What kind of Queen Consort will Camilla be?

Queen consort camilla

by Lorna White |
Updated on

When the late Queen Elizabeth announced that Camilla would be known as Queen Consort in her Platinum Jubileemessage, it took the country by surprise. Camilla was originally meant to be Princess Consort because of the controversy around the beginnings of their relationship while Charles was married to Princess Diana and Camilla's previous divorce. But what does Queen consort actually mean? And what kind of Queen Consort can we expect Camilla to be?

There are three kinds of Queens;

Queen Consort - this is when a Queen is married to a King and not Royal by blood.

Queen Regnant - this is what our Queen Elizabeth II was as she was a Royal reigning in her own right.

Queen Dowager - this is the mother of the reigning monarch like the Queen Mother was.

This means that Camilla is our current Queen Consort and will be known as 'Queen Camilla' and 'Her Majesty'. When Prince William of Wales ascends to the throne, Kate, Princess of Wales will become Queen Consort, even if Camilla is still alive.

Because of this, a Queen Consort cannot become Queen Regnant as they aren't Royal by blood.

What are the duties and responsibilities of Queen Consort vs Queen?

Camilla and charles

Unlike the reigning King, the Queen Consort doesn't have any responsibilities to the Government. Instead, Camilla will be responsible for supporting our King, attending charity events and appearing at public engagements. Instead of Camilla having ladies-in-waiting as is tradition, she has instead decided to have Queen's companions instead. She also had her sister Annabel Elliot as her attendant to the Queen at the coronation.

She will also be a Counsellor of State following the Queen's death. A Counsellor of State can step in for King Charles IIIin the event of his absents. Other Counsellors of State include Prince William and Princess Beatrice.

What kind of Queen Consort will Camilla be?

In his first address to the nation as King, Charles referred to his 'darling wife' Camilla “In recognition of her own loyal public service” since they married 17 years ago.

He went on to add: “I know she will bring to the demands of her new role the steadfast devotion to duty on which I have come to rely so much.”

As a member of the Royal family, Camilla supports over 90 charities as Patron or President. According to the Government website, these charities are focussed around a number of different topics close to the Queen Consorts heart including health, literacy, supporting those in need; the elderly, victims of rape and sexual abuse and domestic violence, empowering women; food; animals, dance and heritage and the arts.

It sounds as though Camilla will definitely be continuing her charity work after she said she's keen to continue her work for the rest of her life in a previous interview with Woman's Hour and BBC Breakfast. She said, "Of course it's a great honour (becoming Queen Consort), it couldn't be anything else. But it does help it. I'm going to keep up with these causes. You know, if I start something like this, I'm not going to give up mid-channel, I'm just going to keep going to try and help the likes of people like Diana (a lady whose daughter was a domestic abuse victim and killed by her husband)… I hope I should be doing it for a lifetime."

Queen Camilla reveals the hobby she's had to give up

When we get to a certain age, it's normal for us to have to give up some of the hobbies we might have enjoyed in our younger years, and it's the same story even if you're a Royal. On a recent trip to Germany with King Charles, Camilla told a group of school children that she is no longer riding horses due to her age.

Speaking to the children in Hamburg, Camilla said, "I used to have horses I rode but sadly I don’t ride any longer. I think I’m too old, but I have racehorses."

While we were very familiar with seeing the late Queen Elizabeth riding well into her 90s, it's unlikely we'll see Camilla on a horse any time soon. Despite, this, she is still very much involved in the stable duties and taking care of the horses. According to one Royal insider, Camilla has taken over the day-to-day running of the Queen's stables following her death.

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