The public has always had a love/hate relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. On one hand, she is a source of fascination because she is married to Prince Charles. On the other hand, many are still bitter about her affair with Charles while he was married to Princess Diana.
Still, being married to the future king has many benefits. However, there is one benefit Camilla was looking forward to that just won’t happen: becoming the Queen of England.
Why won’t this happen, and just how badly did Camilla take the news when she found out? We’ve got the full story!
What will Camilla’s title be when Charles becomes king?
If you’re not familiar with the British monarchy and its complex rules, you might wonder why Camilla would not be named queen. Once her husband becomes king, just what is the world supposed to call Camilla?
As it turns out, Buckingham Palace spelled this out way back in 2005 when Charles and Camilla became engaged. The palace announced that her title will not be “queen” when Charles becomes king. Instead, Camilla will get the title of “princess consort.”
Despite rumors to the contrary over the years, in March 2020, reps for Charles and Camilla confirmed this is still the plan to The Times: “The intention is for the duchess to be known as princess consort when the prince accedes to the throne. This was announced at the time of the marriage and there has been absolutely no change at all.
‘Queen consort’ vs. ‘princess consort’
Calling Camilla “princess consort” is similar to what happened to Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip. When Elizabeth took the throne back in 1952, Philip’s title became “prince consort.” The “consort” part of the title simply means that the title was obtained through marriage.
Philip could not be called “king consort” because the king title is reserved for the ruling monarch only, not the husband of the monarch. In a bit of traditionalized sexism, the male title “king” implies the highest rank.
However, the “queen” title can be used to refer to the ruling monarch or the monarch’s wife. So, why will Camilla be known as “princess consort” instead of “queen consort”?
According to The Times, the decision not to call Camilla queen consort was due to “public resentment surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.”
In fact, the reason why Camilla uses the title “Duchess of Cornwall” instead of “Princess of Wales” is out of respect to Diana.
The story of Camilla ‘fuming’ about never being queen
As far as Buckingham Palace is concerned, Camilla will never have a higher title than “princess consort.” However, there is another way she could possibly get the title: through the intervention of Charles after he becomes king.
As Express reported in 2017, Charles could potentially change her title in the future if he had the blessing of Prince William and Prince Harry. But this is unlikely to happen because, according to an old friend of Princess Diana’s, these two brothers “don’t have a good word for Camilla.”
To make matters worse, Prince Charles has only become less popular over time while Prince William is more popular than ever. Some believed Charles might willingly step aside to let the younger William become king, ending Camilla’s hopes of ever becoming queen.
According a royal insider speaking to Woman’s Day Magazine (via Express), “Camilla has told Charles to ‘man up and fight.’ She’s fuming and has told him it was his destiny to be on the throne. Camilla is livid that William could potentially take the throne – and she’s pointing the finger of blame firmly on poor Kate.”
An uphill public relations battle
It’s easy to think that the Royal Family is all about rules and protocols. However, this famous family understands the need to maintain a good relationship with the people. And this led to the modern-day public relations battle in which William may be the people’s choice for a future monarch.
A recent YouGov poll determined how the British public felt about different members of the Royal Family in the second quarter of 2021. While Queen Elizabeth is still their favorite, William and Kate are, respectively, the second and third favorites among the people. Charles ranked seventh and Camilla ranked 10th in popularity.
With the sheer popularity of Prince William, many think that he would be the logical choice to guide England into the future.
Is Charles fit to be king?
Some question whether Charles is the right choice to be king due to his age, 72, although that seems ageist considering Queen Elizabeth is 95 years old. But one member of the Royal Family thought Charles was unfit to be king even in his youth. And that person was his former wife, the late Princess Diana!
The clip above comes from Princess Diana’s bombshell interview with Martin Bashir. The interview dives into a number of deeply personal subjects, including the depression and bulimia Diana dealt with and how she eventually resorted to hurting herself. Eventually, though, Bashir asks her point-blank, “Do you think the Prince of Wales will ever be king?”
“I don’t think any of us know the answer to that,” Diana replied.
“Do you think he would wish to be king? Bashir pressed.
While Diana was relatively diplomatic, she said there was always “conflict” about that subject when she spoke to Charles.
“Being Prince of Wales produces more freedom now, and being king would be a little bit more suffocating,” Diana said. “And because I know the character, I would think that the top job, as I call it, would bring enormous limitations to him, and I don’t know whether he could adapt to that.”
Did Diana think Charles should be skipped over for William?
Bashir continued to press the issue of whether Charles would be king, with the suggestion that he could be passed over for William.
“Do you think it would make more sense in the light of the marital difficulties that you and the Prince of Wales have had if the position of monarch passed directly to your son Prince William?” he asked.
Diana replied that she “can’t answer that question” due to William’s young age and the burden the throne would be on him at that time.
But it seemed to be Diana’s wish that William take the throne instead of Charles when Bashir pressed further.
“Would it be your wish that when Prince William comes of age that he were to succeed the queen rather than the current Prince of Wales?” Bashir asked.
“My wish is that my husband finds peace of mind,” Diana replied. “And from that follows others things, yes.”