The Queen has used her Platinum Jubilee message to the nation to back the Duchess of Cornwall as Queen Camilla.
In a message to the nation to mark Accession Day, and the start of her Jubilee year, Her Majesty has unexpectedly expressed her “sincere wish” that Camilla will be known as Queen Consort when the Prince of Wales becomes king.
Reflecting on the support that people have shown her during her 70-year reign, the Queen writes: “I would like to express my thanks to you all for your support.
“I remain eternally grateful for, and humbled by, the loyalty and affection that you continue to give me. And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”
When Prince Charles married Camilla in 2005, royal aides insisted that Camilla did not want to be queen and said originally that the former Mrs Parker Bowles “intended” to be known instead as Princess Consort, the first in British history, instead.
It was seen at the time as an acknowledgment that the public was finding it difficult to accept Charles’ new wife, after their affair and his divorce from Princess Diana.
Technically, Camilla would have been Queen when Charles acceded to the throne, and only legislation would have prevented it.
The Queen’s intervention now appears to close the matter. It can be seen as another example of how Her Majesty wants to make her views known when it comes to the future of the institution and help to make the start of her son’s reign as trouble free as possible.
As she prepares to mark the day her father King George VI died and she acceded to the throne on 6 February 1952, she also renewed her lifelong pledge of duty, despite approaching her 96th birthday in April.
“As we mark this anniversary, it gives me pleasure to renew to you the pledge I gave in 1947 that my life will always be devoted to your service,” she said.
She also paid tribute to the late Duke of Edinburgh for the sacrifices he made as consort, thanked her family for their support, and made reference to the Queen Mother’s role as a Queen Consort.
The Queen wrote: “I am fortunate to have had the steadfast and loving support of my family. I was blessed that in Prince Philip I had a partner willing to carry out the role of consort and unselfishly make the sacrifices that go with it. It is a role I saw my own mother perform during my father’s reign.”
Usually, the Queen would spend the weekend around Accession Day privately, but in a sign of how significant this moment is for the monarch, the palace has co-ordinated a series of events and moments where we’ve been able to see the Queen this weekend, including a reception in the ballroom at Sandringham house on Saturday, and pictures of her looking at jubilee memorabilia from the royal archives.