Prince Charles ascended to the throne as King Charles III after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on September 8, 2022. 

Charles released a statement shortly after news broke that his mother had passed, saying “The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world. During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.” 

Also Read: William and Kate named Prince and Princess of Wales by King Charles III

Charles’s wife, Camila Parker Bowles, former Duchess of Cornwall, has taken on a new title too as Queen Consort. But what does Queen Consort actually mean? We explain.

What exactly is a Queen Consort?

A Queen Consort is a woman who is married to the ruling monarch, with the title “Queen” reserved for female rulers who succeed to the throne and whose prestige, role, and commitments are equal to those of the king. 

In the 20th century, there were two consorts: Queen Mary, wife of King George V, and Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII (Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmother and great-grandmother, respectively).

Queen Elizabeth II had a Roman numeral after her name, signifying her as the second sovereign of that name, not a consort.

So far, there have been only six British reigning queens among the 41 monarchs since 1066 – Mary I, Elizabeth I, Mary II, Anne, Victoria, Elizabeth II. 

What does a Queen Consort do?

The Queen of Consorts has no definition, no public duties, and no salary, just like the first lady of the United States. However, the public, whose taxes support the monarchy, endows high expectations from the Royal Family.

Also Read: King Charles III first speech as UK monarch: What he said

A queen consort’s job is to assist the king in any way she can. Her primary duty  Job number one is to produce heirs, but Charles, 73, and Camilla, 75, both have children from previous marriages. The royal succession is set for three more generations: Charles’ elder son, Prince William, 40, and William’s elder son, Prince George, 9.

Unlike Queen Elizabeth, who inherited the throne from her father, Queen Consort Camilla cannot inherit the throne because she married into the royal family.

According to the royal family’s website, the Queen Consort is usually “crowned with the King, in a similar but simpler ceremony.”