From Queen Consort to Queen Camilla
Queen Camilla will be crowned at Westminster Abbey alongside King Charles III on 6 May 2023.
Her Majesty was born in London in July 1947, the daughter of Major Bruce Shand and the Hon Rosalind Shand, daughter of the 3rd Baron Ashcombe. She has a sister, Annabel Elliot, who is an interior designer. Her brother Mark Shand, a travel writer and conservationist, passed away in 2014.
Queen Camilla’s early childhood was spent at her parents’ 18th Century home in a rural part of East Sussex. Her Majesty was educated at schools in Sussex and London and also attended educational institutions in Switzerland and Paris.
Queen Camilla was previously married to Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles and the couple have two children, Thomas and Laura. The marriage was dissolved in 1995.
In April 2005, the then Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles were married in a civil ceremony at the Guildhall, Windsor at which time Ms Parker Bowles assumed the title Duchess of Cornwall.
The civil ceremony was followed by a Service of Prayer and Dedication at Windsor Castle and a reception at the Castle hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.
In April 2012, it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II had appointed the Duchess to be a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.
Queen Elizabeth later made known her ‘sincerest wish’ that the Duchess would have the title Queen Consort when her husband became King. On the official invitations to the Coronation, she is referred to as ‘Queen Camilla’, which is expected to be the title used in the future.
Queen Camilla has five grandchildren, three of whom will have roles in the Coronation, and five step-grandchildren.
Since her marriage to the then Prince of Wales, Queen Camilla has become Patron or President of more than 90 charities active in a variety of fields. While these patronages are under review following the King’s accession to the throne, they are a reliable indication of Her Majesty’s interests.
Queen Camilla is an active Patron of several organisations supporting survivors of sexual assault.
She has also been particularly active as President of the Royal Osteoporosis Society. The condition contributed to the death of her mother and grandmother.
Other patronages include organisations supporting animal welfare, such as the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and those supporting literacy among people of all ages and cultures, including the National Literary Trust and Book Aid International.
Equestrian organisations and those involved with agriculture and the health of the rural environment also figure prominently in Queen Camilla’s patronages. Her Majesty was brought up in a rural environment in southern England and became a keen horse rider, but recently said that she had given up riding because of ‘advancing years’.
Her Majesty travelled with King Charles III to Australia three times when she was Duchess of Cornwall, meeting Australians in many parts of the country, including Queensland.
In 2012, the Royal couple attended the running of the Melbourne Cup and the then Duchess presented the cup to the winning owner.
While in Brisbane in 2018, Her Majesty made a brief appearance on an Australian cooking show, agreeing that her ‘go-to’ dish was roast chicken. She also revealed that neither she Nor the King ate garlic because of the number of official engagements involving many conversations with guests.
Among her other links with Australia, Her Majesty is currently the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australia Corps of Military Police.
In this speech following the death of Queen Elizabeth, King Charles emphasised the importance of Queen Camilla to his life and his role as Monarch, saying that in a time of change for his family, he counted ‘on the loving help of my darling wife’.
His Majesty added: ‘I know she will bring to the demands of her new role the steadfast devotion to duty on which I have come to rely so much.’