Will Camilla also be getting crowned on coronation day?

camilla queen consort wearing a purple feathered hat and purple coat
Will Camilla be crowned at the coronation?Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

The coronation of King Charles III is just days away (6 May 2023), and whilst we all know that the main man himself will be crowned during a lavish Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey – what about his wife, Camilla, The Queen Consort? Will Camilla be crowned too?

Will Camilla be crowned at the coronation?

First up, let's take a look at what actually happens during a Coronation Service, shall we? Traditionally, such a ceremony is comprised of at least five parts. First of all, King Charles III will take part in the recognition (where he will turn four times, to present himself to those gathered), the oath, the anointing, the investiture (which includes the crowning), the enthronement and finally, the homage.

Then, as per the official Royal Family's website, Camilla will have a similar but more straightforward ceremony. "A Queen Consort is crowned with the King, in a similar, but simpler ceremony," it explains.

The most recent example in history of a Queen Consort being crowned and anointed was when the Queen Mother (King Charles III's grandmother) took part in a ceremony alongside her husband, King George VI, in 1937. During this moment, the Archbishop of Canterbury anointed the Queen Mother's head with holy oil, before placing a ring on her hand, crown on her head and presenting her with a sceptre and ivory rod. To conclude, the ceremony saw the Queen Mother bow to her husband.

This time around, it's reported that – in a break from tradition – Camilla will be anointed publicly, as opposed to underneath a canopy, as the Archbishop says to her, "Be your head anointed with holy oil. Almighty God, the fountain of all goodness; hear our prayer this day for thy servant Camilla, whom in thy name, and with all devotion, we consecrate our Queen.

"Make her strong in faith and love, defend her on every side, and guide her in truth and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

the then prince charles and camilla, duchess of cornwall, sat on thrones during the opening of parliament in 2016
WPA Pool - Getty Images

Following the anointing, Camilla will presented with a ruby ring that was originally made for Queen Adelaide, the wife of King William IV, back in 1831 – the ring is to symbolise the marriage of Queen Consort to King, and their shared duty to God and service for the people.

The Archbishop will then say, "Receive this Ring, a symbol of royal dignity, and a sign of the covenant sworn this day" before the special piece of jewellery is returned to the High Altar.

Next, Queen Mary's Crown will be placed on Camilla's head (N.B. this is the first time an older crown will be used, as opposed to a new one being created), as the Archbishop recites a prayer granting her with "abundant grace". Camilla will then be presented with an ivory rod and sceptre, before the coronation anthem, Make A Joyful Noise, is sung. It's at this point that Charles and Camilla are officially enthroned and "are united in their joint vocation before God".

Will Camilla be Queen if Charles dies?

In a word: no. Although Camilla may still retain the title of Queen Camilla (or more accurately Queen-dowager), King Charles' eldest son and heir, William, Prince of Wales, would immediately become the new reigning monarch – not Camilla. Those who marry in to the Royal Family, like Camilla, are not able to take the throne in the event that their spouse dies.

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