Queen Elizabeth II, 95, and the rest of the Royal Family are still mourning Prince Philip's recent death. However, the Duke of Edinburgh's passing
Queen Elizabeth II, 95, and the rest of the Royal Family are still mourning Prince Philip’s recent death. However, the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing means the future of the monarchy must lie heavy on the Firm’s mind as well as any future obstacles the royal household may encounter.
Prince Charles, 72, is heir to the throne and will take over from the Queen when she can no longer serve.
When Charles is king his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 73, will be his consort. But the question of what title she will take has been a source of controversy since their wedding.
Prince Charles’s first wife Diana, Princess of Wales died in a car crash in 1997, one year after their divorce.
Diana’s death meant Charles was unable to wed Camilla, whom he had an affair with during his marriage to Diana, until years after her tragic passing.
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Charles and Camilla tied the knot in 2005 and at the time Clarence House confirmed Camilla would be known as Princess Consort when Charles was king and not by the traditional Queen Consort title.
The move was believed to pander to the public mood at the time and was designed to be a show of respect to Diana.
Constitutional expert Iain MacMarthanne explained: “There has been much debate as to what title will be taken when Charles becomes King, Princess Consort being one.
“There is no precedent for such a style, but that does not preclude its eventual use, nor would its use mitigate her legal right to be recognised as Queen Consort.”
Ultimately it will be up to Charles to choose which title Camilla takes when he is king, however, the issue is one that will have been brought to the fore in the wake of Prince Philip’s death.
Touching on the seismic impact the Duke’s death will have had on the royal household, commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said: “What of the so-called ‘slimmed-down monarchy’.
“It would have adverse effects on the 3,000 bodies the royal family currently have links to as well as their 2,000 engagements a year but seems inevitable with three fewer senior working royals.
“Who will take on the Duke’s patronages? It is reported there will be a review of all of this by Charles and William in consultation with the Queen.”
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Mr Fitzwilliams added: “Inevitably, with the passing of the years, the throne moves closer to Charles and the issue of Camilla as Princess Consort or Queen Consort remains divisive.
“The Prince, who has created a highly impressive role as Prince of Wales, has stressed that he will not seek in any way to be an activist when he ascends the throne, but this was never possible anyway.”
Prince Charles and Prince William are expected to meet to discuss the future of the monarchy in the coming weeks.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s decision to quit as senior royals last year as well as Prince Andrew’s withdrawal from public life means there is a gap at the top.
Following Megxit, the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, 57, and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 56, have stepped up to the mark and provide vital support to the crown.
The future kings are expected to discuss how to best distribute Prince Philip’s hundreds of royal patronages among working members of The Firm.
Charles and William will consult the Queen about any decisions they make.