In the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, many people are wondering if Kate Middleton (a.k.a the Duchess of Cambridge) will be the next queen. Keep reading to see the succession to the throne explained with Prince Charles, Prince William and Camilla Bowles, known as the Duchess of Cornwall.
Next in line to inherit the throne is Prince Charles, the oldest of Elizabeth’s children with the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. However, that does not mean Camilla will be queen when her husband becomes king.
Elizabeth was a Queen Regnant, which means she reigned in her own right after taking over the throne following the death of her father, King George VI in 1952.
Technically, Camilla would be considered a Queen Consort, meaning she’s married to a king, since she is not in the royal family’s blood line. She and Charles originally decided against that title, and instead the U.K. native would take on the role as Princess Consort. However, in February, during a celebration to mark the Queen’s 70th year on the British throne, Elizabeth addressed the subject and made it clear that she wishes Camilla to become Queen Consort.
“I would like to express my thanks to you all for your support. I remain eternally grateful for, and humbled by, the loyalty and affection that you continue to give me,” she said in a message at the time. “And 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.”
Prior to the Queen’s statement, the decision was made at the time of Charles and Camilla’s 2005 marriage. Part of the reason for the change-up had to do with the controversy surrounding the royal couple’s long relationship, which included an affair while he was still married to the late Princess Diana.
“The intention is for the Duchess to be known as Princess Consort when the Prince accedes to the throne,” a statement from Clarence House read in 2005. “This was announced at the time of the marriage and there has been absolutely no change at all.”
Charles and Diana wed in 1981, and their divorce was finalized in 1996, one year before the philanthropist died tragically in a car accident.
In 1995, Diana even spoke about her tumultuous marriage during an interview when asked if Camilla was a factor in her split from Charles.
“Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” she quipped at the time.
As for Prince William, he will become king after his father dies, or if Charles ever decided to abdicate the throne. That means Kate will then become Queen Consort since she will be a royal by marriage.
That being said, the Cambridges are in for a title change. When William becomes next in line to the throne, his title will automatically change to Prince of Wales. It’s been reported that his wife will take on the title of Princess of Wales, in honor of his late mother.
Hours after the late monarch’s passing, their official Twitter and Instagram profiles were updated to reflect their new titles of Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.
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