‘She never defended herself or attacked her critics.
‘The ferocity with which she was once reviled and her handling of what must have been a devastating period after Diana’s tragic death are vivid memories to those who followed royal matters at the time.
‘There was also a worldwide fascination with what had gone so wrong in Charles’s marriage.’
He added: ‘Camilla was ”non-negotiable” for Charles and the photograph released by the Palace of them in the Blue Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace shows how happy they are together.
‘The King will have undoubtedly been outraged by Harry’s recent attack on her in an interview to promote his memoir Spare, saying she was ”dangerous”, citing ”the need to rehabilitate her image” as the reason.
‘However it is the Sussexes whose image may need rehabilitating because of their arrogance – as polls are now showing.’
Asked about the title – when the accompanying press release itself still referred to Camilla as the Queen Consort – a senior royal aide told the Mail: ‘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.
‘Queen Camilla is the appropriate title to set against King Charles on the invitation. 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 change, once unthinkable, sets the seal on a remarkable transformation for Camilla in the nation’s affections
Seen here for the first time, King Charles’ official Coronation invitation is a riot of flora and fauna centred around an ancient folklore symbol, the Green Man
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King Charles (pictured) will be officially crowned on Saturday, 6 May at Westminster Abbey
It is understood that Buckingham Palace will amend its website to reflect the change next month.
The Daily Mail was the first to reveal back in December that the Palace planned to drop the word Consort from Camilla’s title ‘organically’ this year.
This was confirmed by The Mail on Sunday in February, when it reported that she would be referred to as Queen after the Coronation.
The change, once unthinkable, sets the seal on a remarkable transformation for Camilla in the nation’s affections.
When she married the then Prince of Wales in 2005 in a civil ceremony – which Queen Elizabeth declined to attend – it was announced that Camilla ‘intended’ to be known as Princess Consort when her husband acceded to the throne.
The use of the word ‘intended’ was designed to give royal aides room for manoeuvre, but at the time many still blamed her for the breakdown of Charles’s marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales.
Since then, however, Camilla, 75, has won many over with her warmth, sense of humour, lack of complaining and work championing the victims of domestic violence, as well as the promotion of literacy.
One royal insider said last night: ‘His Majesty has always seen it as a matter of honour. He is King so, therefore, it follows that his wife should be Queen.
‘It’s rather like telling someone they can’t be known as Mrs So-and-So.
‘It’s entirely up to them whether to chose to be called that, but it’s still fundamentally their right to do so.’
Tomorrow will mark a month to the Coronation but invitations to the historic event, the first of its kind for 70 years, will not be sent out until around two weeks in advance.
They are set to be collector’s items, featuring an exquisitely designed border of flora and fauna cantering around a Green Man, an ancient traditional symbol of spring and rebirth, to represent the new reign.
Queen Elizabeth II poses with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on June 2, 1953, before her coronation
Buckingham Palace has also confirmed the King and Queen Consort’s Pages of Honour – led by Charles’s grandson Prince George, who will take part in the two-hour ceremony aged nine.
The then Princess Elizabeth was 11 when she watched her own father being crowned in 1937 but she did not have an official role. Neither did her son, Prince Charles, who was only four, at her own coronation in 1953.
Prince George will not merely watch but has been asked to carry his 74-year-old grandfather’s robe along with three other pages, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, 13, Master Nicholas Barclay, 13, and Master Ralph Tollemache, 12.
The Queen Consort’s Pages of Honour will be Her Majesty’s grandsons, Master Gus and Master Louis Lopes, both 13, and Master Freddy Parker Bowles, 13. The fourth is Camilla’s great-nephew, Master Arthur Elliot, 10.
The new portrait of Their Majesties released last night was taken last month in the Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace by Hugo Burnand, who will also take their official Coronation photographs.
Camilla is wearing a favourite Fiona Clare dress with a diamond clasp pearl necklace and pearl earrings.
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