The title Queen Camilla has been used for the first time in an official capacity, appearing on invitations for the King’s coronation.
Camilla had been referred to as Queen Consort since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, but is named as Queen Camilla alongside King Charles III on the invites due to be sent to more than 2,000 guests.
The move marks the incredible journey of Camilla over more than five decades, from romantic involvement, to mistress and finally wife of the King – and will end with her formally being crowned Queen alongside the new King.
The group are either family friends or close relatives of Charles and Camilla, including three of the Queen’s grandchildren, and will be expected to carry the robes of prominent figures during the day.
With the coronation almost a month away, a new double portrait of the King and Queen, wearing a Fiona Clare dress, has been released showing them smiling in Buckingham Palace’s blue drawing room in an image taken by Hugo Burnand, a favourite photographer of the royal family.
A royal source said: “It made sense to refer to Her Majesty as the Queen Consort in the early months of His Majesty’s reign, to distinguish from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“‘Queen Camilla’ is the appropriate title to set against ‘King Charles’ on the invitation. The coronation is an appropriate time to start using ‘Queen Camilla’ in an official capacity. All former Queen Consorts have been known as ‘Queen’ plus their first name.”
It reads: “The Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III & Queen Camilla – By Command of the King the Earl Marshall is directed to invite…to be present at the Abbey Church of Westminster on 6th day of May 2023.”
There had been speculation about what title she would hold when Charles acceded to the throne, but the late Queen put the rumours to bed in February last year when she said it was her “sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort”.
In past centuries, the wives of monarch have been known as Queen, and royal commentators had suggested the formal change might be made around the time of the coronation.
Camilla’s public image has been transformed after she was first cast as the third person in the Prince and Princess of Wales’ marriage to finally becoming a campaigning member of the monarchy prepared to serve the nation.
The couple will celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary on Sunday, and during her time as a member of the royal family she has grown into the role and is now an assured royal who completed her first state visit with the King last week.
Her three grandsons, twin boys Gus and Louis, aged 13, by her daughter Laura Lopes, and 13-year-old Freddy, by son Tom Parker Bowles, and her great-nephew, Arthur Elliot, 10, will be the Queen’s Pages of Honour.
The King’s pages are his grandson George, aged nine, Nicholas Barclay, 13, grandson of Sarah Troughton one of the Queen’s Companions, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, 13, son of the Marquess of Cholmondeley also known as film-maker David Rocksavage and a friend of the Prince of Wales, and Ralph Tollemache, 12.
All eight schoolboys will form part of the lavish procession that will make its way through the Nave of Westminster Abbey.
The royal website will be updated post-coronation to reflect Camilla’s change in title, with Queen Consort being replaced with Queen Camilla, the Palace said.