Royalty and statesmen




According to a new Channel 4 documentary, due to be broadcast in the UK later this month, the heir to the throne is keen to see Camilla openly recognised as Queen once he ascends to the throne
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Charles reportedly making a bid for 'Queen Camilla'

21 MAY 2007

Since she wed her Prince over two years ago, the Duchess of Cornwall has taken to her royal duties with aplomb and has succeeded in gaining the respect, and gradually the affection of the British people. And now, according to a new documentary, Prince Charles' aides are launching a campaign to recognise the woman he loves as his queen, rather than the previously decided title of Princess Consort, when he ascends to the throne.

According to a new Channel 4 programme, Queen Camilla, which airs on May 31, Charles' courtiers are keen to remove all obstacles to her taking the royal title. They are hoping to rally public support by raising her profile and promoting her image as a hard-working member of "the Firm". "It is absolute common knowledge that he wants his wife to be Queen and not Princess Consort. And it is entirely understandable," says one source.

When Charles first announced plans to wed Camilla in 2005, questions were raised about the divorced mum-of-two's future. Clarence House, sensitive to public opinion, came up with the compromise of making her Duchess of Cornwall, thereby avoiding the use of the late Princess Diana's former title of Princess of Wales. The understanding was that after Charles' accession to the throne she would be referred to as Princess Consort.

However, although a spokesman explained at the time that Camilla would be free to choose which title she preferred - as there's currently no legal statute governing the issue, it's just a question of convention - the constitutional affairs minister pointed out the marriage is not "morganatic". This implies that, as the new King's wife, Camilla would automatically assume the title of Queen, something which could only be prevented by an Act of Parliament.

Whatever her future title will be, it seems public opinion on Camilla being recognised as Queen is tipping in her favour. In 1999 an opinion poll revealed the majority of Britons - 76 per cent - were opposed the idea. That figure had fallen to 64 per cent just before their wedding, and dropped even further - to 55 per cent - last year.

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