Queen Elizabeth II has decided: she let it be known on Saturday that she wanted Camilla, second wife of Prince Charles, to be known as queen consort when he accedes to the throne, ending a long sensitive debate among the British.
In a message written on the occasion of her 70-year reign on Sunday, Queen Elizabeth, 95, expressed her “sincere wish” that Camilla, long unloved by the British, “be known as Queen consort” when the Prince Charles, heir to the Crown, will become king upon his death.
“And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes king, I know that you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me,” adds the queen.
The term “consort” applies to the husband or wife of a reigning monarch. Theoretically, therefore, Camilla was to become queen.
But her future title had been the subject of long debate and strong controversy when she married Prince Charles in 2005, with some advisers saying she had no intention of being queen, preferring to be known as ” princess’ consort – a first in the history of the British monarchy.
The couple had married civilly, seven years after the death of Princess Diana. At the time the queen had not come to the wedding, to which she had hardly consented, however organizing a reception for the newlyweds.
Unloved before becoming an essential cog in the monarchy
Camilla, 74, divorced, known as the Duchess of Cornwall since her marriage to Charles, has long been unloved, seen by many Britons as the one who broke Prince Charles’ fairytale marriage, of which she was the mistress, with Princess Diana.
She has never taken the title of Princess of Wales, too associated with Diana, who had nicknamed her the “Rottweiler”. But Queen Elizabeth II has over the years learned to appreciate this woman who was the great love of Charles’s life, 73 years old.
Very devoted to the monarchy, she has become an essential cog in the royal family, with a multitude of commitments. Its laid-back simplicity slowly won over the British. Prince Charles had made no secret that he wanted her to be known as a queen consort.
At the very beginning of the year, Queen Elizabeth II had already named her Dame of the Order of the Garter, the most prestigious title of British chivalry, acknowledging her growing place within the monarchy.
The British press salutes “Queen Camilla”
On Sunday, the British press featured ‘Queen Camilla’ The Daily Mail, Britain’s most widely circulated newspaper, claims that ‘Camilla WILL BECOME Queen’. For the Mail, the Queen’s statement “ends years of speculation” and “uncertainty” about the future role of the Duchess of Cambridge and sweeps away rumors of a possible abdication.
The decision, the tabloid notes, represents “the clearest sign not only of the Queen’s unwavering support for her daughter-in-law, but proof of her enduring affection for the woman who brought happiness to her eldest son.” The Mail’s main rival Tory tabloid, The Sunday Express, reports a ‘Queen’s Platinum Jubilee gift to Charles’.
The Sunday Times points out that “it was the first time that the Queen has given her opinion publicly on a divisive issue since the marriage of Charles and Camilla in 2005”.
Elizabeth II makes a rare appearance
Elizabeth II has largely withdrawn from public life since suffering health problems in October. Two appearances before her Platinum Jubilee on Sunday showed her frail and walking slowly. His message is also a reflection on his life, and on the changes that marked his 70 years of reign, a record for a living monarch. “As we mark this anniversary, I am pleased to renew the commitment I made in 1947, that my life would be entirely devoted to your service”, writes the sovereign who also evokes her “hope and optimism” in this Platinum Jubilee year.
“The past seven decades have seen extraordinary progress socially, technologically and culturally, from which we have all benefited, and I am confident that the future will offer us all similar opportunities, especially the younger generations in the UK and around the world. commonwealth”. The letter is hand signed “your handmaiden Elizabeth R”.
The queen, widowed since last April, must spend Sunday at the royal estate of Sandringham, as every year for the anniversary of her accession to the throne on February 6, 1952, which is also the date of the death of her father George VI.