Camilla Is Now Queen Consort. Also: What's a Queen Consort?

Wife of King Charles III isn't the only royal to see a title shift after death of Queen Elizabeth II
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2022 10:04 AM CDT
Updated Sep 9, 2022 1:35 PM CDT
Get Ready to Learn a Bunch of New Royal Titles
Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, are seen at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London on July 5.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

This piece has been updated to reflect William and Kate's new title: If you think you're going to have a hard time remembering to call Charles "king" instead of "prince" from here on out (don't forget the "III"!), try to master that soon, because a number of other royal titles are about to undergo a shift. Here's how the name game is set to play out for the other royals in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II's death:

  • Camilla: Charles' wife will now be known as Queen Consort, which, per USA Today, is simply a "fancy name for the wife of a reigning king." Fox News notes that when Camilla married Charles in 2005, it was announced she'd one day be called Princess Consort if Charles ever became king, out of respect to his deceased ex-wife, Princess Diana. Queen Elizabeth changed her mind on that earlier this year, noting she wanted Camilla to have the Queen Consort title. If you want to call her Queen Camilla, though, that's said to be acceptable, too. (Read much more on the Queen Consort's role here.)
  • William and Kate: The man who's now next in line to the throne and his wife, the former Kate Middleton, were known until Thursday as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Their new main title: the Prince and Princess of Wales, a label previously held by Charles and Diana, per Today. Charles announced the update on Friday, and their social media has already been modified to reflect this change.The pair will also retain a secondary title, Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge, per the Independent. The Cornwall title, which is typically held by the eldest son of the reigning monarch, was also handed down to William from Charles, per People.

  • Harry and Meghan: Nothing changes for them personally, but their kids, Archie and Lilibet, are now in the running to become prince and princess, respectively. That's per a century-old decree handed down by King George V granting those titles to the children and grandchildren of a reigning sovereign. Charles has the right to amend that decree, however, which Fox notes "he may do in order to fulfill his reported stated objective of slimming down the royal family."
  • Something for Edward? Charles inherited the Duke of Edinburgh title from his father, Prince Philip, when Philip died last year. But because that title has now "merged back into the Crown" with Charles' ascension to king, Charles could opt to hand it down to Prince Edward, the youngest of Charles' siblings, who currently goes by the Earl of Wessex.
(More royal family stories.)

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