Camilla Would Be Queen If Charles Is King
The announcement Monday follows opinion polls showing that the British public by and large opposes Charles's longtime mistress taking the title of queen – though they do support a marriage between Charles and Camilla.
Privately, Prince Charles reportedly hopes that time will be on his side and that the British public will become accustomed to the idea of Camilla being queen when he is eventually crowned. Aides at the palace would not comment on this, claiming that the couple's expressed wish is for Camilla to be called Princess Consort.
On Monday, Constitutional Affairs Minister Christopher Leslie said in a written statement that the royal marriage would not be "morganatic" – in which the spouse of inferior status has no claim to the status of the other.
"This is absolutely unequivocal that she automatically becomes queen when he becomes king," said Andrew Mackinlay, the lawmaker who raised the question.
Any attempt to change the rules to bow to popular sentiment would be exceedingly difficult: It would require not only a new law in Britain, but also legislative changes in 15 nations of the Commonwealth.
Immediately after their April 8 wedding, Camilla will become Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, and will not be called Princess of Wales – the title used by the late Princess Diana.