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Why is Camilla being crowned? Everything you need to know about Queen Camilla

Is Camilla queen or queen consort?

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Queen Camilla wears Queen Mary’s Crown during her coronation ceremony at the Westminster Abbey in London.

Queen Camilla wears Queen Mary’s Crown during her coronation ceremony at the Westminster Abbey in London, Saturday May 6, 2023.

Yui Mok, Pool via Associated Press

Camilla was crowned during the coronation ceremony earlier this morning and is now officially known as Queen Camilla.

After Queen Elizabeth II died last year, Charles and Camilla were given new titles. While Charles is now King Charles III, Camilla, 74, was queen consort. But now, according to a coronation invite and the coronation itself, Camilla will be known as Queen Camilla. What does that title mean?

Why was Camilla crowned?

According to CNN, Camilla was crowned “because if a male sovereign is married when they accede the throne, his wife is traditionally anointed and crowned in a short ceremony.”

During the coronation ceremony, Camilla was anointed with holy oil, like her husband, by the Archbishop of Canterbury. She was then presented with the Consort’s Ring, “which symbolizes promise and commitment,” per CNN.

Queen Camilla was crowned with Queen Mary’s Crown, “marking the first time in recent history that a new crown wasn’t made specifically for this occasion,” according to CNN. Camilla opted to use Queen Mary’s Crown for “sustainability and efficiency,” according to the palace, but chose to honor Queen Elizabeth by “by resetting the crown with some diamonds ... from the Queen’s personal collection.”

Who were the women with Camilla during the coronation?

During the coronation ceremony, Camilla was flanked by two women — the Queen’s Companions, according to Cosmopolitan. So who were they?

One was Annabel Elliot, Camilla’s younger sister and one of two siblings to Camilla — her brother, Mark Shand, died in 2014, per Town and Country. The other was Lady Lansdowne, a close friend of Queen Camilla and the godmother to Camilla’s daughter, Laura Lopes, per Cosmopolitan.

What necklace did Camilla wear today?

According to Today, “Accompanying her outfit, Camilla wore the same diamond necklace Elizabeth wore to her own coronation back in June 2, 1953.”

The necklace, called the Coronation Necklace, “was originally made by Garrard and was initially given to Queen Victoria in 1858,” per Today. The necklace is adorned with 25 cushion diamonds, with a “22-carat diamond pendant at the center.”

Is Camilla now called queen?

When Camilla first married Charlies in 2005, she was known as princess consort, per CNN. After Queen Elizabeth’s death, Camilla was titled queen consort. Now, she’ll just be known as Queen Camilla.

A royal source told CNN, “It made sense to refer to Her Majesty as the Queen Consort in the early months of His Majesty’s reign, to distinguish from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”

“The coronation is an appropriate time to start using ‘Queen Camilla’ in an official capacity,” the royal source continued. “All former Queen Consorts have been known as ‘Queen’ plus their first name.”

What is the queen consort versus queen regent?

According to BBC, “‘queen consort’ refers to the spouse of a ruling king.” Therefore, Camilla will be Queen Camilla. The queen consort won’t have any political or sovereign power.

Queen regent, on the other hand, has an entirely different meaning — and they’re pretty rare. Queen regents can exercise royal sovereignty in the king’s behalf. This would occur either if a king was absent or if a king were too young to rule.

Was Queen Elizabeth queen consort or queen regent?

She was neither. Queen Elizabeth was queen regnant. This is a title bestowed upon a woman who inherits the British crown by right of birth. A queen regnant has full sovereign powers, according to Monarchy of Britain Wiki.

What did queen consort mean for Camilla?

According the Royal Family official website, as queen consort, Camilla “supports her husband, formerly The Prince of Wales, now His Majesty The King, in carrying out his work and duties.” She will also undertake “public engagements on behalf of the charities that she supports.”

It is very unlikely that Camilla will become queen regent. Per Time, “members who marry into the royal family can’t inherit the throne.”

This means that when Prince William becomes king, Kate Middleton will be queen consort.

What’s the difference between queen consort and queen?

Here’s the real question: what does this title change mean for Camilla? Nicoletta Gullace, associate professor of British history at the University of New Hampshire, told NPR that the title change is primarily symbolic.

“It’s mostly symbolic, but when you think about it, the monarchy itself is mostly symbolic,” Gullace said. “So these symbolics end up being very important.”

Other famous queen consorts

According to Time, Queen Elizabeth’s mother was the last queen consort. Here are some other famous British queen consorts:

  • Catherine of Aragon, married to King Henry VIII (from 1509 to 1533).
  • Anne Boleyn, married to King Henry VIII (from 1533 to 1536).
  • Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, married to King George III (from 1761 to 1818).
  • Alexandra of Denmark, married to King Edward VII (from 1863 to 1910).