The Coronation of King Charles III on May 6, 2023 saw the crowning of Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey.
It’s been quite a journey for Her Majesty, who went from being ‘the other woman’ in Charles’ life to a much-loved royal, even winning over the late Queen Elizabeth II.
Many people are wondering what would happen if the new King Charles were to pass, and asking if Camilla would remain as Queen in those sad circumstances, and when Prince William is crowned.
Here’s what we know.
What could Queen Camilla be called when King Charles dies – would she keep her title?
Camilla would certainly not take over ruling the country in the event of the King’s death.
The rules are clear – she is not a blood relative and so the crown would pass to the next in line – his son, Prince William.
Her title would be Queen Dowager – widow of the King.
However, Queen Elizabeth’s late mother – Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon – who was married to King George VI – took on the title of Queen Mother rather than Queen Dowager. She was also affectionately known as ‘the Queen Mum’.
This wouldn’t happen with Camilla, as Prince William isn’t her son – he was born during Charles’ first marriage, to Princess Diana.
So Camilla would be Queen Dowager – a title first used by Queen Adelaide in 1830.
When Camilla married Charles, then Prince of Wales, in 2005, she technically became the Princess of Wales.
But due to many people associating this title with Charles’s late first wife, Diana, she adopted one of his other titles and became the Duchess of Cornwall.
The original plan was for Camilla to be known as Princess Consort when Charles ascended the throne, due to public opinon looking unfavourably on the match as Charles had a long-standing affair with Camilla while married to the late Princess Diana.
But feelings mellowed and in a Platinum Jubilee statement in 2022, Queen Elizabeth said: ‘It is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.’
On the death of the Queen, Charles became King and Camilla became Queen Consort.
It’s traditional, however, for the King’s wife to be known simply as ‘the Queen’, and since the coronation – where she was also crowned – she has been called Queen Camilla.
The rules are different for a queen’s husband – they are known as ‘prince consort’, like Philip, the late Duke of Edinburgh, and are not crowned.