Queen consort is the title given to the spouse of a reigning king. In other words, it is given to those who are brought into the royal family by marriage.
A person is given the title of queen when they are the reigning monarch. For example, Queen Elizabeth II was coronated on February 6, 1952, when her father King George VI died at 56 years old, giving her the title of Queen Elizabeth.
The next person after Queen Elizabeth II who is in the line of succession who could inherit the title of queen is the daughter of Prince William and Kate Middleton — Princess Charlotte. But her older brother Prince George would ascend the throne before her and their father, Prince William before him.
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A person who is queen consort is not in line for the throne and would not ascend the throne in the event that the king dies before them, since that role must be inherited and can’t be taken through marriage. Queen Elizabeth II’s son Charles became king on September 8, 2022, after the death of his mother. If King Charles were to pass before his wife Camilla, she would not ascend the throne. His eldest son, Prince William, would ascend the throne since he is next in the line of succession, and his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge would be queen consort.
The queen consort does not have any political power and their main job is to “provide companionship and moral and practical support” to the king, according to the royal website.
The queen consort is still crowed with the king in a similar ceremony.
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“Unless decided otherwise, a Queen consort is crowned with the King in a similar but simpler ceremony. If the new Sovereign is a Queen, her consort is not crowned or anointed at the coronation ceremony,” the website sites.
After the scandal that arose with Camilla, Princess Diana and Prince Charles, it was put into place that once Queen Elizabeth II passed, Camilla would not take the title of queen consort and would instead be given the title of princess consort when her husband became the king.
In February 2022, that all changed when Queen Elizabeth announced that when her son, Charles became King, Camilla would take the title queen consort.
“When in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support 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,” Queen Elizabeth II said in a statement.
On September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II died, and Prince Charles became King Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall became queen consort.