What happens to Queen Camilla if King Charles passes away?

6 February 2024, 12:40 | Updated: 6 February 2024, 16:14

Queen Camilla wearing her crown next to a picture of her in green suit and waving
Queen Camilla's royal duties will change should she outlive the monarch. Picture: Getty

Following King Charles's cancer diagnosis, royal fans are wondering exactly what happens to Camilla if she outlives her husband?

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King Charles has confirmed via Buckingham Palace he has cancer which he is currently undergoing treatment for.

And while the type of cancer hasn't been confirmed, the monarch, who is 75 years old, has said he feels "wholly positive" about the diagnosis as he takes a step back from pubic royal duties to focus on his health.

However, the king's health condition has many royal followers questioning just what happens next in terms of who's in line to the throne and in particular, what happens to wife Queen Camilla should she outlive him.

While this is all very theoretical, questions such as 'will Camilla be Queen of the UK?' and 'will she remain a monarch?' have risen in the aftermath of the health news.

King Charles waving alongside wife Camilla
King Charles's wife became Queen on their Coronation day in 2023. Picture: Getty

What happens to Queen Camilla if King Charles passes away?

Like with all titles in the royal family, this becomes quite complicated. As it stands, Camilla is known as "Queen" and not "Queen Consort" like many before her have been.

This is down to Queen Elizabeth's request and to make things easier to understand in terms of the royal family tree.

However, on technicalities and tradition, she is still actually Queen Consort, the official term for a King's wife, to show she does not share the same political or military powers or sovereignty as her husband.

King Charles wearing blue stripe suit
King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer. Picture: Getty

Should she outlive King Charles, Camilla, aged 76, will have her title slightly altered to Queen Dowager - the official term for the widow of a king.

This means she will get to remain part of the royal family, enjoying the usual perks of the position without being the actual Queen Consort.

This role will be moved on to the next head of state's wife, in this case Kate Middleton as Prince William is the next in line to the throne.

Queen Camilla can not be the official or actual Queen as this is a title only inherited through the blood line.

Following Prince William, his eldest son Prince George is set to take on the king role.