Princess Diana and Prince Charles split up in 1992 and three years later, during the infamous interview with the BBC Panorama, the public learned how unhappy their marriage was. It was revealed by Diana herself that there was another woman her husband was in love with and with whom she had an extra-marital affair. That woman was Camilla Parker Bowles.
After Diana’s tragic death in 1997, Camilla was seen as a public enemy No.1. Charles’ mistress was defamed by many for breaking the marriage of Diana and Charles and was called “the most hated woman in Britain” by the gossip magazines.
In 2005, the Prince of Wales married Camilla, and in an attempt to alleviate the misfortune of Diana’s fans, the palace stated that she would receive the title of princess-wife, not queen-wife, when Charles took the throne. But does the prince intend to make her queen anyway?
Princess Consort or Queen Consort?
The difference between the titles is that a princess-wife is given to the husband of a sovereign prince and queen-wife is used for the wife of a ruling king.
A consort of a princess can, however, be used by the marriage partner of a king as a queen consort. This was thought to be the case with Camilla who initially said that she would go through princess-consort rather than queen-consort when her husband was crowned.
But times have changed and Clarence House has recently removed a statement from its website that the Duchess of Cornwall will in fact be known as a princess-wife when the time comes.
What Prince Charles is expected to do
Royal experts agree that Charles wants to make her Queen Camilla and will most likely do so.
“The official rule is that when Charles becomes king, Camilla will become princess-consort. I personally think that’s nonsense,” said Charlie Proctor, editor-in-chief of Royal Central. “When Charles took the throne, Camilla became queen consort. The monarchy is not a popularity contest and you cannot change titles in fear that certain people will still have chips on their shoulders.”
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams agrees that “when Charles becomes king, it is generally expected that he will get Camilla as queen, as every king has always had. This is not popular in the polls, but it is now certainly thought that it will happen. “
What the public thinks of Camilla today
How the duchess is viewed by the public today is very different from what she was after the death of Diana.
Her popularity has certainly increased since she and Charles made the decision and in 2016 Queen Elizabeth II raised her to the Privy Council. The promotion was a sign of approval and recorded Camilla’s place in the royal family. The fact that princes William and Harry have accepted her and denied that she is a kind of bad stepmother has also helped enormously.
No one knows for sure what will happen if Charles accepts the throne, but if Camilla is named Queen Consort, Proctor said the move should be supported.
“Camilla will be an excellent queen. She is a hardworking, kind and dedicated member of the royal family,” he said. “She has an excellent relationship with [Queen Elizabeth], William and Harry and the young Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. But above all, she has a great relationship with Prince Charles. [They] will be an excellent king and queen.”