Prince Charles plays down ‘Queen Camilla’ wish
It was a slip - and not a smart one. New poll shows few people want Camilla as queen
Clarence House has rushed to play down the significance of a comment made by Prince Charles during an American TV interview, when he appeared to suggest that his second wife could become Queen Camilla when he ascends to the throne.
It is known that the Prince of Wales has long confided in close friends that he hopes Camilla might be crowned queen beside him. But the official line has always been - and remains - that she would be known as his Princess Consort.
This is the first time Charles has expressed his private hope in public - and it came out in an unguarded moment.
Charles was talking at the Castle of Mey, his grandmother's former Scottish home, when Brian Williams of NBC TV asked him point blank: Would Camilla be Queen?
Charles stammered: "That's, that's, we'll see, won't we? That could be."
Any suggestion that Charles was trying to exploit the current warm feeling towards his family following this week's news of Prince William's engagement is wide of the mark. The interview was recorded in August.
In an attempt to get his boss off the hook, a spokesman at Clarence House said: "Nothing has changed. The intention absolutely remains that the Duchess be known as Princess Consort when the Prince becomes king.
"However we have always made it clear that when the day comes, whatever the circumstances are at the time, the Government would have the final say on the title the Duchess uses."
While the general public has generally come to accept Charles marrying his former mistress - the "third person" in his marriage to Princess Diana, as she once famously put it - the Royal Family is aware that a majority would never accept her being crowned queen, whatever Charles's wishes.
A Harris poll for the Daily Mail today shows that only 14 per cent of people support the idea. Worse still for Charles and Camilla, nearly half those polled - especially women - hope that when the Queen dies, the monarchy will pass straight to William and Kate. ·
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