Why Camilla doesn’t use the title ‘Princess of Wales’

Instead, being referred to as HRH 'Duchess of Cornwall.'

Following the British royal family, and knowing exactly who is titled what, can be a little confusing. The royal family follow a string of rules depending on whether one is born into royalty versus those who marry into the royal family, or eventually divorce from royalty. 

It can be a little hard to follow.  

Traditionally, when a woman marries into the British royal family, she will be granted the female version of her husband’s title. For example, when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed on May 19, Queen Elizabeth granted her grandson the title, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan became the Duchess of Sussex. 

Similarly, when Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, she became the Princess of Wales. 

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Now, Prince Charles is married to Camilla Parker-Bowles. Camilla who should be referred to as HRH (Her Royal Highness) The Princess of Wales. But instead, she goes by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, which is the feminine version of one of Charles’s other titles. 

The title of Duke of Cornwall is traditionally held by the eldest son of the reigning British monarch.

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According to, the reason Camilla isn’t referred to as the Princess of Wales is actually quite simple. 

Although Diana was not the first Princess of Wales, the title became strongly associated with her.

Marlene Koenig, a royal expert and author, explains the decision was also made to avoid ‘stirring up ill feelings’ toward Camilla. 

When she married Prince Charles, ‘Camilla was not popular or well liked, [though] this has changed a lot since the marriage as Camilla has taken on a lot of patronages and Charles is a lot happier,’ Koenig says. ‘Still, [there was] a lot of tension and anger among a certain element of the population, so it was decided that Camilla would be styled as the Duchess of Cornwall, even though, of course, she is the Princess of Wales.’

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Although opinion surrounding Camilla has shifted quite dramatically, the style change stuck. 

More recently, controversy surrounding Camilla’s title when Prince Charles becomes King has arisen. 

When the couple got married, Clarence House stated that Camilla would adopt the style of Princess consort when Charles ascends to the throne, even though she would legally be Queen consort.

However, in 2018, Clarence House removed the statement about Camilla being styled as Princess consort, and when asked by a member of Parliament, Constitutional Affairs Minister Christopher Leslie said that, ‘This is absolutely unequivocal that she automatically becomes queen when he becomes king.’

Related: Prince Charles and Camilla’s roles upgraded

Related: The secret nicknames royal family use for each other

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