King kingdom

Britain’s Elizabeth wants Charles’ wife to be ‘Queen Camilla’ when he is king

LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth said on Saturday she wants Prince Charles’ wife Camilla to be made queen consort when he becomes king, cementing her place at the heart of the royal family after being deemed foreign.

In a letter written to mark the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne, Elizabeth said the occasion had given her pause to reflect on the loyalty and affection shown to her by the British public.

She said she hoped Charles and Camilla would receive the same support.

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“(I) sincerely wish that in due time Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her loyal service,” Elizabeth said.

Longtime lovers Charles and Camilla married in 2005 in a civil ceremony in Windsor. Their Clarence House residence said on Saturday they were “touched and honored by Her Majesty’s words”.

Elizabeth’s move reflects a wider acceptance of Camilla’s status as a royal.

The tabloids no longer target her as they did in the decade following the 1997 death of Charles’ first wife, Princess Diana.

Camilla – whose current title is Duchess of Cornwall – now regularly represents the Royal Family alongside Charles at official functions.

Throughout British history, the consort of a king is usually given the title of queen consort. At the time of their marriage, it had been officially decided that Camilla would use the title of princess consort if Charles became king.

As Elizabeth turns 70 on the British throne on Sunday – an unprecedented milestone – the anniversary comes at a tumultuous time for the royal family.

From the US sexual abuse court case against her son Prince Andrew to her grandson Prince Harry and his wife’s allegations of racism in the royal household, the family of 95-year-old Elizabeth has rarely is the subject of such intense scrutiny and damaging headlines.

Last year she lost her 73-year-old husband, Philip, whom she acknowledged in her Saturday letter.

“I was blessed to have in Prince Philip a partner who was willing to play the role of husband and make the sacrifices that go with it. It’s a role that I saw my own mother play during the reign of my dad,” Elizabeth said.

PUMP AND GRIP

Earlier on Saturday, Elizabeth kicked off the 70th anniversary celebrations of her accession to the throne by inviting local community groups to her residence in Sandringham, eastern England.

The Queen, pictured smiling and wearing a light blue dress, cut a celebratory cake baked by a local resident and heard a rendition of “Congratulations” played by a concert band.

“I remain forever grateful and touched by the loyalty and affection you continue to give me,” she said in her letter to the public.

Ironically, Elizabeth was not destined to be a monarch when she was born and only became queen because her uncle Edward VIII abdicated to be with American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

But in 2015 she overtook Victoria as Britain’s oldest ruler in a line that traces its origins to Norman King William I and his conquest of England in 1066.

The low-key events this weekend are a prelude to more pomp and ceremony to mark the Platinum Jubilee in early June, when the government will add an additional bank holiday.

But Elizabeth said the birthday was a time of reflection and emotion for her.

“It is a day which, even after 70 years, I still remember as much as the death of my father, King George VI, as the beginning of my reign,” she wrote.

“As we celebrate this anniversary, it is my pleasure to renew to you the promise I made in 1947 that my life will always be devoted to your service.”

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Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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