“Queen Camilla” A Very Real Possibility as Buckingham Palace Plans to Remove “Consort” from Her Title Before King Charles III’s Coronation

It all depends on how the public feels about the matter, reports say.

Queen Consort Camilla
(Image credit: Getty)

Prior to King Charles III’s coronation on May 6, 2023, Camilla—known as Queen Consort since her husband’s ascension to the throne last month—will likely be known simply as “Queen Camilla,” as Buckingham Palace seeks to quietly drop “Consort” from her title.

The Queen Consort title was set in a statement from Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth last February, where she said, in part, “it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”

The removal of “Consort” from her title—which will be done gradually from now until the coronation, multiple outlets report—is contingent on Camilla’s public perception. According to a report from The Telegraph, Buckingham Palace will test run the public’s appetite for “Queen Camilla,” with hopes of adopting it formally in time for Charles’ coronation. A source told the outlet that those around Charles and Camilla are already “very relaxed” about the public and the press choosing to ignore the more formal “Queen Consort” title in favor of the simpler “Queen Camilla.”

According to The Daily Express, former consorts in modern history—including the Queen Mother—have been called by the title of Queen plus their first name: in her case, Queen Elizabeth, as well as Queen Mary and Queen Alexandra before her. Upon her marriage to Charles in 2005, Buckingham Palace insisted that, when Charles became king, Camilla would be “Princess Consort,” but her rise in popularity over the course of their 17-year marriage prompted the late Queen to suggest “Queen Consort” instead. Now, again depending on public mood, “Queen Camilla” could become a part of our daily royal vernacular.

Marie Claire wrote as far back as February that Charles and Camilla would be crowned side-by-side at his coronation; Buckingham Palace has confirmed that this will, indeed, take place on May 6 at Westminster Abbey. Even before she is crowned, The Mirror reports that Camilla is one of Charles’ Counsellors of State, meaning she can represent the king on matters when he is unavailable.

From now until the gradual phasing out of the “Queen Consort” title, The Sun reports that Camilla is still expected to be referred to as “Queen Consort” in formal communications, “but it is understood the king is hoping his wife to be afforded the same respect as his grandmother [the Queen Mother] was,” the outlet reports. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.