Clarence House has inspired speculation that the Duchess of Cornwall could be given the title of Queen when the Prince of Wales accedes to the throne, as staff quietly remove a statement about her future name from its website.
The palace has always insisted that the Duchess will be styled Princess Consort when the time comes, indicating that she would eschew the title of Queen normally expected for the wife of a King.
The decision, announced in 2005 before the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles, has not officially changed since then, even as the public attitude to the marriage has softened. A redesign of the couple’s official website has seen the explicit statement about plans to be “Princess Consort” removed from the Duchess of Cornwall’s biography and a section of frequently asked questions.
Using a Q&A format, it had previously read:
It is one of four questions that have been removed, along with two about the Diamond Jubilee, which was in 2012, and one about how to work in the Royal Household.
Aides insisted it had been taken off due to lack of interest from the public, who are no longer asking the question.
Remaining FAQs include why the Duchess has her own home at Raymill, whether reports that she still smokes are true, and whether the Prince of Wales “intends to have a multifaith coronation”. Despite being married to the Prince of Wales, the Duchess has always chosen to use the title of the Duchess of Cornwall out of respect to public feeling at the time of their marriage.
Since then, she has spent 13 years as a working Royal, taking on more than 90 patronages, supporting her husband and the Queen in their official work, and undertaking charity work in the areas of health, literacy, domestic violence, empowering women, food, animals, older people, heritage and the arts.
Celebrating her 70th birthday last year, she travels the world with the Prince to carry out work on behalf of Britain and the Commonwealth. A spokesman for Clarence House said: “Our Frequently Asked Questions are updated regularly.
“This is one question that Clarence House has not been asked by the public for some time, which is why it no longer features.” In 2010, the Prince of Wales appeared to signal a change in policy of the Duchess’ future title. Asked on US television if she would become Queen, he replied: “That’s, well…we’ll see, won’t we? That could be.”