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Coronation invitation calls Camilla ‘Queen.’ Her path there wasn’t easy.

LONDON — Buckingham Palace has revealed the official invitation for the coronation of King Charles III, with one major title change for his wife, Camilla.

Instead of “Queen Consort,” the title she was given after Queen Elizabeth II’s death, she is now simply “Queen.”

The floral-themed invite for the event, which is due to take place at London’s Westminster Abbey on May 6, promotes “the coronation of their majesties King Charles III & Queen Camilla.” The invitation will be sent to some 2,000 people, the BBC reported, adding that Camilla will be crowned alongside Charles.

The invitation features two coats of arms at the top — Charles’s on the left, and Camilla’s on the right. Charles’s crest features a lion and a unicorn, symbols of England and Scotland respectively. Camilla’s, which was unveiled in 2005 on her 58th birthday, features a wild blue boar with a crown chained around its neck, and the same lion that appears on Charles’s crest. The boar was taken from Camilla’s family crest, the Telegraph reported at the time.

The palace’s decision to drop the word “consort” from the invite shows how far Camilla, 75, has come from being the vilified “other woman” in Charles’s marriage to Princess Diana. When Camilla married Charles in 2005, there were questions over whether Camilla could become the first wife of a British king not to be called a queen.

“There were three of us in this marriage,” Diana said, in a clear reference to Camilla, in an explosive interview with the BBC in 1995 — one year before she was divorced from Charles and two years before her death.

Since then, Camilla has cycled through the titles of mistress, Charles’s wife, princess consort and queen consort. Now she will finally be queen.

King Charles III was officially proclaimed as Britain’s new monarch on Sept. 10 in London from the balcony of St. James’s Palace. (Video: Reuters)

“What’s extraordinary is the background to this,” royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said of the title change in an interview Wednesday, branding Camilla’s path to queen complicated due to the “unique circumstances of this particular love match.”

When Charles and Camilla married in 2005, a royal agreement stipulated that Camilla would be known as “princess consort” and not as “queen consort” when Charles eventually ascended the throne. This agreement was largely due to the sensitivities around the pair’s romance and widespread public anger surrounding their relationship, Fitzwilliams explained.

Until then, Britain had never had a princess consort before, Fitzwilliams said. But at the time, “it simply wouldn’t have been acceptable for it to be announced she would one day be queen,” he added.

Now, “we are in an era where frankly you have got to have an accessible title,” he said, describing the title of queen consort as “clunky.”

When the two married, just 7 percent of Britons thought Camilla should become queen. In a 2010 television interview, even Charles himself appeared unsure of his wife’s title when asked whether Camilla would eventually become queen. “That’s, well … we’ll see, won’t we,” he said.

But in February 2022, Queen Elizabeth II intervened.

In a statement marking 70 years on the British throne, the monarch said she wanted Camilla to be known as queen consort when Charles became king. “It is my sincere wish that, when that times comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service,” Elizabeth wrote.

Camilla should be ‘queen consort’ when Charles is king, Queen Elizabeth II says

Upon Elizabeth’s death in September 2022, Camilla became “queen consort,” while her husband became King Charles III.

Fitzwilliams noted that Charles has spent years “putting into operation the rehabilitation of Camilla,” a process he described as a “step-by-step” move that eventually paid off. Since marrying Charles, Camilla has become patron to some 100 charities and organizations. She is a prominent voice against domestic violence and has long advocated for women, animals and the arts.

Camilla’s popularity has slowly increased, and royal experts say she has even eased into the affection of some of the British public. Many perceive her as the steady calm at Charles’s side and feel she has earned her place as queen, Fitzwilliams said.

“They are an ideal pairing,” he said. While some in British society may never accept Camilla as queen out of loyalty to Diana, he noted, others clearly have found “increasing appreciation” for Camilla, who has “simply got on” with her role in supporting Charles.

When she winked behind President Donald Trump’s back during a 2019 meeting in London, the video went viral.

What to know about Camilla, Charles’s wife

Tabloids here were quick to pounce on the royal title change.

“Our new queen,” read the front page of the Sun on Wednesday, while the Daily Mail was somewhat more poetic in its coverage of the moment.

“At the stroke of a pen, the last vestige of Camilla’s former status becomes a historical footnote,” read the top of Wednesday’s front page.

Who succeeds Queen Elizabeth II? Here’s who is next in line to the throne.

Adela Suliman and Karla Adam contributed to this report.


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