Page last updated at 16:46 GMT, Thursday, 24 March 2005

Should Camilla be called queen?

Charles and Camilla

Camilla Parker Bowles will automatically become queen when Prince Charles succeeds to the throne, the government has confirmed.

Constitutional Affairs Minister Christopher Leslie confirmed the status of the marriage in a written Commons reply to a Labour backbencher.

Mrs Parker Bowles will be known as the Duchess of Cornwall after the marriage and Princess Consort when Charles becomes king.

Government sources have said that legislation would be needed to "comply with her wishes not to become queen".

On Wednesday Clarence House revealed that Prince William and Tom Parker Bowles are to be witnesses to the royal marriage.

Do you think Camilla should be called queen once Charles succeeds to the throne?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

I really don't see the problem in Camilla being called Queen
Dan, Cambridge, UK
Like many others, I really don't see the problem in Camilla being called Queen. What difference does it make? I am sure she will do an excellent job in her role. Likewise, I am sure Charles will do an excellent job as King. At least he's prepared to speak up when he feels he should (unlike the present monarch). I may not agree with everything he says, but good on him for having the guts to stand up and say what he believes, even when it might not be popular. Perhaps a few of our politicians should learn some of that moral backbone!
Dan, Cambridge, UK

We are in the 21st century. I'd love to see Camilla as queen, because she deserves it.
Shona, Larnaca, Cyprus

The issue is not about her being a divorcee, it's not even if she's really a nice person or not. It's about that both of them were devious enough to carry on an affair for years and in the process hurt a lot of people. I don't begrudge them happiness, they are clearly in love, but he should not be King and she should not be Queen. I am a young(ish!!) woman and know the reality of the world, we all know things aren't always perfect, but if we reward cheating and disrespect of others then where is society going?
Fiona, Farnborough

Camilla has already decided. She wants to be called Princess Consort. This is a non-issue. Let's get off her back, leave her in peace and stop wasting time in introducing unneeded legislation.
Leslie Ladomry, Edinburgh, Scotland

Let them live their lives, stop shoving cameras in their noses
Paul, Nottingham, UK
Who cares? I'm sick of having so much time in the news being wasted on the Royals. Let them live their lives, stop shoving cameras in their noses, and most importantly let them disappear into the sidelines where they belong unless they do something earth shattering - and getting married certainly doesn't fit into that category.
Paul, Nottingham, UK

Ipso facto. It's a fact the wife of the King is the Queen, everybody knows that. Leave Prince Charles and his intended alone to enjoy their life.
Brian M Keith, Ellesmere England

Why not? Diana would have been despite all her adulterous liaisons. Will those who object to the union be prepared to live by their own rules should their marriages break down and will they shun those of family and friends who wish to find happiness after a troubled relationship ends? We should remember that a thriving monarchy is our biggest money spinners - no-one would cross the Atlantic to view Tony Blair or buy a souvenir with his face on it - ask John Howard of Australia.
Ruby, U.K

Call her anything she wants. What difference does it make? Who cares?
William Scott, Nottingham, GB

Princess Consort seems a perfectly adequate title and that's what the couple want anyway
Chris Green, Hagley Worcs England
Princess Consort seems a perfectly adequate title and that's what the couple want anyway. I gather we need to alter or somehow change the Act of Succession - well that's well overdue and in doing so can remove all reference to the C of E or any other reference to religious considerations.
Chris Green, Hagley Worcs England

Ironic isn't it? Celebrities such as the Beckhams have become the new royals and the actual Royals are now mere entertainment. When did the court jesters become the Royals and the Royals become the jesters?
Carole, Cherry Hill, New Jersey USA

What does it matter? It's pretty obvious she hasn't married him for wealth or power. Good luck to the pair of them I say, it's just a shame it didn't happen earlier. Queen Camilla? I don't have a problem with that.
Peter Dykes, Bath, UK

Personally I think no, but does it really matter all that much? After all, like everyone else I am far too busy struggling on with real life every day to worry about such frippery, safe in the knowledge that in the end "the powers that be" will do what they want to do regardless of the nation's real wishes.
Jay, Tameside, UK

Only if she can perform Bohemian Rhapsody, live, on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.
Simon, Wales

Though a Royalist, I would predict many Canadians would use this Queen as the wedge to divorce Canada from Royalty, even more so in Australia. If Charles wants to destroy the Commonwealth go right ahead. Otherwise step aside as his uncle did.
Bill Lewis, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

The arrangements for the wedding will only be the start of the confusion
Chris Robertson, Knutsford, England
The issue is not whether Camilla can be styled other than Queen. As a number of already-published contributions have highlighted, it is about the fact that the King's wife automatically becomes the Queen, irrespective of how she is addressed. She cannot avoid the highest-profile role in official functions at home and abroad. This would not be a problem if it were not for the controversy over the pair's behaviour before and after Charles' marriage to Princess Diana, and continuing uncertainty over the legitimacy of this marriage. It's naive to imagine any royal events, particularly those abroad, can avoid reigniting the scandal, thus continuing to drag our country into disrepute. The arrangements for the wedding will only be the start of the confusion.
Chris Robertson, Knutsford, England

In all fairness she has conducted herself, apart from the affair of course, better than Charles. Dignified and silent. I think she would make a better queen than he will a king. Let's just hope that the Royal Family takes note of public opinion and gives the throne to William next. This is the issue we feel the strongest about!
A. Rye, UK/ Spain

Truly, I don't think it matters. They are an odd couple to say the least, but they have lasted for so long, it's just a given she'll be with him. Most likely, she will become queen, but is it really that big of a deal?
Aimee Cole, Delmar, New York, USA

Just because she ain't coyly photogenic, isn't a reason not to respect her
Petulia Astulias, Sydney, Australia
Camilla Parker Bowles, Queen of England! I admire a person whom can keep one's trap firmly closed. There are two people I can think of who fit the bill. One is the Queen and the other the Queen-likely-to-be, if all goes well. Just because she ain't coyly photogenic, isn't a reason not to respect her.
Petulia Astulias, Sydney, Australia

Why all the confusion? Do the constitutional experts make up the rules as they go along?
Marc Brett, Teddington, UK

It's not like Charles and Camilla will have any children - so Camilla being called queen won't affect the succession. All it will mean is a more united royal image, which cannot be a bad thing. There is an argument for passing over Charles to William, but the issue here is simple name calling. What difference can it possibly make to call Camilla queen - people have much more important (and significant) things to think about, like the general election.
Vix, London, UK

Great! If Camilla marries Charles then she should have the title that belongs to her position if Charles would become king. Congratulations to Charles and Camilla, wish you both happiness!
George, Canada

I think the lady protests too much - she knows current legislation very well. This is more likely to be a politically correct statement. Another attempt to make her appear more popular. I personally don't care if they would ever be king or queen but, if we are to have "royalty" at all, they should at least try to be decent role models.
Dee, Ballycastle, NI

In this day and age, wouldn't it be more appropriate to ask: "Should anyone be called queen?" The upcoming marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla is an opportunity to allow this archaic institution to fade into the pages of history...where it belongs.
Ron Armalis, Zama, Japan

When he becomes king, she should have the title of queen.
Sandra Sullivan, Ashland, WI, USA

Absolutely not!
Janice, Swansboro, USA

I wish the public would put aside petty ignorance and be happy for them. They are getting married, not taking over the world.
Dr Michael Condon, Telford

They reflect our mixed up world
Ruth Kennedy, Ethiopia
The comments reflect the sentiments of people from around the world, which are interesting but the outcome will not be affected by any of them. This middle aged couple are not perfect but then who amongst us is? They reflect our mixed up world. That they are in the public eye does not really give us the right to be judges one way or another. God remains the judge of all!
Ruth Kennedy, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

If Camilla truly wishes not to become queen, then she either should not marry Charles or marry him on the condition that he stands aside in favour of Prince William. Is it not all too obvious to everyone that the real issue is not the marriage itself but the succession to the throne?
Nicholas Orr, New Castle, NSW, Australia

Please excuse my ignorance, but Queen Elizabeth's husband is Prince Phillip, not King Phillip. So then why should Camilla be Queen Camilla?
Lisa, New York, USA

I don't see why we need all this fuss over a title. Surely if you are married to a prince then you are a princess, and if you're married to the king then you're queen. It's quite simple really.
Anonymous

The title is irrelevant as long as they are happy together
Janet Somerford, Mozambique
Of course if Charles becomes king she should take the place of queen at his side. The title is irrelevant as long as they are happy together.
Janet Somerford, Mozambique

I don't care what she would be happy to be called. They have tried to pull the wool over our eyes once too often! She should have no title other than that of Mrs Windsor. This selfish and self-centred pair have caused so much misery for so many people and done more for the Republican movement than anyone. If he must marry her, fine, but then he should relinquish all claims to the throne.
Sheila Egerton, Faversham, Kent

It's natural that the king's wife is queen. When Prince Charles succeeds to the throne, his wife at that time should be queen.
Farhan Esar, Lahore, Pakistan

Of course she should. What a nation of bitter, twisted, and self-centred people we have become. Look in the mirror before slinging mud. This is all a non important diversion while politicians get more power and wealth by stealth. Wake up before it's too late.
Mike Coyle, London, UK

The throne should pass directly to William
Shauna Gunson, Australia
No. Australians want no part of Camilla. We will not embrace a second wife to Charles, she never will be accepted and has raised the republican issue for people who were staunch monarchists. The throne should pass directly to William.
Shauna Gunson, Adelaide, Australia

This is an argument being blown up by anti-monarchists. But just think for a moment what would happen if Britain became a republic. A new "Tony and Cherie" milking the system for their personal and family gains more or less every eight years.
John, Switzerland

No. It will not be fair to Mrs. Simpson.
Ong Mei Leng, Melaka, Malaysia

If Charles ever becomes king, then certainly Camilla (assuming she's still married to him by then) should be queen, as the law demands. What's the point of the government wasting time changing the law to allow her to be called Princess Consort, when they have a huge number of much more important things to sort out?
Harold Lee, London, England

The monarchy is now, I am glad to say, a part of the entertainment industry. So it is quite reasonable for this decision to made by those best qualified - the tabloid press.
Mike Richmond, Guildford, England

Here's a novel idea -why don't we hold an election?
Simon, London

No. She is a divorcee.
A Legge, Leeds, UK

She will be always be the prince's happiness. Give them a break
Vic, Essex
Its good that they are getting married, as normal human being they deserve to be happy. What does it matter if she became the Queen of England or not? She will be always be the prince's happiness. Give them a break.
Vic, Essex

I am happy for both Prince Charles and Camilla, it is about time they got married, however Prince Charles has been divorced so the throne should be passed directly to Prince William and be done with it.
Debbie, Edinburgh, Scotland

As a "republican" I don't think Charles should be king - let alone have Camilla as queen!
Ian Roberts, Wales

I don't think that Camilla should ever be called queen. Regardless of what is portrayed by the media, Camilla is not accepted by the majority of the public. The queen has devoted her life to the monarchy putting personal issues aside. Now it seems that Charles and Camilla are putting all that she has worked for at risk by their own selfish actions and desires.
Kathy, UK

I love the monarchy and the traditions (and tourists) they bring to this country
Anna, Birmingham, UK
Yes she should be queen. I'm sure several of Henry VIII's wives were not popular with the British public - especially the foreign ones! But he is one of the most famous kings in history. I love the monarchy and the traditions (and tourists) they bring to this country.
Anna, Birmingham, UK

I say let them get married, let them be king and queen, who cares really? They, if nothing else, reflect what a lot of marriages in the UK are....their second!
Jamie Coates, Glasgow

I am not what you would call a royalist, but to all those who insist on jumping on the 'abolish the monarchy' bandwagon, have you ever paused to think about all the behind the scenes work our current monarch carries out; the diplomacy, the trade links, the hosting and attendance of many, probably tiresome, events held in order to help ensure the UK is held in international esteem. True, modernisations should be carried out, but talk of abolishment seems foolhardy.
Anon, London

The monarchy continues to exist because of the respect of the majority of the people for the elder royals. The Queen has always put her responsibilities first. If Charles becomes king the monarchy will become an expensive joke and cease to exist. Hand the reins to William when the time comes. He is his mother's son with so many of her qualities. That in my opinion is the only way to take the monarchy forward. So no, Camilla can never be queen any more than Charles should be our king.
Diana Smith, Benfleet, Essex

Some of the comments on here are unbelievable, of course Camilla should be queen. To all those calling for an end to the monarchy, I ask you this. Would you rather swear allegiance to Tony Blair and have Cherie as your first lady? Get real and grow up people.
Richard King, London

If Camilla becomes Queen, I'll emigrate
Liz, London
Haven't we done this one? I'm totally fed up with hearing about it. There are much more important things in life to debate. But for the record, if Camilla becomes Queen, I'll emigrate!
Liz, London

Sadly the monarchy in this country has become a bit of a laughing stock on the world stage. If "British" people had to swear allegiance to the British flag, as USA citizens do to theirs, we could scrap the monarchy, but in this country that too is scorned. If the monarchy is to be scrapped we MUST replace it with an oath of allegiance to our country otherwise this country will go down the toilet.
Frank, London, UK

The idea that woman with whom the prince committed adultery on the mother of his children, will become the Queen of England is disgusting. And I thought America lacked morals - the monarchy has clearly shown us up on that subject.
K. Christopherson, Washington, USA

I am slightly baffled as to why there is so much animosity towards Camilla. She seems like a perfectly nice woman to me. If she wants to be queen then she should be queen and if she doesn't then she shouldn't have to. It's quite simple really.
Vik, UK

I don't think so! She may be a great wife and support Prince Charles admirably if he ever becomes King, but she should definitely maintain a behind the scenes role, as far as Royal duties are concerned.
Emma Brown, Horsham, UK

The monarchy is an outdated relic of medieval times
Ian, Edinburgh
In a word, no! The monarchy is an outdated relic of medieval times, and should be abolished when the present Queen passes on.
Ian, Edinburgh

There is no constitutional imperative that requires Charles to become king. Succession to the throne has passed elsewhere than the heir apparent in the past: it can do so again. The nature of the Coronation Oath is that the subjects of the monarch can chose whomsoever they like as their monarch. The fact that they have traditionally chosen a suitable person close to one family shows a preference for continuity rather than a formal right for that person to succeed to the throne.
Nigel Wilson, Buckingham, UK

Queen? Princess Consort? Duchess of Cornwall? She can be officially known as Susan if it suits them. Who really cares? Does it actually make a blind bit of difference apart from aesthetics?
Adam, Stoke, England

She asked not to be called queen, so that's what matters. She may technically be a queen, but if she won't take the title what's all this fuss about?
Tony, UK

She'll be married to the king and should have the title
Karen R, Philadelphia, PA USA
Yes - she'll be married to the king and should have the title. She's good for the Prince! The Prince looks happier with Camilla than he ever did with Diana - really the look of love this time. Plus he touches her and wants to be near her, you can tell! I'm delighted for both of them. They've waited long enough for this kind of happiness! She's good for him!
Karen R, Philadelphia, PA USA

Why, in this day and age, do we still have monarchies? They are outdated and a drain on public resources. It's time Britain joined the 21st century and became a republic.
John, Los Angeles, USA

Of course she should be. Queens are chosen by tradition, not popular opinion.
Jose

Who cares? Does it matter? The issue is as irrelevant as the royalty itself.
Venkat V, London

Charles should step down in place of his son William. Not even the most staunch royalists will support Camilla as queen.
Lee, Pasadena, USA

Yes, It should help end the monarchy quicker.
Mick, Coventry

I have a very deep respect and affection for our current Queen, who for 50 years has been above reproach while admirably shouldering her stately duties. Camilla may be an ideal wife for Prince Charles, but she will never be my queen!
Mark, Hove, East Sussex

I don't think she should be queen. In fact, I don't think we need a monarchy at all. Let the people decide on who should be our head of state - it's called democracy.
AJ, Edinburgh, Scotland



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