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What is a Queen Consort? 15 facts about Queen Camilla
On 6th May 2023, Camilla was crowned Queen Consort alongside her husband, King Charles III. Here is everything you need to know about her life, her role as Consort, and how the title differs from being a ruling monarch.
What is a Queen Consort?
The title of Consort is a symbolic one which represents the supportive role they play to a ruling monarch while establishing that they do not hold the same powers.
A Queen Consort is the wife of the reigning King and not a Queen by birth. Queen Elizabeth II was the first daughter of King George VI and, as such, ascended to the throne as Queen Regent when he died. Her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, was Prince Consort.
If a King is a regent, their wife is referred to as the Queen Consort. However, if a Queen is a regent, then their husband is called the Prince Consort and not the King Consort because it would be perceived as being a higher title.
What is the role of Queen Consort?
The Queen Consort is the wife of the reigning king. Her role means that while she has the same social status and rank as her husband, she does not have the same political or military rank.
Typically, the role of the Queen Consort is to support their husband and serve their country through charitable actions.
How is the Queen Consort different to the Queen?
A Queen Regent, like Queen Elizabeth II, succeeds the throne through their bloodline. A Queen Consort gains their title through their marriage to a reigning King.
Who was the last Queen Consort?
The last Queen Consort was Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Her marriage to King George VI made her Queen Consort until he died in 1952.
15 interesting facts about Queen Camilla
- She’s 16 months older than King Charles III.
- She first met King Charles III in 1971 through mutual friends.
- They weren’t allowed to get married at Windsor Castle due to venue licensing, so they married at Windsor Guildhall instead.
- Worse still, Camilla was very unwell on the day of their wedding. She had acute sinusitis and was only roused from her bed on the threat of her sister putting on her wedding outfit.
- Her engagement ring belonged to Charles’ Grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
- She always wears the same shoes. Her favourite Chanel Pumps are no longer in production, but that doesn’t stop Camilla from matching them with outfits.
- Despite being incredibly fashionable, she’s also very eco-conscious. She has started recycling her outfits and wearing them more than once, something that was previously unusual for royals.
- She refused the title of Princess of Wales out of respect for Princess Diana, who died in a car accident in 1997. She instead chose the title of Duchess of Cornwall.
- She loves animals - especially dogs. She owns two Jack Russel Terriers rescued from Battersea Dogs Home, where she is a patron. They’re called Beth and Bluebell.
- She’s a patron of over 90 different charities, including those supporting animal welfare, literacy and the arts, health and wellbeing, and supporting survivors of rape and sexual assault.
- Her hobbies are surprisingly down-to-earth (literally!). She loves gardening and is an avid reader.
- She’s afraid of flying and isn’t a fan of travelling. Despite this, she still attends Royal Visits across the globe and uses stress management techniques to get through the long-haul overseas flights.
- She’s got some famous family outside of the Royal one. Genealogy can trace her ancestry to a 17th-century Canadian couple who are also distant relatives of Madonna, Celine Dion, and Angelina Jolie.
- She’s a Royal Lady of the Royal Garter - a chivalrous order established by Edward III in 1348. It is the most senior rank of knighthood that you can achieve in the Commonwealth.
- She has a great sense of humour and often gets giggles. She’s known for being incredibly talkative and knows not to take herself too seriously.