The Queen has declared that Camilla will become Queen when Prince Charles takes the throne.
When Camilla married into the Royal Family in 2005, it was announced that the Duchess of Cornwall would not take the title of Queen when her husband becomes a monarch.
Instead it was thought that she would instead become HRH The Princess Consort after public opinion of Camilla was previously not favorable due to her relationship with Charles when he was married to the late Princess Diana.
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But in a gesture hailed as “extraordinary” by royal watchers, the Queen announced that Camilla will be known as Queen Consort in an address to mark her 70 years on the British throne reports the Mirror.
The news came in a bombshell 10pm statement from the Palace.
In a message to the nation, the Queen wrote: “When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me.
“And it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as the Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”
A spokesman for Charles said: “The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are touched and honored by Her Majesty’s words.” Former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said of the Queen’s announcement: “This is the most extraordinary message.”
Camilla was Charles’ mistress when he was wed to Princes Diana and they first dated after meeting at a polo match in the 1970s.
Camilla went on to marry Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973, while Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.
They maintained a close relationship and in her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir Diana said: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
Recalling Diana’s Panorama interview in 1995, Mr Hunt added: “For Camilla, the journey from being the third person in a marriage to queen-in-waiting, is complete.”
Dickie Arbiter, a former press secretary to the Queen, said hostility towards Camilla after the 1997 death of Diana “has evaporated completely.”
He added: “The Duchess has shown that she is a great support to Charles, the Queen and the institution.”
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Royal author Dr Andrew Lownie said: “Camilla has earned her spurs. The Queen, who would not have Camilla in the room at one point, has become very fond of her.
“I think there’s a real sense of the passing on of the crown.”
Charles, 73, and Camilla, 74, made their relationship public in 1998.
The Queen spoke of a “sense of hope and optimism” in her Platinum Jubilee year and thanked “people of all nationalities, faiths and ages” for the goodwill and support they had expressed.
The Queen wrote fondly of her late husband Prince Philip, who passed away on April 9 last year aged 99, adding: “I was blessed that in Prince Philip I had a partner willing to carry out the role of consort and unselfishly make the sacrifices that go with it… a role I saw my own mother perform during my father’s reign.”