Camilla Parker Bowles will be known as “Queen” rather than “Queen Consort,” according to sources speaking to the Mail on Sunday. The paper says the change in title will happen after King Charles’ Coronation in May.
Last week Camilla updated the name of her charity, the Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room, to the Queen’s Reading Room. The Court Circular could also soon reflect the change, the paper says. A well-placed source told the Mail: “There’s a view in the Palace that Queen Consort is cumbersome and it might be simpler for Camilla to be known just as the Queen when the time is right. The Reading Room was a sign of that. Her Majesty is the Queen after all. Prince Philip was Prince Consort officially, but he wasn’t known as Prince Consort. The Queen would of course still be Queen Consort so the Palace of course wouldn’t stop anyone calling Her Majesty that if they so chose.”
The speed of the title change is notable. The late Queen Elizabeth had said it was her ‘sincere wish” that Camilla be known as Queen Consort. This was seen as seismic in itself given Camilla’s onetime lack of popularity among the public due to her role in the breakdown in then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage. Now she will simply be known as queen. A royal source told the Mail: “There’s a feeling that the time will come when it’s simpler all round to refer to Camilla simply as our Queen. Until then she will be referred to as Queen Consort.”
It is the most inevitable, and widely anticipated, change to come out of King Charles’ reign. But, lest we forget; it is the complete, diametric opposite of what the royals promised would happen when she married Charles.
Back then, Clarence House stated that Camilla would adopt the style of Princess Consort when Charles ascended the throne, a statement that mysteriously disappeared from Charles’ website in 2018.
In his memoir Spare, Prince Harry said his stepmother had left “bodies in the street” in her ascent within the royal family.
Camilla’s grandchildren to take center stage
Queen Camilla’s grandchildren are set to play a “prominent, official” role at King Charles’ Coronation to “signal their closeness” to Charles and Camilla, according to the Sunday Times.
Her son, Tom Parker Bowles, has Lola, 15, and Freddy, 13, and her daughter, Laura Lopes, has Eliza, 15, and twins, Louis and Gus, 13. They call Camilla “Gaga” as a nickname. The times reports Charles read Harry Potter books to them when they were younger, including doing character impersonations.
Camilla’s grandkids will reportedly hold the canopy over her as she is anointed with holy oil “during the most sacred part of the ceremony,” the Times said, instead of the usual duchesses who would do it. Duchesses have previously performed the role.
“It is another example of the King and Queen Consort being unafraid to shake things up a bit to reflect the realities of modern life, of which a blended family is a central element.”
— Royal source
A royal source told the Times: “The Queen Consort has said she does not want duchesses. She would like it to be her grandchildren.”
“It sends a nice signal and is quite a bold move,” a source said. “It is another example of the King and Queen Consort being unafraid to shake things up a bit to reflect the realities of modern life, of which a blended family is a central element.”
A key role is also being dreamt up for Prince George, Kate and William’s 9-year-old kid and future king, provided the couple deem whatever that role is does not “subject him to overwhelming scrutiny.”
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Take it or leave it
Speculation that King Charles‘s coronation concert is struggling to attract top flight British pop talent is rife.
After it was reported last week that Adele and Ed Sheeran would not be in a position to perform, the Sun on Sunday reports today that both Harry Styles and Elton John will not be able to make it, and that a much ballyhooed reunion of the Spice Girls, which was rumored to be going to be the headline-topping closing act of the concert, is not going ahead after all, with the legendary girl band giving the event a hard pass.
According to the Sun, the three acts all claim that their schedules do not allow them to perform, but there will be increasing speculation that it is a sign that affection for King Charles is just not what it was for Queen Elizabeth.
The source said: “Elton John was top of Charles’ list but due to his European tour, which sees him performing in Germany the Friday before then again soon after the Windsor concert, he isn’t able to make the dash to the U.K. work.”
One act who actually can make it, however is Take That. Well, sort of. The Sun says that Robbie Williams will not be part of the line-up. Take That without Robbie Williams? That sounds more like a wet afternoon at Glastonbury than the biggest royal party of the new era.
Bring the kings
The Mail reports that, in a significant break with convention, foreign monarchs are to be invited to King Charles‘s coronation. Traditionally, monarchs of other lands have not been invited to the coronation, ostensibly to preserve its status as a communion between the monarch and its people (although of course it could just be out of concern that the out of towners might steal the show with fancier outfits and more beautiful spouses).
But Charles is reportedly going to break this tradition by inviting European Royals and, perhaps controversially, rulers from some Arab states.
A source told the Mail, “You can expect guest list for the coronation to more closely resemble that of a royal wedding than the coronation 70 years ago.” Prince Albert of Monaco has previously hinted that he expected to be invited.
Sorry, not sorry
Sources have told the Mail on Sunday that Prince William and King Charles do not intend to offer an apology to Prince Harry, with one saying, “What are the family meant to apologize for? As the late queen said, recollections may vary.”
The remarks echo reports in The Daily Beast this week, saying that the royals have not offered a meeting and will not do so, The Daily Beast understands.
A friend of the king last week told The Royalist that Charles was simply “too busy” to have a one-on-one meeting with Harry.
The Mail’s source said, “I don’t think His Majesty is minded to apologize for anything at present. Quite the opposite. There is still a huge amount of ill will boiling over in the family. Conversations could still happen in the next few weeks, I am sure, but they’ll be waiting a very long time for an apology. There’s a great deal of hurt at Harry’s actions.”
When asked directly by ITV News anchor Tom Bradby if he would attend the Coronation, Harry replied: “There’s a lot that can happen between now and then, but you know, the door is always open, the ball is in their court. There is a lot to be discussed, and I really hope they are willing to sit down and talk about it.”
This week in royal history
Happy 68th birthday to Sir Timothy Laurence, Princess Anne’s second husband, on Wednesday. He was born on March 1, 1955.
Will the public ultimately care about Camilla finally being known as queen? Harry may want an apology in order to attend the Coronation, but will Charles will give him one? It ain’t looking likely.