Prince Charles Struck a Deal with Queen Elizabeth to Ensure Camilla’s Title Would One Day Be Queen, New Book Claims

“And so, in a kind of an unspoken, implicit deal, this was the tradeoff,”

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth
(Image credit: Getty)

When Prince Charles married Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005, it was understood that, when Charles took the throne, her title would be Princess Consort. Then, in February of this year—exactly 70 years since taking the throne herself—Queen Elizabeth announced in an unprecedented statement that it was her “sincere wish” that Camilla be known as Queen Consort, the ultimate seal of approval for Camilla, who was once widely condemned for her extramarital affair with the Prince of Wales.

But, according to a new book by veteran royal biographer Christopher Andersen, there was more to that statement than meets the eye—and, according to Us Weekly, the deal brokered involved Prince Andrew.

“You may recall that Prince Andrew was enmeshed in the Jeffrey Epstein [case],” Andersen tells the outlet, while promoting his new book The King: The Life of King Charles III, out November 8. “Charles was instrumental in making sure that, with [Prince] William’s backing, that Andrew was more or less drummed out of the family.”

(Just in case you don’t remember—though how could you forget?—Andrew was accused of sexual assault and was ultimately stripped of his royal patronages and military titles in January 2022, months after accuser Virginia Giuffre filed a lawsuit against him. The next month, Andrew settled the lawsuit, allegedly with financial help from his mother, Us Weekly reports.)

Her late Majesty “was going to dip into her personal pocket” to help pay the settlement fee, Andersen says, noting that Andrew was the late Queen’s favorite.

“Now that meant, really—because Charles just was going to be the heir—that this was also money that would’ve come to him eventually,” Andersen says. While “Charles could have objected,” the royal expert says, he instead used the moment to broker a deal in favor of the love of his life: let it slide, if the Queen would publicly endorse Camilla as a future Queen Consort.

“And so, in a kind of an unspoken, implicit deal, this was the tradeoff,” Andersen says. “And that announcement was made…It was very abrupt, you may recall. It was something [that took] everybody by surprise…She was so against Camilla ever becoming Queen for decades and decades that it, it was a complete about face, [and] that I think [it] shocked a lot of people.”

*Mind blown* 

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.