- Camilla Parker Bowles, AKA Queen Camilla, is the wife of King Charles III.
- Queen Elizabeth II declared that she would become Queen Consort upon her death.
- Camilla and Charles will be officially crowned at the Coronation ceremony on May 6, 2023.
All hail the Queen! Camilla Parker Bowles is King Charles III‘s wife and his mother, Queen Elizabeth II decreed that following her passing, Camilla will become Queen Consort. “I know you will give [Charles] 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 loyal service,” the late British monarch said in a statement published on Twitter in Feb. 2022.
While it is traditional for the incoming King’s wife to become Queen Consort, there was debate as to whether Camilla should be deemed Princess Consort due to Charles’ first wife Princess Diana’s tragic death. The Queen has officially put that debate to rest as it was her wish for Camilla to be Queen Consort as traditional would rule. Most recently, the institution released a new portrait of the couple ahead of their Coronation ceremony, which is set to take place on May 6, 2023.
“As the countdown to the Coronation continues, a new photograph of The King and The Queen Consort, taken last month in the Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, has been released,” they captioned the photo shared via Instagram and Twitter on Apr. 4, 2023. Camilla will officially be crowned the new Queen that day. She will also be joined by grandsons Master Gus and Master Louis Lopes and Master Freddy Parker Bowles, and her great-nephew, Master Arthur Elliot. Here’s everything you need to know about King Charles’ wife Camilla Parker-Bowles, and his prior marriage to Diana, ahead of the big event in May!
Who Is Camilla Parker Bowles?
Camilla Parker-Bowles was born into a well-to-do family on July 17, 1947. Her father was Vice Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex and her mother hailed from an aristocratic family. She grew up going to private boarding schools across Europe and landed a job as a receptionist at a Mayfair-based decorating firm. She married her first husband Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973 and had two kids with him, Thomas in 1974 and Laura in 1978.
What Does Queen Consort Mean?
Queen Camilla: In her Accession Day address, the Queen has revealed her backing for Camilla to be called ‘Queen Consort’ when Charles takes the throne. It had previously been determined in 2005 when they married that Camilla would be ‘Princess Consort’. pic.twitter.com/PjhDU06ZDF
— Matt Wilkinson (@MattSunRoyal) February 5, 2022
Although Queen Camilla will be crowned the Queen on May 6, 2023, it is important to note that it is not the same title that the late Queen Elizabeth II had. The late ruler was known as “queen regnant”, which indicated that her claim to the throne was through her bloodline and that she would rule the empire independently. Camilla will, for obvious reasons, not claim this title. Consort is a title given to the spouses of a reigning monarch. It is also important to now that this title does not give Camilla any ruling rights, however, she still plays a key role at Buckingham Palace as the king’s wife. Previous queen consorts prior to Camilla include Queen Mary (wife of King George V) and Queen Charlotte (wife of King George III.)
When Did King Charles & Camilla Meet?
King Charles and Camila met at a polo match in 1971, just before she got married to Andrew and they were instantly drawn to each other. They stayed in touch and became close friends. However, once Camilla’s daughter was born in 1978, their relationship turned romantic. Interestingly, Charles and his current wife are actually related, as they’re both related to Henry Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Newcastle. This connection makes them ninth cousins once removed, per Ancestry.
His Marriage To Princess Diana
Charles got engaged to Princess Diana in 1981 and married her later that same year. While he insists he was faithful to Diana until their marriage started crumbling apart, he and Camilla still spent plenty of time together. The affair reportedly ramped up again in 1986, five years into his marriage with Diana. Their affair was exposed in 1994 which led to Charles and Princess Diana’s divorce in 1996. Following their divorce, it was revealed that the late mother-of-two had to give up the official title of “Her Royal Highness,” however, she was able to keep the title of the “Princess of Wales,” per Cosmopolitan. At the time, it was also revealed they would have “equal access” to their kids. Sadly, Diana was killed at the age of 36 following a car accident on Aug. 31, 1997, in Paris, France.
As many know, the late Diana and her ex-husband welcomed two sons together: Prince Harry and Prince William. William was the first to be born in 1982, about one year after his parents got married. The now Spare author, Harry, joined the family a few years later in 1984. In recent years, Harry and his brother’s relationship has since become strained. Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams, via US Weekly, even claimed that he doesn’t see their relationship “being mended” ahead of the Coronation. “There’s no doubt he [William] feels very strongly,” he said on Mar. 2, 2023. “Charles is a symbol of national unity, of course, as the monarch, and the invitation comes from him. So far as William is concerned, I mean, it’s a terribly deep rift and I don’t see it being mended.” The interview came about after several reports claimed that William did not want Harry at the ceremony.
King Charles & Camilla’s Wedding
Charles and Camilla continued their relationship despite Queen Elizabeth II’s and practically everyone else’s disapproval. After Princess Diana’s death in 1997, he and Camilla laid low and didn’t make a public appearance together until 1999. In British journalist Tom Bower’s biography, Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles, the reporter wrote that the Queen allegedly called Camilla “that wicked woman” and said she wanted “nothing to do with her.” Regardless, the couple went on to tie the knot on April 9, 2005, in a civil ceremony in Windsor and Camilla gained the title Duchess of Cornwall. By this point, the late Queen came around and, according to History Extra, she toasted the happy couple, saying, “They have come through and I’m very proud and wish them well. My son is home and dry with the woman he loves.”
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