To an outsider, it seems cut and dry. When Prince Charles, current heir apparent to the British throne, becomes king, his wife, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, will become Queen. Because the wife of the King is the Queen, right?
Well, not always.
In the U.K. the legacy of Princess Diana - and the fact that Charles and Camilla’s affair became public - make things far more complicated. Before Charles and Camilla's wedding in 2005, it was announced that Camilla would be known as Princess Consort, not Queen, if and when Charles ascends to the throne. This title had previously been laid out on the Prince of Wales's website.
“Will the Duchess become Queen when The Prince becomes King?" read the frequently asked questions section of the site, according to the Telegraph.
“As was explained at the time of their wedding in April 2005, it is intended that The Duchess will be known as HRH The Princess Consort when The Prince of Wales Accedes to The Throne.”
Recently, Clarence House quietly removed this question and answer from the FAQs, inciting rumors that the Duchess of Cornwall might indeed take the Queen title; however, a few other questions were reportedly removed as well, and a spokesperson from the Palace told the Telegraph, “Our Frequently Asked Questions are updated regularly. This is one question that Clarence House has not been asked by the public for some time, which is why it no longer features.”
While Camilla's popularity has increased in recent years, according to the Sunday Times, as of August of 2017, "two thirds of Britons did not think she should be queen, and only 19 percent thought she was fit for the role."
But Prince Charles hasn’t ruled the title of Queen out for his wife. In 2010, Brian Williams asked Prince Charles if Camilla would become "Queen of England, if and when you become the monarch.” Charles replied “That’s, well ... We’ll see won’t we? That could be.”
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