What would Queen Camilla's role be if King Charles dies? The historic title shared by the likes of the Queen Mother and one of Henry VIII's wives

Many people are wondering what would happen to Queen Camilla if King Charles dies first

Queen Camilla's title would change if King Charles dies
(Image credit: Arthur Edwards - Pool/Getty Images)

While King Charles was only crowned earlier in May, many people appear to be asking the same question: what would happen to Camilla if Charles dies? Google data is full of people asking whether she would remain Queen, or what would happen to her title.

After the huge, historic celebrations for the coronation of King Charles earlier in May, people are all asking the same question.

What happens if he dies? Talk about a downer.

While the King is in good health to the best of everyone’s knowledge, the question is one more of curiosity. Especially when it pertains to Queen Camilla and what would happen to her.

Camilla would become the Queen Dowager if Charles died

(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage)

As a reminder, despite the fact that she’s been going by the title of Queen Camilla, she is technically or officially the Queen Consort Camilla.

The label of Consort is used to denote that, despite being married to the King, she does not share the same sovereignty or hold the same political and military powers.

It’s essentially a reminder that one is royal by marriage, and not by blood or birthright.

Comparatively, a Queen by blood – like the late Queen Elizabeth II – is officially known as a Queen Regnant.

And this idea helps us to understand what would happen to the current Queen if King Charles was to pass away before her.

Camilla wouldn't become a Queen Mother as she's not the biological parent to Prince William

(Image credit: Tim Rooke - Pool/Getty Images)

As she is not a royal by blood, her title would indeed change. Queen Camilla would go from being the Queen Consort to the Queen Dowager.

A queen dowager or dowager queen is a title or status generally held by the widow of a king.

They continue to enjoy the status and precedence of being a royal, but they are no longer referred to as the queen.

In Camilla’s case, she will become the dowager queen as Catherine, Princess of Wales becomes the Queen Consort alongside King William.

Previous Queen Dowagers in British history have included Henry VIII’s last surviving wife, Catherine Parr, and the grandmother of the late Queen, Mary of Teck.

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was technically a Queen Dowager, too, but she went by the more well-known title of The Queen Mother.

The Queen Mother doesn't literally mean the mother of the queen, but the mother of a reigning monarch

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

What’s the difference between a Queen Dowager and a Queen Mother?

Camilla wouldn’t be known as the Queen Mother because she isn’t the mother of Prince William.

A dowager queen can be known as the Queen Mother when they are the biological parent of the reigning monarch.

As William would become King after Charles’ death, there wouldn’t be a Queen Mother.

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.