What does the role of Queen Consort involve and how will Camilla’s royal life change? Former Duchess assumes the highest non-inherited title – and will likely use Prince Philip as a blueprint for success

  • The death of the Queen was announced yesterday at the age of 96, with King Charles immediately inheriting the role of Monarch and Camilla now Queen Consort; no longer using the title the Duchess of Cornwall
  • Camilla, 75, looked deep in thought as she was driven away from Balmoral on Friday morning
  • The late Queen publicly gave Camilla her backing to be Queen Consort in 2022, when she issued an historic Platinum Jubilee statement in February ending years of uncertainty over the issue 
  • It’s likely that the former Duchess of Cornwall will use the late Duke of Edinburgh – consort to the late Queen – as a model on how to carry out a supportive consort role 
  • Read more: How the Royal Family’s titles will change – from Kate Middleton to Prince Edward
  • Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing

As King Charles ascended to the throne immediately following the death of the Queen at the age of 96 at Balmoral yesterday, ending his role as England’s longest serving heir, so a new title was also bestowed upon Camilla. 

The former Duchess of Cornwall, 75, becomes Queen’s Consort, a role that may once have seemed unlikely – where Charles has known his regal fate since birth – but received the late Queen’s seal of approval earlier this year.

After years, decades even, of uncertainty over what Camilla’s official title would be when King Charles finally took the throne, the late Queen took matters into her own hands by making a surprise announcement in February 2022. 

An official memo published by Buckingham Palace spoke of the late Queen’s ‘sincere wish’ for her daughter-in-law to be fully acknowledged when Charles succeeded her, a day that has now come. 

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The death of the Queen was announced yesterday at the age of 96, with King Charles immediately inheriting the role of Monarch and Camilla now Queen Consort; no longer using the title the Duchess of Cornwall

Camilla, 75, looked deep in thought as she was driven away from Balmoral on Friday morning

Charles and Camilla on their wedding day in 2005: The inherited nature of the British monarchy means that the former Duchess of Cornwall could never be Queen to Charles’ King via marriage alone, instead becoming Queen Consort

The late Queen publicly gave Camilla her backing to be Queen Consort in 2022, when she issued an historic Platinum Jubilee statement ending years of uncertainty over the issue

The late Monarch’s backing: the official recommendation that the Queen supported Camilla becoming Queen Consort, which was published in February 2022

WHAT IS QUEEN CONSORT? 

Camilla is, as of the Queen’s death on September 8th 2022, Queen Consort, which essentially means ‘the wife of a reigning king’. 

Centuries of history dictates the consort role; each of England’s kings have taken to the throne with a Queen Consort by their side. 

In February, in her message to the nation – signed ‘Your Servant, Elizabeth R’ – the late Queen dictated her support for Camilla taking on the role.

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

Camilla and Charles wed in 2005 but the inherited nature of the British monarchy means that the former Duchess of Cornwall could never be Queen to Charles’ King via marriage alone, just as Prince Philip remained the Duke of Edinburgh, rather than becoming King Philip, when he married the late Queen in November 1947. 

At the time of Charles and Camilla’s wedding, Camilla’s now title seemed less than assured; she was given the role of Princess Consort first, thought to be a more gentle introduction to a public still very much grieving for the late Princess of Wales, Charles’ first wife, killed tragically in 1997. 

HOW IS QUEEN CONSORT DIFFERENT TO THE ROLE PRINCE PHILIP HAD? 

It’s the same, although the Queen’s late husband was rarely referred to using it, with the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Philip his more commonly used titles. 

Indeed, it’s thought Camilla will look to the role the late Duke of Edinburgh played in public life as a blueprint for her new title; the late Prince offered constant support to Her Majesty while never taking the limelight from her.

The consort role is to support the monarch in public life, a role which Camilla is already well accustomed with. As with all royals, there’s an expectation that Camilla won’t comment on the politics of the nation. 

A blueprint for consort life: The late Duke of Edinburgh offered a masterclass in supporting the Queen without taking the limelight away from her, something the new Queen Consort will look to emulate (Prince Philip and Camilla at the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations in 2016)

Will the former Prince of Wales and former Duchess of Cornwall now take on a more formal approach to duties? The couple pictured visiting Cornwall in July 2022 on the first day of their annual visit to the South West

WHAT TITLES WILL WILLIAM AND KATE NOW BE GIVEN? 

The changes in title continue down the throne line, with new heir, William, and Kate updating their social media profiles to reflect their new titles, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge. 

As Charles’s eldest son, William, 40, has inherited the title the Duke of Cornwall upon the death of the Queen. 

William will, at some stage, be given the title the Prince of Wales – which is traditionally used for the male heir to the throne. 

But this is not automatic and William needs to be created so by his father. The same stands for the Earl of Chester.

William has also inherited the Scottish titles the Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.


Further down the throne line, William, 40, is expected to become the Prince of Wales, although this title will be conferred at a later date. Right: William and Kate have updated their social media profiles to reflect their new titles, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge

How Prince William and Kate Middleton’s titles will change following the Queen’s death 

William

WAS: Duke of Cambridge

NOW: Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge. He will also become Prince of Wales 

The Duke of Cambridge, as heir to the throne, is now the Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge. As Charles’s eldest son, he has inherited the title the Duke of Cornwall (pictured) 

The Duke of Cambridge, as heir to the throne, is now the Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge. As Charles’s eldest son, he has inherited the title the Duke of Cornwall.

William will, at some stage, be given the title the Prince of Wales – which is traditionally used for the male heir to the throne.

Since the Prince of Wales title isn’t Charles’s per se, but rather given to the heir apparent, he will vacate it the moment he ascends to the throne.

However, there is no automatic succession to the Prince of Wales title – the heir apparent has to be created Prince of Wales by the monarch.

The title is only ‘merged in the crown’ and renewed at the Sovereign’s pleasure – which is why Charles became the 21st Prince of Wales not on the day of his birth, but rather aged nine in 1958.

He was only ‘invested’ – in the ceremony acknowledging the creation of a new Prince of Wales – 11 years later in 1969.

The same stands for the Earl of Chester. 

William has also inherited the Scottish titles the Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. 

Kate 

WAS: Duchess of Cambridge 

NOW: The Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge. She will also become Princess of Wales 

The Duchess of Cambridge is now the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge. When William becomes the Prince of Wales as expected, she will become Princess of Wales 

The Duchess of Cambridge is now the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.

When William becomes the Prince of Wales as expected, Kate will become the Princess of Wales – last used by William’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, when she was married to Charles.

Camilla was also technically the Princess of Wales but never used the title because of its association with Diana.

Kate will also hold the title the Countess of Chester, if William becomes the Earl of Chester.

She is also now the Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland – also previously Camilla’s title.

Emotional Camilla is seen for the first time since becoming Queen Consort as she rises to the moment to support her husband King Charles III – after the Queen endorsed her use of the title in the final months of her life

An emotional-looking Camilla, elevated to Queen Consort following the death of the Queen at Balmoral on Thursday afternoon, was pictured looking deep in thought as she left the Scottish royal residence this morning.

Following yesterday’s historic announcement that the Queen had died at the age of 96, King Charles III ascended to the throne with immediate effect, with the former Duchess of Cornwall taking a role that the late Queen gave her official backing to during a historic Platinum Jubilee statement earlier this year.

Around 11am today, seated in the front passenger seat of a chauffeur-driven Audi, the Queen Consort, 75, looked pensive as she departed Balmoral following the death of the Queen yesterday afternoon – clearly aware of the responsibility her new role carries.

The new King, formerly the Prince of Wales, was seated in the back seat of the royal car, as part of a motorcade pictured driving through the village of Ballater, close to Balmoral, en route to Aberdeen Airport. 

Camilla, wearing a black suit and a simple string of pearls with matching earrings, looked straight ahead as the new King and Queen Consort began their journey back to London on the first day of mourning.   

New dawn: An emotional-looking Camilla, now Queen’s Consort, following the Queen’s death at Balmoral on Thursday afternoon, pictured leaving the Scottish royal residence this morning

United in grief: The new King and Queen Consort pictured looking emotional as they make the journey from the late Queen’s Scottish residence ahead of a flight back to London

Seated in the front passenger seat of an Audi, the Queen Consort, 75, looked deep in thought as she departed Balmoral following the death of the Queen yesterday afternoon 

Queen Consort Camilla pictured being driven through the village of Ballater after leaving the Balmoral Estate en route to Aberdeen Airport

The new King looked solemn as he was seated in the back of the royal vehicle leaving Balmoral on Friday, just hours after the death of the Queen was announced late on Thursday afternoon

Grief: Following yesterday’s historic announcement that the Queen had died, King Charles ascended to the throne with immediate effect,

Wearing a black suit and a simple string of pearls with matching earrings, the Queen Consort is pictured in a chauffeur-driven vehicle, with King Charles seated in the back, as part of a motorcade leaving Balmoral on Friday morning

It’s thought the 75-year-old royal will look to the role the late Duke of Edinburgh played in public life as a blueprint for her new title; the late Prince offered constant support to Her Majesty while never taking the limelight from her.

After years, decades even, of uncertainty over what Camilla’s official title would be when King Charles finally took the throne, the late Queen took matters into her own hands by making a surprise announcement in February 2022.

It is a remarkable transformation for Camilla, who was once branded the ‘third person’ in Charles’ stricken marriage to Diana, and received a lukewarm reception from the royal family when the then Prince announced his intention to make Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall. 

In recent years though, Camilla has grown into life as a senior royal and ahead of the Coronation, the new Queen will undoubtedly be a great support to King Charles in a time of grief and long-anticipated change.

In a few short hours, life has changed dramatically for the former Duchess of Cornwall as she is elevated to a new role following the Queen’s death

Camilla looked straight ahead as the King and Queen Consort begin their journey back to London on the first day of mourning

The motorcade followed roads the royal family have driven along for decades; but no such journey will match this morning’s for poignancy  

The senior royal, approaching her late seventies, is now Queen Consort, signaling a dramatic transformation in public and royal perceptions since she first fell in love with Charles during her twenties

The famous photo that branded the new Queen Consort a marriage wrecker; the couple pictured in 1975 before Charles was betrothed to marry Diana, who would famously accuse Camilla of being the ‘third person’ in her marriage to then Prince in a Panorama interview with Martin Bashir in 1995

After ‘coming out’ with their renewed love on a night out at the Ritz in London in 1999, the couple wed, with the royal family’s blessing in 2005 – and the new Queen Consort began her re-brand into senior royal who has a natural affiliation with people

The late Queen gave her approval for Camilla to be crowned alongside Charles’ in an official role before her death on September 8th (pictured together at the Jubilee in 2022) 

The Queen, pictured leaving Windsor Castle in July, died on Thursday at her Scottish residence of Balmoral 

The treasured Monarch declared it was her ‘sincere wish’ for her daughter-in-law to be fully acknowledged when Charles succeeded her – and the wish made in the twilight of her life has now come to fruition.  

At the time, the statement also quashed speculation that the then 95-year-old Monarch might abdicate, as she reiterated her Coronation pledge. 

She told her subjects ‘my life will always be devoted to your service’ – and that she would continue to honour that ‘with all my heart’.

After a tentative start to royal life, Camilla has excelled in recent years regularly standing in for the late Queen when she could no longer entertain due to failing health and stamina (The couple at  a gala dinner in 2000 for the Princes Foundation)


After an initially lukewarm reception to the news Prince Charles would marry Camilla, she has grown into life as a senior royal in recent years (pictured left, with the Prince of Wales in 2007, and right, together in 2010) 

From down-to-earth Sussex girl to royal mistress and now Queen Consort: Camilla’s royal family journey

The Duchess of Cornwall is the former royal mistress who will now stand shoulder to shoulder as Queen Consort to King Charles. 

Camilla’s public image has been transformed dramatically after she was initially cast as the ‘third’ person in the Prince and Diana, Princess of Wales’ marriage, before becoming a campaigning member of the monarchy prepared to serve the nation.

Underneath, she was the down-to-earth Sussex girl who grew up with a love of horses and happened to fall in love with a prince.

Charles and Camilla are pictured together in 1979, two years before his wedding to Princess Diana

During the nearly two decades she has been married to Charles, Camilla has grown into her role and is an assured royal host when staging events at Clarence House and has confidently represented the Queen when invited to foreign lands.

She is patron or supporter of a number of literacy charities, speaks out in support of victims of domestic violence and champions several animal welfare organisations.

But her most significant role is supporting Charles and being the comforting presence at home that has enabled him to take on the role of heir to the throne – and now the King. 

How different it all was on that cold Thursday night outside The Ritz more than 20 years ago in 1999. It was Charles and Camilla’s coming out, a fleeting but scrupulously choreographed appearance before the world’s press

After Charles and Camilla both divorced – and Diana died in 1997 – the then duchess’ emergence as the prince’s long-term partner was part of a carefully planned PR campaign masterminded by the heir to the throne’s spin doctor Mark Bolland.

Their first public appearance together was outside the Ritz hotel in London in 1999, dubbed Operation Ritz, where the mass of waiting photographers had been tipped off.

The culmination of the romance was a marriage between the long-time lovers who wed in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall on April 9, 2005.

With Camilla by his side, Charles appears more relaxed and many times during royal events she has cajoled and encouraged him to try something new or have some fun.

Now the late Queen’s wishes have bestowed upon Camilla the ultimate accolade in recognition of her importance to Charles and the monarchy.

When the late Queen announced the news that Camilla would become the future Queen Consort in 2022, a Clarence House spokesperson said Charles and Camilla were ‘touched and honoured’ by the gesture, which ended years of uncertainty over the Duchess of Cornwall’s role in the future of the monarchy

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

Charles and Camilla were ‘touched and honoured’ by the Queen’s gesture, Clarence House said when the statement was made public. 

It marked a public acceptance of a marriage that had its first embers of lust in youth and was officially confirmed on a night out at The Ritz in 1999, when the then Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, in middle age, enjoyed a night out together. 

With a flash of cameras signaling their relationship would be front page news the next morning, Camilla looked more than a little hesitant – but over the decades that have followed, she has proved a constant support to the new King, and won over the royal family including the Queen. 

Example: The new Queen Consort is likely to look to the way the late Duke of Edinburgh conducted himself in supporting the Queen during her lengthy reign (Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall on Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey in 2017)

The close couple have grown ever more united as they face the biggest roles of their lives (Pictured in April 2019) 

The pomp and ceremony of official engagements are something that Queen Camilla has adapted to with aplomb (Pictured during an international tour of Egypt) 

A blueprint for consort life: The late Duke of Edinburgh offered a masterclass in supporting the Queen without taking the limelight away from her, something the new Queen Consort will look to emulate (Prince Philip and Camilla at the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations in 2016)

Increasingly confident, Camilla has become an assured royal host when staging events at Clarence House and confidently represented the late Queen when invited to foreign lands in recent decades. 

Now, she will likely look to the way the Duke of Edinburgh provided support to Queen Elizabeth II as guidance for the new role she’s taking on as she approaches her late Seventies. 

Prince Philip offered a blueprint for consort life, offering a masterclass in supporting the Queen without ever taking the spotlight from her, something the new Queen Consort will now look to emulate. 


Increasingly confident, Camilla has been a supportive confidante to Prince Charles (left and right, at their home of Birkhall in 2020 and 2021) 

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