Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain wants the wife of the heir to the throne, Prince Charles of Wales, Duchess Camilla of Cornwall, to receive the title of Queen Consort, not Princess Consort, when he himself becomes king. This is stated in the monarch’s address to his subjects, distributed on Saturday by the Buckingham Palace press service.

“I know that when the time comes and my son Charles becomes king, you will support him and his wife Camilla just as you supported me. I also sincerely wish that when the time comes, Camilla, who will continue her faithful service, will be called the Queen Consort,” the document says, the publication of which is timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the queen’s reign celebrated on February 6.

In her message, Elizabeth II thanks both her subjects and her family members for their support, including Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who died in April last year, who had held the title of Prince Consort since 1952, being the spouse of the reigning Queen. The wife of the British king, by tradition, should receive the title of Queen Consort and be called Her Majesty, but for the current wife of the Prince of Wales, the situation has long promised to be different.

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Prince Charles’s extramarital affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles ruined his first marriage, causing a breakup with Princess Diana in 1992. For many years, the British public could not forgive the incident either to the heir to the throne himself or to his new chosen one, who cheated on her first husband with the prince. When the Prince of Wales, after much hesitation, married her in 2005, Buckingham Palace issued a statement that the newly-made Duchess of Cornwall “will need to use the title of Her Royal Highness Princess Consort when the Prince of Wales ascends the throne.” Although the heir of Elizabeth II publicly expressed disappointment with this decision, the queen has not taken any steps on this issue for many years, only now allowing herself a broad gesture.

Observers of the British media call Her Majesty’s act “extraordinary and very generous,” linking it to the fact that over the years the image of Duchess Camilla has improved significantly. From an insidious razluchnitsa, whom the British public was not ready to accept as a queen, she gradually turned into a reliable support of the throne. Today, the 74-year-old Duchess of Cornwall is one of the few members of the royal family actively involved in public life and patronizes various charitable organizations, paying special attention to the problem of violence against women.

Transit of power

The newspapers also suggest that Elizabeth II, who will soon turn 96, seeks to make the upcoming transit of power after her death as less painful as possible for her son. In October 2021, she was hospitalized for the first time in eight years and spent a day in the hospital, which was explained by the need for a medical examination. Officially, there are no reports of any health problems with the monarch, but in recent months she rarely participates in public events, and at the insistence of doctors, she temporarily gave up long-distance trips and completely abstained from alcohol. For the first time in 70 years of her reign, the anniversary of which will be celebrated magnificently in the summer, the queen began to appear in public with a cane.

“Celebrating this anniversary, I am pleased to repeat the commitment I made in 1947 – to dedicate my life to your service forever,” the Queen said in her address to her subjects. – In the year of my platinum anniversary celebration, looking into the future with optimism and a sense of hope, I remember how many things deserve our gratitude. Over these seven decades, we have witnessed incredible social, technological and cultural progress that has been for the benefit of all of us, and I am sure that the future brings us comparable opportunities, especially for the younger generation of residents of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth countries.”

In September 2015, Elizabeth II surpassed the record of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) for the longest stay on the throne. She became the first British monarch to celebrate the platinum anniversary of her reign.

Among the women who had the chance to reign, Elizabeth II was on the throne the longest in world history. However, so far it has not surpassed the achievement of the French king Louis XIV (1638-1715), who spent 72 years and 110 days on the throne. The confirmed record of the longest reign belongs to Sobhuza II, the King of Swaziland (now Eswatini), who was declared supreme leader at the age of four months and ruled for 82 years and 254 days.