In a message released on the eve of the 70th anniversary of her coronation as monarch, the 95-year-old Queen said that “when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know they will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that he has given me [a mí]; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camila will be known as queen consort while she continues her own loyal service.”
Royal historian Robert Lacey told PEOPLE: “In the message, [la Reina] he recognized his own mortality and looked to the future. As she thought of his father, George VI, she would also have thought of his mother and how important she was as a lifemate to him.”
Lacey also addressed the death in April of the queen’s husband, Prince Philip, who passed away at the age of 99 after 73 years of marriage.” And then, of course, with the death of Prince Philip, [Isabel] she’s considering the sacrifices and hardships of being a consort.”
Hints that the Queen would want Camilla to be known as Queen Consort have been added in recent years.
In 2016, the Queen appointed Prince Charles’s wife to her Privy Council and Camilla was made a member of the Order of the Garter late last year.
The Order of the Garter was founded by Edward III in 1348 and is the highest order of chivalry in the British honor system.
“This was the big question mark that remained and now it’s been resolved, and any consent from the then Prime Minister for the title is a formality,” says Lacey.
He adds: “Some people might have thought that he would look back on his reign with this message, but in fact he was looking forward in a positive way.”
The title had been in doubt for a long time. When Camilla married prince charles in 2005, it was said that she would be known as the Princess Consort when the time came for Charles to assume the throne.
However, the Queen’s intervention now indicates that Camila will be crowned alongside her husband.
Prince Charles, 73, said in a statement that he was celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of the Queen on Sunday: “We are deeply aware of the honor that my mother’s wish represents. As we seek together to serve and support Her Majesty and the people of our communities, my dear wife has been my steadfast support at all times.”
Charles’s spokesman told PEOPLE on Saturday night that the couple were “shocked and honored” by the Queen’s statement.
Queen Elizabeth attended an event at Sandringham House with representatives from local community groups to mark the start of her Platinum Jubilee on Saturday.
The Queen “was bright and in good spirits. Her sense of humor was on and we had a good chat,” she told PEOPLE Yvonne Browne, Vice President and President of the Sandringham Institute for Women.
The weekend also marked the anniversary of the death of his father, King George VI, 70 years ago. “It’s a bittersweet weekend for her. Anyone who’s lost one of her parents knows what it’s like and then all of a sudden she went from being a princess one day to being a queen,” adds Browne.
“And in the last year, she lost His Royal Highness Prince Philip. But she certainly wasn’t down yesterday, she was in brilliant shape and we were pleased to see her looking so good.”
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