The Next King and Queen of England

by Cindy Bogart

Will Prince Charles ever become King Charles? And, if so... what happens to Camilla?

When Charles, Prince of Wales, ascends to the throne upon the death of his mother, HRH Queen Elizabeth II—which we pray will not occur for years to come—he will be crowned King Charles…right?  Not necessarily so. According to the British newspaper, The Guardian, the Prince, who was christened Charles Philip Arthur George, has been consulting with “trusted friends” about reigning as King George VII, paying tribute to his grandfather, King George VI, and great-grandfather, King George V—monarchs who reigned with dignity and purpose, at a personal sacrifice, and were much-loved by their peoples.  The historical association of King Charles I, who reigned from 1625 to 1649, was beheaded by Oliver Cromwell, who instigated the English Civil War in 1653, and his son, Charles II, who reigned from 1660 to 1685 after the monarchy was reinstated eleven years after his father’s execution.

What does this mean for Charles’ wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall? Typically, she would take the traditional title for the wife of the King, “Queen consort,” and addressed and referred to as “Queen” during her husband’s life. In March 2020, however, Clarence House, the official residence of the Prince of Wales, announced Camilla would be known as Princess consort when her husband ascends to the throne.  It seems, a spokesperson for the royal couple told the London newspaper, The Times, “This was announced at the time of the marriage and there has been absolutely no change at all.” Hence, Camilla will become HRH The Princess Consort.

This begs the question, Why was the late Prince Philip not known as “King” or “King consort?” This has always been the case with the husband of a ruling queen.  Queen Victoria’s beloved, much-mourned husband was Prince Albert.  Not so for the wife of a king, as “queen,” in this instance,  is symbolic.

 

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