Clarence House has fuelled speculation that the Duchess of Cornwall could yet be made Queen after deleting all references saying she will be styled as ‘Princess Consort’ when Prince Charles becomes King from his official website.
The heir to the throne’s office has quietly taken down a statement, made before the couple got married in 2005, in which they said it is ‘intended The Duchess will be known as HRH The Princess Consort when The Prince of Wales accedes to the throne.’
It has also been removed from her personal biography.
Despite years of denials by royal aides, Clarence House has deleted all references to Camilla being named the ‘Princess Consort’. They are pictured in July last year
Even Buckingham Palace’s website appears to have removed the reference in its profile of Prince Charles’ wife, too.
Clarence House officials yesterday insisted that the statement had been removed some time ago from their ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ segment because the public was no longer interested in the issue.
A spokesman said: ‘This is one question that Clarence House has not been asked by the public for some time, which is why it no longer features.’
However online searches show it could still be found on the prince’s official website – www.princeofwales.gov.uk – as recently as October last year.
Clearly burning questions such as: ‘Are the reports that The Duchess is still a smoker true?’ still feature in the same section, however.
Claims by the prince’s office that it is no longer a subject of major interest comes in the face of polls which consistently suggest that Camilla will not be tolerated as Queen.
Last summer one survey, admittedly undertaken after a rash of unfavourable headlines in the run up to the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death, claimed that two-thirds of Britons do not think the Duchess of Cornwall should be Queen – and only 19 per cent thought she was fit for the role.
Camilla’s biography on the website and Buckingham Palace’s page have also removed the statement. They are pictured left posing for their official wedding photograph in 2005 and right in
When the couple eventually married 12 years ago Charles acknowledged continuing public hostility to Camilla and the role their affair played in the breakdown of his first marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales, by coming up with the option to call her Princess Consort. Aides also, notably, inserted the phrase that he ‘intended’ for her to use the title.
In truth, however, he has long cherished the hope that his wife will, one day, become Queen by his side.
When asked by a US network in 2012 whether his wife could be Queen, he said: ‘We’ll see won’t we? That could be.’
Earlier the same year when an eight-year-old girl asked her: ‘Are you going to be Queen one day?’ Camilla replied: ‘You never know.’
In recent years Camilla has won over many of her detractors with her warmth, sense of humour and willingness to tackle difficult issues such as domestic abuse, giving Charles hope that he might yet win the battle over her position and title.
In June 2016, the Queen appointed Camilla to the Privy Council, thus allowing her to be beside Charles when he is proclaimed King.
Privately, Clarence House officials this week continued to stick to the line that nothing has changed but some have pointed to the fact that after Diana’s death, Charles sought to allay public anger over his relationship with Camilla by saying it was his ‘intention’ never to remarry.