Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, hold koalas in Adelaide, Australia.(Photo: Chris Jackson Getty Images)
Even as she charms crowds on tour Down Under, Prince Charles' wife,
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, faces an awkward future with an
awkward title when her husband becomes king, according to his official
An otherwise unnoticed statement on princeofwales.gov.uk,
which reiterates what has been said since Charles and Camilla wed in
2005, is suddenly getting attention in the U.K., where the Brits are
ever alert to any talk about what happens when the Prince of Wales
becomes King Charles III and his wife becomes ... well, what?
is intended that The Duchess will be known as HRH The Princess Consort
when The Prince of Wales accedes to The Throne," is the bland answer to
that question under the FAQ section of the website, which was just
redesigned and launched last week.
Some people, notably the Daily Beast's royalist columnist, Tom Sykes, are shocked, shocked. It's a "callous" way to announce this, he writes, and makes "being dumped by text seem positively gracious."
it's hardly news. Usually, the wife of a king becomes the queen
consort, typically shortened to queen, and is crowned alongside him. But
Camilla faced fierce resistance becoming Charles' second wife, blamed
by many Brits as the other-woman cause of the collapse of his first
marriage to the late, beloved Princess Diana.
When they wed,
Charles said Camilla would be called Duchess of Cornwall instead of
Princess of Wales, and in the future she would not be called queen. But
since then he has dropped hints that, well, maybe she might.
up to Charles to decide this, but a modern monarch is well advised to
consider the views of the people and the government of the day. After
all, look what happened to a previous King Charles (off with his head).
Meanwhile, Charles and Camilla have worked hard to improve
Camilla's image with the British and have been remarkably successful
given the toxic sentiments about her. She has been fully embraced by
Diana's sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, as well as Queen
She and Charles are wrapping up a successful tour
of Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand, where they have been
greeted by enthusiastic crowds and pictured cuddling cute critters such
as baby kangaroos and koalas.
If she does become Princess Consort
instead of Queen Camilla, she would not be the first wife of a monarch
to take an unconventional title. But that's another story.