Queen Elizabeth just dropped a bombshell ahead of her Platinum Jubilee celebration, and many are wondering what this announcement might mean. Her surprising nod to Camilla Parker Bowles has some questioning if the queen is ready to step down.
The Queen’s Surprising Nod To Camilla
In a statement released by Queen Elizabeth to celebrate the astonishing 70th anniversary of her ascension to the throne on February 6th, 1952, the sovereign talks about her commitment to her country and the gratitude she has for her family; specifically, her son, Prince Charles, and his wife Parker Bowles.
“This anniversary also affords me a time to reflect on the goodwill shown to me by people of all nationalities, faiths and ages in this country and around the world over these years. I would like to express my thanks to you all for your support,” the queen wrote. “I remain eternally grateful for, and humbled by, the loyalty and affection that you continue to give me.”
She continued, “And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”
Does This Mean The Queen Is Getting Ready To Step Down?
While this seems pretty standard, this part of her statement is actually a very big deal. Both Charles and Parker Bowles were previously divorced: Charles from Princess Diana and Parker Bowles from Andrew Parker Bowles. It’s been the official position of both the British Royal Family and the Duchess of Cornwall, because she is not his first wife, that she would be referred to as “Princess Consort” when the time came for Charles to take the throne as king, rather than Queen or Queen Consort as is the usual tradition for the wife of a king.
This statement from the queen marks the first time Parker Bowles has been referred to as the future Queen Consort and shows how far she’s come in terms of public opinion. “The queen is ensuring the transition, when it comes, to her son as king is as seamless and trouble-free as possible,’’ said former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt. “She’s future-proofing an institution she’s served for 70 years. And for Camilla, the journey from being the third person in a marriage to queen-in-waiting is complete.”
The statement is also notable for the queen’s reference to Charles’ future role as king. Queen Elizabeth has faced a number of health scares in the past few months, and some are wondering if her nod to Charles and Parker Bowles is indicative of a change. However, Queen Elizabeth doesn’t show any signs of slowing down – or stepping down – writing in her statement, “I look forward to continuing to serve you with all my heart.”