If King Charles dies first, here's what's in store for Queen Camilla

What happens to Camilla if King Charles dies first? Queen’s fate revealed

There are many monikers to Queen Camilla.

Camilla, 75, has had several title changes throughout her tenure as a member of the royal family — from the Duchess of Cornwall to queen consort — but what becomes of her name should her husband, King Charles, take his last breath?

King Charles III and Queen Camilla
Camilla and the former Prince of Wales were ceremoniously crowned as monarchs during their coronation on May 6.
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When did Charles marry Camilla, and what was her title?

When Charles, then the Prince of Wales, married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, she was addressed with the same label — even after they divorced in 1996. As for Camilla, she was wedded to her first husband Andrew Parker Bowles from 1973 until 1995.

Diana then passed away in a fiery car crash in 1997 and her moniker died along with her.

When Camilla and Charles tied the knot in 2005 and out of respect for Lady Di, the former Mrs. Parker Bowles did not use “Princess of Wales.”

At the time of their marriage, there were discussions that Camilla would take on the style of “Princess Consort” when Charles would finally ascend to the throne — but, evidentally, the late Queen Elizabeth changed her mind.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla
King Charles was enthroned, robed and anointed at his lavish coronation at Westminster Abbey on May 6.
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Is Camilla “queen” now?

When Elizabeth II passed away after 70 years of service in September 2022, Charles immediately became king and Camilla became known as queen consort.

Later, Charles and Camilla were formally crowned at an elaborate coronation on May 6 at London’s Westminster Abbey and the mother of two’s title was transformed, dropping the “consort” bit from her name.

Queen consort versus queen: What’s the difference?

Before Elizabeth passed on at the age of 96, she gave her stamp of approval for Camilla to be queen.

“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 the time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service,” she wrote in a February 2022 letter.

“I remain eternally grateful for, and humbled by, the loyalty and affection you continue to give me,” Elizabeth added.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla
The newly crowned King Charles and Queen Camilla take their place on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the coronation earlier this month.
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Will Camilla be queen if King Charles dies?

If Charles, 74, dies before Camilla, she will have the name of “queen dowager” bestowed upon her, according to reports.

As Camilla is excluded from the Windsor bloodline, she would not be the sole queen in the event that Charles passes away before she does.

Rather, Charles’s eldest son, William, 41, will take the throne as monarch of the United Kingdom, alongside his wife and the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton.

What power does a queen dowager have?

The dowager title is traditionally given to the widows of sovereigns — and was first used by Queen Adelaide in 1830 when her husband King William IV died. With no viable heir between them, his niece, Queen Victoria, ascended the coveted coronation chair.

Because the dowager is simply the widow of a deceased royal, she would not wield much power. However, she would hold some soft influence over matters of court. She also does not have any legitimate claim to succeed the king following his death.