For the anniversary of her 70 years of reign this Sunday, Elisabeth II offered a huge symbolic gift to Camilla.
The Queen of the United Kingdom has indeed made it known on Saturday that she wants the second wife of Prince Charles to be known as "Queen consort" when he takes the throne.
In a written message, Elisabeth II, 95, therefore expressed this “sincere wish” for Camilla.
“And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes king, I know that you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me,” adds the queen.
Charles' wish granted
The term “consort” applies to the husband or wife of a reigning monarch.
Camilla's future title had been the subject of long debate and strong controversy when she married Prince Charles in 2005, with some advisers saying she had no intention of being queen, preferring to be known as "princess" consort.
The couple had married civilly, seven years after the death of Princess Diana.
At the time the queen had not come to the wedding, to which she had hardly consented, however organizing a reception for the newlyweds.
Prince Charles has never hidden that he wanted her to be known as queen consort.
Camilla, 74, divorced, known as the Duchess of Cornwall since her marriage to Charles, has long been unloved, seen by many Britons as the one who broke the marriage between Charles and Diana.
She has never taken the title of Princess of Wales, too associated with Diana, who had nicknamed her the “Rottweiler”.
Dame of the Order of the Garter
But Queen Elizabeth II has over the years learned to appreciate this woman who was the great love of the life of Charles, 73 years old. Very devoted to the monarchy, she has become an essential cog in the royal family, with a multitude of commitments. Its laid-back simplicity slowly won over the British. At the very beginning of the year, the queen had already appointed Camilla Dame of the Order of the Garter, the most prestigious title of British chivalry, acknowledging her growing place within the monarchy.
Elizabeth II has largely withdrawn from public life since health problems in October.
His message is also a reflection on his life, and on the changes that marked his reign, a record for a living monarch.
"As we mark this anniversary, I am pleased to renew the commitment I made in 1947, that my life would be entirely devoted to your service", writes the sovereign who also evokes her "hope and optimism" in this Platinum Jubilee year.
The letter is hand signed "your handmaiden Elizabeth R".
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Queen Elizabeth II
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