LONDON (AFP) – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has announced that she wants daughter-in-law Camilla (Pic below; AFP) to hold the role of queen consort once her son Charles ascends to the throne, in a major statement timed to mark her unprecedented 70th jubilee.
The move cemented a remarkable journey to public acceptance for Camilla, after being vilified for her role in the break-up of Charles’ marriage to Princess Diana – and shows that the Queen is planning for the future after her death.
Predictably the news dominated yesterday’s front pages, with the Daily Mail – Britain’s highest-circulation newspaper – declaring “Camilla WILL become Queen”.
The move was a long time coming for the Mail, which splashed on its front page yesterday that the queen’s statement “ends years of speculation” over the future role of the Duchess of Cambridge as well as quashing rumours that she might abdicate.
The decision, the tabloid declared, represented “the clearest sign yet not just of the Queen’s unswerving support for her daughter-in-law but proof of her enduring affection for the woman who has secured her eldest son’s happiness”.
The Mail’s main conservative tabloid rival, The Sunday Express, also led with the story, describing it as the Queen’s “Platinum Jubilee Gift to Charles” and offering readers a free eight-page souvenir special to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years as monarch.
The broadsheet Sunday Times, too, emphasised the significance of the decision, reporting that the Queen “anoints Queen Camilla” in a move that ended “years of controversy and confusion”.
“It was the first time the Queen has given her view publicly on an issue that has divided opinion since Charles and Camilla wed in 2005,” it said.